Resources and Incentives

Economic Development Office

Resources 
It's important to us that your business is successful. Please contact the City of Kentwood if you have questions about your business. We compiled a list of local and regional resources for your convenience. Please click the links below to jump to each category.

Business Incentives

The City of Kentwood provides some helpful resources for investors and those looking to do business in Kentwood. Kentwood has a history of creating ways to make it easy to conduct business in Kentwood. We focus on continued economic stimulation as well as job creation. 

PACE PROGRAM
The City of Kentwood has adopted a program to promote the installation of energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems in area properties.

The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program allows owners of commercial or industrial property to finance the upfront cost of energy or other eligible improvements and then pay the costs back over time through a voluntary assessment. Established under the federal Property Assessed Clean Energy Act, PACE relies on funding through loans from private lenders arranged by property owners and developers. Learn more the program here.

BROWNFIELD PROGRAM 
The Brownfield Program uses tax increment financing (TIF) to reimburse Brownfield related costs incurred while redeveloping contaminated, functionally obsolete, blighted, or historic properties. It is also responsible for managing the Single Business Tax and Michigan Business Tax Brownfield Credit legacy programs (SBT/MBT Brownfield Credits). 
Learn more here.

INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENT 
Industrial property tax abatements provide incentives for eligible businesses to make new investment in Michigan. These abatements encourage Michigan manufacturers to build new plants, expand existing plants, renovate ageing plants, or add new machinery and equipment. High-technology operations are also eligible for the abatement.
Learn more here.
Learn more about Kentwood's Tax Abatement.

MICHIGAN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 
The Michigan Business Development Program is a new incentive program available from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF), in cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The program is designed to provide grants, loans or other economic assistance to businesses for highly competitive projects in Michigan that create jobs and/or provide investment. Learn more here.

KENTWOOD TAX ABATEMENT 

About Kentwood Tax Abatements 
The City offers real property tax abatement for a term of 12 years, under Public Act 198 for industrial businesses. The City wants businesses to create and retain jobs, and to remain competitive. 

Procedure for Tax Abatement Approval
The procedure for the approval of tax abatements approved takes about two months from time the applications are completed and filed with the City and the time it is prepared for forwarding to the State Tax Commission. The applicant must attend a public hearings for the establishment of the industrial development district and for the approval of the certificate. The applicant or the applicant’s representative will be sent notice of the dates and times of these required meetings. 

The Kentwood City Commission meets on the first and third Tuesdays each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Kentwood City Hall. The company representative attending the meeting should be prepared to give a short presentation along with answering questions about the operations of the company, products, competitors and employment. The employment data presented should include the number of jobs, wage ranges and benefits associated with the jobs created by the expansion. The representative will be asked to make a brief presentation on the company covering the information provided to the city. 

Tax Abatement Policies 
Checklist for Tax Abatement 
Application for Property Tax Relief
State of Michigan Tax Abatement Application*
Application for Kentwood City*
*Both are required for application for Kentwood Tax Abatement 

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Local Business Organizations

WYOMING-KENTWOOD AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Wyoming-Kentwood Area Chamber of Commerce's mission has always focused on promoting the community and helping local businesses to profitably grow sales, relying heavily on a dedicated network of volunteers who work tirelessly to support the chamber and the local community. More information is available at: www.southkent.org

GRAND RAPIDS AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Grand Rapids Area Chamber helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses, professionals lead their organizations, and community leaders expand their reach in support of a vibrant business environment and a thriving local economy that benefits everyone. Learn more at: www.grandrapids.org

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Federal/Regional/state ORGANIZATIONS

GRAND VALLEY METRO COUNCIL
GVMC is an alliance of governmental units in the West Michigan area that are appointed to plan for the growth and development, improve the quality of the community's life and coordinate governmental services. Learn more at: www.gvmc.org.

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

By offering free business counseling, loans and federal government contracting, the Small Business Administration helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. More information is available at: www.sba.gov

THE RIGHT PLACE, INC.
As a private, nonprofit economic development organization, The Right Place has led West Michigan's economic growth for over 30 years. The organization provides business growth assistance to both local and international companies including site location services, connections to regional supply chain and service providers, regional business tours, consultation on state and local business incentives and more. Learn more at: www.rightplace.org

MICHIGAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with more than 100 economic development partners, markets Michigan as the place to do business, assists businesses in their growth strategies, and fosters the growth of vibrant communities across the state. More information: www.michiganbusiness.org

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Financial Assistance

COMMERCIAL LOAN 
The Commercial Loan Program is a City-funded micro loan program intended to encourage investment in the older areas Kentwood by providing low interest loans to rehabilitate existing commercial properties located in and serving low income areas.

If you would like to apply for a commercial loan, please contact the Planning Department

REVOLVING LOAN
The purpose of Kentwood Revolving Loan Fund is to create permanent private sector jobs within the City and to expand and retain business and industry in our community. 

The fund provides local businesses and industries with a potential source of capital to finance expansion projects. The loan is supplementals to traditional private lender financing. Since public sector monies can offered at lowers rates of interest and for longer terms than private funds, the injection of public monies into a project can produce a blended rate of interest which is significantly lower than what can be obtained with strictly private sector financing. Therefore, the perceived risk of private sector lending to a small business venture is reduced. 

Is your project eligible for a Revolving Loan Fund? 

  • Eligible applicants should have the following characteristics: 
  • Must employ 100 persons or less 
  • Should be a private, for-business in manufacturing, retail or service industry 
  • Special consideration will be given to a company that is a supplier of an existing Kentwood industry 
  • Eligible loans will include the following: 
  • Fixed asset loans for the acquisition and improvement of land, buildings, machinery and equipment, including new construction and the renovation of existing facilities. 
  • Eligible projects should include: 
  • Expansion of existing business or industry 
  • Retention of existing business or industry 
  • Funding of a project that involves the introduction of new technology into an area 
  • A Kentwood business which is a direct supplier to an existing Kentwood business 
  • The expansion or location of a Kentwood business that employs a new technology, and has potential for growth. 

A project that involves primarily the refinancing of existing debt, non-capital equipment and working capital are ineligible. 

Revolving Loan Fund Guidelines
Revolving Loan Fund Application

KENTWOOD EDC LOANS

EDC loans are in conjunction with a bank loan to existing businesses located in the City of Kentwood. Maximum loan amount is $100,000; rate is 75% of the prime rate at the time of application.

Contact:  Lisa Golder, City of Kentwood golderl@kentwood.us 

KENTWOOD COMMERCIAL LOAN
The Commercial Loan Program is a City-funded micro-loan program intended to encourage investment in the older areas Kentwood by providing low interest loans of up to $20,000 to rehabilitate existing commercial properties located in and serving low income areas.

Contact:  Lisa Golder, City of Kentwood golderl@kentwood.us

PURE MICHIGAN MICROLENDING PROGRAM
Managed by the Opportunity Resource Fund, the Pure Michigan Microlending Program provides loans to small businesses, housing, and non-profits. Small business microloans can be used for pre-development, acquisition, renovation, land purchases, inventory, working capital or business expansions. Loans range from $10,000-$250,000. It also provides technical assistance services.

Contact: tstrasz@oppfund.org 

SBA LOANS-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION
EDF is a certified development company that partners with lender to help small businesses finance fixed assets through the 504 Loan program. The 504 Program allows for low loan down payments and low fixed rates for up to 20 years. More information: www.growmichigan.com

NORTHERN INITIATIVES
Northern Initiatives provides small business resources and loans. This includes the “Michigan Good Food Fund” that provides 30 million in public/private loans and grants to finance healthy food production, distribution, processing and retail products that benefit under-served communities across Michigan. Learn more at: www.northerninitiatives.com

GRAND ANGELS
Grand Angels invests in start-ups for entrepreneurs. www.grandangels.org

Contact: info@grandangels.org

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Grants

START GARDEN
Start Garden provides $1,000 grants to entrepreneurs to try out new concepts. Learn more at: www.startgarden.org

Contact: hello@startgarden.com

5x5
5x5 provides $5,000 of funding to explore new innovations and product ideas. Ideas are voted on by the community; one idea is voted on per month. More information: www.5x5night.com

WAKE STREAM VENTURES
A spin-off of Start Garden, Wake Stream Ventures makes early stage investments in high growth technology, hardware-software convergence and ecommerce enablement. Learn more at: www.wakestreamventures.com

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Business advising, training & networking 

GRAND RAPIDS BLACK BUSINESSES
Grand Rapids Black Businesses is an organization that provides entrepreneurs with growing and sustaining businesses though access to social, intellectual and financial capital. More information:  www.grabblocal.com 

GROW
Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women provides resources including training, mentoring, consulting, business loans, workshops and networking to empower women to launch, advance and sustain business. Learn more at: www.grpwbusiness.org

Contact; info2@growbusiness.org

MICHIGAN WOMEN’S FOUNDATION
Michigan Women's Foundation provides financial resources, professional expertise and networking on behalf of women and girls in West Michigan. Learn more at: www.miwf.org

SCORE
SCORE is a free small business service providing mentoring, workshops and educational resources. More information: www.grandrapids.score.org

SPRINGGR
SpringGR offers business training experience for people with an idea to start and succeed in their own business, including developing a business idea, identifying customers, pricing and business finance and branding/marketing. More information: www.springgr.com

SPROUTLAB
Sprout Lab partners with business incubators, colleges/universities, and others to bring entrepreneurial education across the state. Entrepreneurs are guided to competitions and sources of capital to bring ideas to the next level. More information: www.sproutlab.org

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Start ups, product development

GRINVENTORS NETWORK
Regional non-profit that assists members to further creative ideas. Learn more at: grinventors.com

Contact: info@grinvestors.org

MSU PRODUCT CENTER
MSU product Center helps to develop and commercialize high-value products in the food, agricultural and natural resources sectors. Learn more at: www.canr.msu.edu

SBDC
The SBDC offers expert assistance at no cost to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a business, including business plan development, market research, raising capital, business workshops, technology commercialization, financial management, export strategy and strategic planning.

Contact: SBDCMichigan@gvsu.edu

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