EDA: More than 800 jobs, $167M in regional investments made in 2021

What’s happening: For all the hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic wrought in 2021, there were plenty of positives and accomplishments worth celebrating, too. The Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County proved that point at their Virtual Semi-Annual Meeting earlier this week, presenting a number of important achievements made for the Blue Water Area in 2021. The meeting, held Tuesday, Feb. 15, looked toward the future, too, and outlined some of the bigger developments set to shape the region for years to come.

More than 800 new jobs: According to their 2021 Annual Report, the EDA says that the region added 584 total new jobs from attraction projects, community development and business expansions, the total of which added up to $167 million in private investment. Another 270 jobs and 56 new businesses were created thanks to small business and startup clients with support from the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and The Underground small business incubator.

New homes, too: There were 380 single-family homes, lofts, and apartment units added in St. Clair County last year. The EDA also says that there are more than 1,000 residential development projects currently planned or underway.

Big projects: The region also experienced $27.1 million in expansion projects for local businesses, $117.9 million in new business investment, and $22.1 million in community development spread across 70 projects in 2021.

Looking ahead: Construction of the EDA Business Center, the administration of several City of Port Huron Community Development Block Grants (CDBGs), assisting St. Clair County RESA with the Tri-Share Child Care Grant program, increasing child care options in the county, talent attraction efforts, and a focus on large parcel development-ready sites for business attraction will be some the EDA’s biggest projects in 2022.

An interior rendering of the EDA Business Center.
What they’re saying: "During the continued challenges of a health pandemic in 2021, our organization is pleased to see our region continue to prosper with solid economic growth,” says Dan Casey, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance.

“While continuing the EDA’s normal activities of recruiting new businesses and marketing the region for business, living and work opportunities, the economic development has also proudly provided a tremendous amount of support to area businesses during the pandemic. As a result of the EDA’s outreach, 112 St. Clair County companies received 142 grant awards in 2021 totaling over $11 million dollars related to pandemic assistance, energy efficiency, business development and workforce training.”

Click HERE to view the annual report from the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County.

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