President & CEO's Message
This year marks Bay Future, Inc.’s 15 th year leading economic development efforts throughout Bay County. Through that time, BFI has worked closely with many of our community’s large industrial and commercial industries and employers helping to solve their barriers for growth, their need for expansion, or their desire to create quality jobs. But how did we get here?

In 2004, elected Bay County and City of Bay City representatives, along with business and community leaders, recognized a need to focus on economic opportunities in Bay County. The community had not weathered the short recession of 2000 through 2002 well, and the industrial climate in the community had changed. In an effort to gain insight and recommendations on the most effective tactics to move the community forward, Dean Whittaker of Whittaker and Associates along with Jay Garner of Garner Economics, LLC. (formerly Competitive Strategies Group, LLC.) were hired to identify; impediments to growth in Bay County, analyze existing assets related to economic, community, and workforce development, and recommendations to take Bay County in to a viable economic future.

One-on-one interviews and town hall meetings were facilitated with business and community members that culminated in The Whittaker Study or Whittaker Report, a comprehensive economic analysis of Bay County. 

The most definitive outcome from the study and report was the formulation of Bay Future, Inc. Charged with facilitating economic development strategies in Bay County, Bay Future is a partnership of public (government bodies) and private sector (business) organizations that have joined together to promote job growth and retention in the community.

Here we are now, fifteen years later, an organization that has experienced many changes, serving a community that has evolved. In the last fifteen years, Bay Future has supported numerous businesses in the creation and retention of more than 3,600 jobs and worked with businesses to facilitate over $1.5 billion in new capital investment.

While time has passed, our core purpose has remained the same- to aid Bay County’s economy and to assist businesses in creating quality jobs for our community residents. We are thankful for the businesses we have had the opportunity to work with, community leaders who have been catalytic in stimulating change, and our BFI investors who pledge their support and commit to Bay Future and Bay County. I’m excited about what the next 15 years will bring and I’m excited about the future of Bay County.  

Happy reading,
 
-Trevor Keyes, EDFP
President & CEO
Bay Future, Inc.
Featured Content
The Future is NOW
On Friday, April 12th, 2019 Bay Future, Inc., with community and business leaders, along with our valued investors, celebrated results from the 2018 year and The Future is NOW three year economic- growth plan. Click here to view the 2018 Bay Future Annual Report. 

As we celebrate the success of the past, we look toward the future. In 2019, BFI begins a new Strategic Action Plan, which will be our guiding document in how we look to shape and move the needle for the Bay County of the future. We are excited to share this Strategic Plan with you over the next few months, in more detail as we roll in to the next phase of BFI’s development as the lead economic organization of tomorrow.

2019-2023 Tactics for Success
  • Existing Business & Entrepreneur Development
  • Recruit Business & Grow Jobs
  • Recruit, Grow & Retain Workforce
  • Aggressively Market Available Locations & Development Ready Sites
  • Strengthen Local & Regional Communication & Collaboration

In an effort to continuously strengthen our communication; please take our 2019 Communications Survey by clicking here.

To quote Michigan Sugar Company, President & CEO, Mark Flegenheimer:

“The future for our community is very bright!”  
Featured Events
Small Business Development Center: Starting a Business - Bay City

May 29, 2019
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Alice & Jack Wirt Public Library
Community Room

Do you know what it takes to turn your skill into a successful business? Attend this seminar if you are an entrepreneur, new business owner or innovator. The seminar is FREE and the information is PRICELESS! The Starting a Business Seminar is designed for individuals who are considering self-employment, or who may be at the beginning stages of starting a business. This introductory seminar helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company; as well as, evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to get started.

Speaker(s): SBDC Business Consultant
Co-Sponsor(s): Alice & Jack Wirt Library
MiCareer Quest Middle Michigan

Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! is partnering with Michigan Works! Region 7B to bring a new career exploration event to the region in Fall 2019.  Titled MiCareer Quest Middle Michigan, this hands-on career exploration event is expected to draw from an 11 county region as many as 10,000 middle and high school students, their teachers, counselors and career navigators. The purpose of this event is to expand student understanding of careers that are available in their own back yard along with the skills, certifications, and/or educational requirements for those jobs.
MiCareer Quest Middle Michigan is showcasing five industry sectors: Advanced Manufacturing, Agribusiness, Construction, Health Sciences and IT. Employers from these sectors will create hands-on, interactive exhibits that showcase occupations in a way that inspires and educates the students.  

Scheduled for October 30, 2019 at SVSU, this one day event is expected to become an annual activity for the Michigan Works! networks. 

The MiCareer Quest concept originated with West Michigan Works! and is being shared throughout the statewide Michigan Works! network.
Employers interested in being involved in MiCareer Quest Middle Michigan are encouraged to contact Kristen Wenzel, COO at GLBMW! at kristenw@michiganworks.com or Natasha Allen, COO for Michigan Works Region 7B at NAllen@michworks4u.org .  
Investor Spotlight
Everbest Organics, Inc.

Everbest Organics, Inc. is a certified organic dry bean and soybean processing facility located in Munger,
Michigan. The business was started by founders, Jim & DeAnn Sattelberg. The Sattelberg family’s passion for sustainable organic agriculture began in 2002 with the commitment to transition the family farm to 100% organic, and to pursue the goal of growing a sustainable domestic organic dry bean and soybean market with locally grown beans. A small processing facility and 500 acres were purchased in Snover, Michigan to grow and process local organic dry beans and soybeans and Jim & DeAnn began to build an organic supply chain and customer base. Their hard work and commitment paid off as demand for organic dry beans and soybeans outpaced the capacity at the original one-line processing and limited storage facility (Thistledown Farms) in Snover, Michigan.

The Munger facility was acquired in 2011 and was converted from a cement block manufacturing plant to Everbest Organics, a “Certified” food grade handling, processing and storage facility. The first production run took place in April of 2013. Since that first production run, Everbest has experienced significant growth year over year, going from a hand full of local organic growers to currently contracting with growers in 16 States throughout the Midwest and beyond. These growers supply Everbest with many
different organic dry bean varieties including small red, navy, pinto, black turtle, white kidney, dark red kidney, light red kidney, pink, garbanzo, and great northern, as well as high protein food grade soybeans.

On the demand side, Everbest has built a portfolio of more than 30 domestic and international customers including major bean canners, cookers, roasters and packagers. Canned dry beans can be found on grocers’ shelves under several major canners organic brands including Bush Brothers and Whole Foods. Organic soybeans primarily go to the Japanese markets for tofu, soy milk, soy sauce and miso.

Processing, cleaning and sorting takes place on 2 segregated state of the art processing lines with electronic color and shape sorting, dust control, gravity separation, de-stoners, rare earth magnets, and bean washing. On a good production day, Everbest produces over 250,000 lbs. of dry edible beans and food grade soybeans. On a good week, Everbest will ship out more than a million lbs. of dry edible beans and soybeans.

Everbest Organics is committed to offering products which meet or exceed customer expectations. Currently we employ 21 team members that are an integral part of the company’s success. Employees are trained in Good Manufacturing & Sanitation Practices and follow Global Food Safety Initiative Standards through our Certified BRC Food Safety Program. Our food safety program is 3rd party audited on an annual basis with our most recent food safety audit receiving an “AA” rating.

Everbest Organics will continue to look for growth opportunities in sustainable agricultural markets that will support our continued growth and provide long term benefits to our employees, growers, customers, suppliers, stakeholders and the community we reside in. Everbest will also continue to support the efforts of Bay Future which provides a vital service to businesses looking to grow and expand in Bay County.

Everbest Organics, Inc. is a majority owned subsidiary of Star of the West Milling Company of Frankenmuth.
Program Highlights
2019 EMCOG PROSPERITY REGION 5* GRANT PROGRAM 

The third annual East Central Michigan Prosperity Region 5 Grant Program is being led by the East Michigan Council of Governments (EMCOG). This project is being funded by the State of Michigan as part of the state’s Regional Prosperity Initiative. The third year program includes two tiers of grants as described below. Further information, including the grant applications, scoring criteria and instructions are available at: http://www.emcog.org/rp5grant2019.asp

Applications are due to EMCOG by 5:00 pm on Friday, May 17, 2019.

 * Prosperity Region 5 is an 8 county region consisting of Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland and Saginaw counties.
 
GRANT LEVELS, AMOUNTS AND CONDITIONS: $145,000 Total Grant Money Available
$2,000 - $20,000 Level : Grants at this Level can range from $2,000 to $20,000 each.  A local match and/or in kind service will be required as part of this grant level. The ratio of matching funds is not defined. Higher levels of match are encouraged.
 
$200 - $1,000 Level:  Grants at this Level can range from $200 to $1,000 each The No local match is required at this grant Level.
 
PURPOSE
The East Central Michigan Regional Prosperity Region 5 Grant Program is intended to implement regional and sub-regional projects that further the Objectives and Actions within the Regional Strategy. The Regional Strategy can be found at http://www.emcog.org/rpi_plan.asp.  Collaboration with other entities is encouraged. The Regional Strategy is focused on the following five broad goals:
 
1.   ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING. This includes traditional economic development (business recruitment, expansion, and retention), regional planning & Collaboration, and marketing & regional image.

2.   ENTREPRENEURSHIP & INNOVATION. This includes entrepreneurship, innovation, academic research & development, technology-based start-ups, and small business development.

3.   TALENT & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. This includes workforce development, adult education, secondary education (K-12), and higher education.

4.   TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE. This includes transportation infrastructure (roads/highways, rail, airports, water-based transport), utilities (electric, gas, water, broadband) and public transportation.  

5.   PLACE-MAKING & TALENT ATTRACTION:   This includes downtown revitalization, urban vitality, and recreation/entertainment amenities.
Featured Property
Valley Center Technology Park

Shovel-ready sites located in the heart of the Great Lakes Bay Region draw on a high-skilled and high-quality labor force while providing excellent access to US-10 and I-75. These sites located at the center of economic development in the Great Lakes Bay Region offer a competitive advantage for your business.
 
Click here for more information. 
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