Lakeshore Advantage garners international award

Lakeshore Advantage, which assists employers with growth opportunities in Allegan and Ottawa counties, stands out among its peers for reporting its progress in an engaging way. 

The Zeeland-based economic development organization won a Silver Rank for its annual investor briefing, a project in the Annual Report category of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The honor was presented at an awards ceremony during the IEDC annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee, earlier this month. 

“We had to think creatively with our 2021 Investor Briefing, given the state of the world,” says  Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage president. “We seized an opportunity to report out to our investors in a way that was both engaging and informative and, because it is recorded and lives on our website, our reach was widened to all of the extended members of our team to view and engage.” 

Engaging investors

Lakeshore Advantage was able to retain the same number of attendees at its virtual annual investor briefing as it had at its in-person reception the previous year, in 2020, proving what a  great success the organization had with the format. Since airing live, the annual investor briefing has been viewed on YouTube nearly 200 times. 

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards represent the best of economic development and exemplify the leadership that our profession strives for every day,” says Tom Kucharski, 2021 IEDC board chair and Invest Buffalo Niagara’s president and CEO.  

Lakeshore Advantage won a Silver Rank for its annual investor briefing,

“We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing submissions,  projects, and partnerships have improved regional quality of life,” he says. 

The IEDC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization serving economic developers. 

Recognizing the best

With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world's best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year's most influential leaders. 

Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received more than 500 submissions from four countries. 

In 2020, Lakeshore Advantage supported 14 business growth projects, resulting in $152 million in private investment and 652 new jobs. It assisted 395 primary employers in 2020, which is double the typical support, due to the increased need caused by the global pandemic. The organization also supported 63 startup companies and administered two small business grant programs that injected $3.625 million into the local economy.

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.