The City of Battle Creek is committed to fostering economic vitality through, business recruitment and retention, to attract new investment to the community. The city, working with numerous partners -- like Battle Creek Unlimited -- works hard to help entrepreneurs and startup companies plan, implement, and sustain their new businesses, and assist existing business owners with their growth and development.
The city's Small Business Development (SBD) team, under the direction of the city manager's office, provides services to small businesses, and commercial and retail development. The SBD team, working collaboratively with other entrepreneurial support organizations, will assist with business development, help guide your business through the regulatory process, providing assistance with planning and zoning, code and inspections, access to incentives, and more. Check out our Small Business Resource Guide here.
Battle Creek Unlimited provides economic development services to large businesses and the city's Fort Custer Industrial Park. See more on BCU in the section below.
Downtown Battle Creek
Battle Creek features an active and lively downtown, including unique residential, commercial, and retail spaces; the downtown farmers market; green space; public Wi-Fi; a 17-mile Linear Park path; public art; libraries; symphony performances; quaint restaurants; and coffee shops.
Activities abound, like the annual Cereal Festival, Spring and Fall Into the Arts art walks, International Summerfest, International Festival of Lights, and and Movies in the Park; and free outdoor concerns like the Post Band, Festival Market Music, and Vibe@5 concert series, to name a few.
Since 2008, more than $39 million in public and philanthropic investments have leveraged $88 million in private investment in the downtown, with the addition of more than 1,100 jobs. The city's EDF team is ready to assist with any and all development projects in the downtown.
For more on the city's downtown development efforts, visit downtownbattlecreek.com/live-it-up.
BC VisionThe city's economic development strategy is tied directly to the city's community-wide economic development plan -- BC Vision. BC Vision envisions Battle Creek as a thriving community where people can live, work and play, where there is equitable opportunity for all residents to have the income, education and resources they need to be successful. The plan is built on a foundation of jobs, talent and a culture of vitality or civic pride, unity and trust developed by a strong sense of "place" in the community.
These three interconnected pillars are supported by five strategic priorities:
- Increase the number of permanent jobs in the community
- Increase the number of Battle Creek residents connected to jobs
- Increase college and career readiness
- Increase kindergarten readiness
- Increase the civic pride among residents in the community
- BC Vision Open Letter to Battle Creek (PDF): Presented on May 27, 2015
- BC Vision Plan (PDF): June 18, 2015
Since as early as 1972 the city has had an ongoing partnership and contractual relationship with Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) and BC/CAL/KAL Inland Port Development Corp. for marketing and management services, including all commercial and industrial economic marketing, promotion and development in the city's Fort Custer Industrial Park and W.K. Kellogg Airport.
Battle Creek Unlimited
Fort Custer Industrial Park is one of the premier international business parks in the country and is home to more than 80 companies, including 25 internationally-based companies, employing more than 13,000 people.
Adjacent to the industrial park, W.K. Kellogg Airport has a 10,003-foot runway that can accommodate any variety of aircraft built today. Duncan Aviation, WACO Aircraft Corp., and the Western Michigan University College of Aviation are located at the airport.
BCU is committed to building a strong community by driving strategic investment and job creation. For more on Battle Creek Unlimited, click this link for the BCU website.
- 2015-16 Economic Outlook for Calhoun County (PDF): Presented on Jan. 15, 2015 by George Erickcek and Brian Pittelko of the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
- BCU 1982 agreement (PDF)
- BCU 1983 agreement (PDF)
- BCU 1991 agreement (PDF)
- BCU 2015 Reaffirmation agreement (PDF)
- BCU successes, initiatives and annual reports
- History of BCTIFA (PDF)