A region’s ability to prevent, have foresight for and weather an economic disruption is a pathway to regional economic resilience. Economic resilience is defined by the EDA as:

  • the ability to recover quickly from a shock
  • the ability to withstand a shock
  • the ability to avoid a shock all together


    Northwest Lower Michigan has on-going efforts that meet the definition of Steady-State Initiatives. These initiatives are long-term efforts that position the region to tackle economic disruptions:

    • Engaged in CEDS Process: Local EDO’s and stakeholders are actively engaged in the CEDS development and update process. The Action Items developed through consensus are borne of the Summary Background, SWOT Analysis and achieve a strategic direction.
    • Focus on Innovation Clusters: Local EDO’s and economic development support organizations are actively working to focus industry clusters that will seek to support and develop innovation.
    • Support for Business Incubators: Local EDO’s and economic development support organizations are actively incubating and recruiting businesses for the region, building upon strong industrial sectors in our counties.
    • Maintain data availability (API & GIS): Networks Northwest, local units of government and non-profits are working to maintain GIS data within established databases for use by development community, business leaders and residents. Networks Northwest is continually maintaining an integrated data API and expanding data resources as new sources become available.


    Northwest Lower Michigan has on-going efforts that meet the definition of Responsive Initiatives. These initiatives are how economic development organizations respond to a region’s recovery needs following an incident (Covid 19 has provided that threshold for recovery at this time).

    • Action Plan Prioritization with Responsible Parties & Time-frames: Local EDO’s have worked diligently on the CEDS process during the recovery time-frame of the Covid 19 pandemic. This unique opportunity to experience economic downturn while planning for the CEDS, has brought about unique Action Items that address recovery.
    • Establishing Local Task Force Groups for Communication: The establishment of the Local Task Force Groups as undertaken as an initiative pre-pandemic has now truly shown the benefit of the open channels of communication. Impacts at a local level are discussed and disseminated to the Regional Task Force and partners that can shape how to be reactive.
    • Maintaining Information Networks: The ability to share data and information is not new in this recovery period, but the ability to share is emphasized as important to the ability to learn from other successes and failures quickly while acting in recovery mode.

    Action Plan Implementation


    The Covid 19 Response Economic Resilience document developed by Fourth Economy in May of 2020 outlines appropriate actions for economic resilience that need to be captured within this CEDS. As we are now entering Phase 4, Economic Resilience with a Mid to Long Term time-frame (1-3 years and beyond) we find ourselves emerging from the many governmental mandates which disrupted lives and business.

    There is a 3 step approach proposed in the document that outlines:

    Step 1: Assess the community’s civic infrastructure and capacity to respond to ongoing needs.

    Step 2: Enact regular performance monitoring of key economic indicators

    Step 3: Evaluate community confidence With Steps 1 and 2 largely met through this CEDS, it is Step 3 that may require a commitment to surveying the general population, businesses, civic institutions, non-profits and others as we continue to emerge from the pandemic and work to achieve resilience.