A citizen opinion survey conducted in 1992 by project 20/20 of 1,000 households in Ionia County showed a need and desire for more jobs and income. A citizen's committee was formed to address that need. They recommended that a 'community and economic development' organization be formed to guide and facilitate that development.
They established a collaborative, countywide, nonprofit corporation in 1995, the Ionia County Economic Alliance (ICEA), with a board representing all parts of Ionia County as well as the business sector. The corporation is nonpolitical in nature but is supported by units of government in Ionia County.
The ICEA works with Ionia County's local governments and agencies to promote business retention & expansion, local economic development assistance, information resources, availability of land and buildings, and works to attract businesses to Ionia County.
The ICEA also operates and maintains the Ionia County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (ICBRA). The ICBRA was created to promote local planning and implementation of Brownfield redevelopment in Ionia County.
Governmental entities that participate with the ICEA contribute an amount that is calculated based on population. This contribution is minimal compared to the expenditures that would be incurred should the governemental entities have to establish and maintain their own brownfield authority and economic alliance. By collaborating together, businesses, government and organizations are able to provide leadership strategies and services that provide a successful economic base and improved quality of life for residents through the Ionia County Economic Alliance and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.
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