Welcome to Economic Development

Businesses, jobs, investment...vibrant commercial districts.

In today's market, both community and economic development are equally important as it relates to community revitalization.  This is especially true of the neighborhoods LINC has traditionally served, including Southtown, a targeted geographic area in the southeast side of the city of Grand Rapids.  

Because LINC views neighborhoods as systems, we look at the various elements that make a community.  This systemic approach to neighborhood revitalization has taught us to create sustainable communities that build upon their potentials and opportunities in order to succeed.  Therefore, the purpose of Economic Development is to develop the entrepreneurial spirit of our community, boost business ideas and expand the business base of our communities, thus creating viable businesses that strengthen the fabric of our neighborhoods.  Businesses play a lead role in promoting healthy commercial districts, but they also need support and tools to expand and grow.  Through the development of the Business Incubator, LINC has taken on the task of helping create a supportive business environment to help meet those goals.

Economic Development oversees a variety of commercial development strategies that include:

Business Incubation and Shared Workplace Center

A Business Incubator, located within the LINC Development Center, will house several start-up businesses.  By partnering these new entrepreneurs with the proper resources and cost structure, they will become the future of our local commercial corridors.  The Incubator, slated to open Spring 2011, will be hosted at the LINC Development Center, which will house LINC's new offices and serve as an anchor of the new and improved commercial corridor.

In addition, the Development Center will also offer a shared co-workspace for  entrepeneurs and business owners who are on the go and need meeting and office space.  For a small monthly fee, they will have daily access to the Center's wi-fi, faxes, copiers, and many other office ammenities.  Business owners will also have access to one of our conference rooms for small meetings with their clients or customers.

LINC's Business approach will identify and empower local entrepreneurs through a comprehensive business development program that entails ongoing training, mentoring, and technical and financial assistance coupled with a supporting environment that will offer low rents at a time they need it most. After a period of approximately three years, these business will not only have the customer base, but also the necessary expertise to sustain their business long term at market rates and occupy commercial space created in our business corridors.  LINC plans to partner with the Michigan-Small Business and Technology Center(MI-SBTDC) hosted at Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW), and Neighborhood Ventures (NV) to assure success.  LINC will continue to develop commercial space as this pipeline of commercial clients continues.

Commercial Space

Creating adequate commercial space for our businesses is just as important to LINC as it is to develop business capacity.  Over the last three years, LINC completed two major mixed-used developments that offered an additional 9,200 sq. ft. of commercial space.

Uptown Village, Wealthy Street, SE

Uptown Village is a 46,000 sq. ft., mixed-use development located in uptown Grand Rapids - corners of Wealthy, Diamond and Sigsbee Streets. Uptown Village features 24 residential units, including 6 townhomes, and 7,200 sq. ft. of retail and office space.

Roosevelt Park Lofts, Grandville Avenue, SW

The Roosevelt Park Lofts is a 35,000 sq. ft., 21 apartment units, mixed-use development that also offers 2,400 sq. ft. of commercial space.

If you have questions about the Business Incubator or would like to enquire about commercial space available please contact us by phone at (616) 451-9140 or via email .

Business Retention/Attraction

LINC strongly believes that a vibrant community needs businesses that create jobs, commercial activity that generates revenue, and investment that boosts the economy.  With four major business districts located right within its boundaries, Southtown has enormous potential for growth.  A Retail Market Study completed in early 2007 (Mind the Gap) for Southtown shows that there is great potential for target retail in the area, including a variety of full-service, family restaurants, clothing, smaller footprint electronics and much more.  The Study also reveals a modest growth in population and households, with an important spending capacity.

On the retention side, businesses have benefited from our TA/training services provided in partnership with Neighborhood Ventures to help them stay open and continue to provide services to our neighborhoods during these challenging times.  LINC will continue to work with Neighborhood Ventures, LISC and other stakeholders to promote a community that shares a culture of investment, to help develop our current businesses and attract new businesses to our commercial corridors.

If you have questions about our retention/attraction services or are a business owner and need assistance, please contact us by phone at (616) 451-9140 or via email .

Job Creation/Retention

One of the goals of LINC's Economic Development Services is to create jobs and help retain those jobs already created in our commercial districts by supporting the existing business owners through training, technical assistance and other services.  As we move forward with our economic development efforts, LINC remains committed to working with local contractors in our construction projects, help develop their skills and capacity, as well as helping our business address management or job training issues to help them sustain their workforce.

Corridor Improvement District (CID) - Madison Square

LINC, Neighborhood Ventures and LISC have played a catalytic role in establishing a Corridor Improvement District (CID) for the Madison Square Business District.  The Madison CID will function as a tax increment financing (TIF) tool that captures taxes on commercial properties and invest those funds into the commercial district.  If established, the Madison CID will be the second in the city of Grand Rapids, after the Uptown CID.

Access to Capital

Businesses need capital to grow and re-invest in their communities.  The Business Incubator seeks to leverage additional financial resources to support businesses in our commercial corridors, including lending opportunities to businesses for start-up and expansion and exploring facade funds to enhance the physical appearance of our neighborhood business districts.

1167 MadisonUptown Village