The Economic Development Corporation Michigan City continues to propel businesses and the community forward through strategic planning and partnerships, neighborhood-focused initiatives and growth-centered projects and activity.

In 2020, the team carried on its mission and vision as a resource for new and existing businesses facing a turbulent year.

“We concentrated on communication by hosting Business Recovery Planning Conference calls that united nonprofit, school, city and business leaders,” said EDCMC Executive Director Clarence L. Hulse. “We had the opportunity to help launch an informative website, survey our businesses for what they most needed and offer the Michigan City Fighting Chance Fund program.”

“There was a commitment made to share information and to work with one another to create synergy, which yields solution creation,” added EDCMC board past chair Stephanie Oberlie, who is president & COO at Harbour Trust & Investment Management Company. “This formed a silver lining as we navigated the crisis together.”

Hulse said the EDCMC team not only tackled the path through the pandemic, but also kept an eye on the route needed to move further forward.

“We are honored to have led our region through this process and beyond. The movement in 2020 is a true indicator of how tough our community can be as we snap back stronger than we were before,” Hulse said.

In 2020, the EDCMC’s economic development activity included $61,850,000 in estimated capital investment, 583 projected new jobs, 98 community partnership meetings, 175 jobs retained, 294,500 square feet added or redeveloped, and 15 new expansion or relocation projects completed or in the works.

Business expansions included Shady Creek Winery, which is expanding its production, warehouse and equipment through two phases, as well as Hearthside Food Solutions’ project to expand its product lines with 50 new jobs and $13.6 million in capital investment. Harbour Trust Investment Management Company, Viobin/PHM and Midwest Metal Products also worked on building expansions.

New projects included Zorn Barrelhouse event venue and loft apartments, Uptown Social theater rehab, J&B West Roofing’s first phase, PACE and James Burg Trucking company relocations and Aquagenic Technologies rehab.

“Seeing the pace of development and 2020 data confirms to me that Michigan City is in a tremendous position to accomplish even more,” Hulse said.

In 2021, the EDCMC team and board are reigniting work on the organization’s strategic plan and its five tenets: economic inclusion, workforce development/talent attraction, placemaking, aggressively telling the story and economic modernization.

“We are continuing to implement our strategic action plan, focusing on entrepreneurship, housing and workforce development,” said Linda Simmons, Visit Michigan City LaPorte director of marketing and 2021 EDCMC board chair. “The good news is that Michigan City is ready and open for business and our economic activity pipeline will be very robust over the next 24 months.”

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