Live, Work

Economic Development

Other Sources for Economic Development Information:

Bay Area Business Growth

aerialIt's a Warm Climate All Year for Business Growth! It’s always the growing season in Bay County with plenty of business development incentives. Real-world business support plans help smooth the way and cut red tape for new firms and expanding companies. Economic development professionals provide services for business and industrial development that can be utilized immediately whether the issues involve strategies for financial assistance, infrastructure improvements, public relations in the community, training the workforce, or introduction to the community.

Several of these assets stand out: Delta College’s Division of Corporate Services is a worldwide training operation in 18 states and 21 foreign countries with the capacity for on-site training in automotive, manufacturing, business services, education and financial markets. The Small Business & Technology Development Center, located at Delta College, provides direct assistance and services to growing Bay County business. The National Institute of Standards/ Midwest Manufacturing Technology Center provides small and medium manufacturers technical assistance for improving product quality, productivity and capability.

Materials testing facilities, such as the Independent Testing Laboratory at Saginaw Valley State University, offer material properties testing for regional industry. The Michigan Works! Bay County One Stop Center provides complete workforce development services to employers. Then there is an array of financial incentives designed to bring new business and industry to Bay County. Loans from both the private sector and state and federal government in the form of venture capital, industrial revenue bonds, fixed asset loans and other sources are online and tailored to new or existing business.

Cost of Doing Business Not Too Taxing

Michigan’s Single Business Tax (SBT) places a ceiling of 1.175 percent on your gross receipts.

The SBT will be phased out of existence over the next 23 years. Businesses qualify for a 90 percent tax credit if their gross receipts are under $6 million. Twelve-year 50-percent industrial facilities tax abatements save capital for new equipment, re-tooling and expanded capacity. Capital investments are a direct deduction from your taxable base. Additional direct incentives for business development are available.

Markets Within Your Reach

The great manufacturing belt across the mid-northern tier of the U.S. and Canada, from Milwaukee and Chicago to Indianapolis, to Toledo, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Ontario and Toronto and almost to Montreal, is all readily accessible within 500 miles of Bay County. Fifty percent of U.S. durable goods as well as retail, manufacturing and service commodities are at your doorstep—matched to 65 percent of Canada’s Gross National Product right across the border. This unparalleled concentration features markets for every conceivable product or service, and Bay County provides the means to reach them with excellent highway systems, railroads, airways and shipping channels, all with cost effective distribution.

The Saginaw River Port on the Saginaw Bay is a foreign and domestic port with commercial terminals and railroad service ports. Bay shipping traverses Lake Huron into Lake Erie and then into the St. Lawrence Seaway to the great Atlantic Ocean.

The Price is Right

Bay County ranks well on the "Means City Cost Index" which surveys 30 cities nationwide on the cost of construction materials and labor. The bottom line: Bay County is 5 percent below average on material costs and 9 percent under for labor costs.

POPULATION (estimate)
Bay County 109, 672
Bay City 35,428
Saginaw/Bay/Midland MSA 401,449
State of Michigan 10,120,860
Source: US Census Bureau and Michigan

Bay Regional Medical Center 1,756
Dow Corning Corporation 1,200
Bay City Public Schools 1,203
General Motors Powertrain 976
Delta College 920
Michigan Sugar Company 770
Meijer, Inc. 736
Bay County 584
Consumers Energy Co. 495
S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. 456
City of Bay City 419

LABOR FORCE (estimate)
Bay Regional Labor Force 53,100
Total Bay County Employment 48,900


TRANSPORTATION RESOURCES — by land, by water, by air

ROAD — Three major highways, including Interstate 75 and U.S. 10, and four state trunk highways provide excellent road transportation to and from Bay County.
RAIL — CSX Transportation, Central Michigan Railroad Company and Lake State provide rail service in Bay County.
AIR — MBS International Airport is serviced by two airlines, providing 35 daily flights including direct flights to Detroit, Minneapolis and Chicago. James Clements Airport, located within Bay City, has three runways and features water landing capabilities.


Bay County is strategically located 100 miles north of Detroit and within a 500 mile radius of:

  • 52% of all U.S. Manufacturing
  • 50% of all U.S. Retail Sales
  • 14% of the U.S. Population
  • 20% of the U.S. Personal Income
  • 44% of the Canadian Population
  • 45% of Canadian Personal Income


Bay County utility rates are consistently below regional, statewide and national averages.

Consumers Energy Company provides gas and electric service to most areas outside the City of Bay City. The company also produces steam, hydroelectric, pumped storage and nuclear power. Bay City Electric Light and Power Company contracts with Consumers Energy Company to provide inexpensive energy to the City of Bay City and a few areas outside the community.

Bay County Metropolitan Water Plant has a rated capacity of 40 mgpd (million gallons per day) and presently averages an output of 10 mgpd. Bay City Wastewater Treatment Plant has a maximum capacity of 18.5 mgpd and a current average daily flow of 10 mgpd. West Bay County Wastewater System averages a daily flow of 4.35 mgpd from its 10.8 mgpd-capacity facility.

A Growing Harbor Community
New businesses and industries are locating here while established companies are expanding their current locations rather than relocating. Bay Regional Medical Center has broken ground on a fifty three-million-dollar expansion on their main campus. The Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center, located along the downtown waterfront, opened recently and Delta College, with an $8-million grant from NASA, constructed a magnificent Planetarium and Classroom Learning Center, a jewel attraction throughout the Great Lakes. A first class technology park, located adjacent to U.S. 10 and near I-75, provides quality business development opportunities. Twenty-five marinas now serve Bay waterways. Downtown and riverside condominium developments address residency needs of a growing population.

Meanwhile, agriculture continues to revolve around the sugar beet, the bean and the potato as the region ensures its reputation as a national growing region for these food products.

It is the right climate for the entrepreneur. Bay City and Bay County have become one of Michigan’s leading areas for development. A population of over 400,000 in the tri-counties (Bay, Midland and Saginaw) supports a vibrant wholesale, professional, service, retail and manufacturing economy. Bay City, with over 35,000 residents, and Bay County, with 109,000, rank number two in the region with a workforce both talented and technical. The Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant was awarded to the Mid-Michigan Innovation Alliance, with team member Saginaw Valley State University. The mid-Michigan WIRED project offers our region a diverse toolkit of workforce development opportunities.

Three reasons account for the current level of investment. One, a fertile business climate and excellent infrastructure. Two, a rich and diversified quality of life revolving around the waterways. Three, a lifestyle that daily expresses the Midwest values of hard work, discipline and friendship. In other words, Bay City and Bay County offer a growing environment conducive to development and prosperity

“Bay Area...On the Go!”

As a site location, Bay County meets your business relocation criteria head-on: a pro business development culture, proximity to markets, transportation infrastructure and an educated and technically current labor pool. This pro-business attitude is due to the long industrial history of the region. General Motors has been here since 1932. S.C. Johnson and Dow Corning Corp. have operations here. That’s three Fortune 500 corporations. Now add an expanding small business sector and you can find ample reasons why Bay County knows how to make any business feel welcome.

Our business community thrives in different settings. Many are located within the city of Bay City such as General Motors Powertrain and other large corporations and operations found in the Marquette Industrial Center. Other industrial locations can be found outside the city, such as the Valley Center Technology Park on US-10 near I-75 in Monitor Township.

Dozens of smaller specialty manufacturers are locally owned and operated. Products with the local label range from chemicals to potato chips, sugar to sheet metal, wood chips to wooden sailboats. And then there’s cheese, aerospace components, turbine engines, hand trucks, tool and die, cement...even cucumbers. Nothing is too big or too small for the Bay Area — we welcome everyone to visit and set up shop here!