GREENVILLE — Just weeks after getting a $5,000-per-year commitment from the city of Greenville, the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce has signed a service contract with The Right Place Inc. to provide economic development support services.
That commitment came after a local man approached the Chamber willing to make a personal commitment to economic development in the community.
Chamber member Bill Braman of Greenville said he was willing to dedicate $25,000 per year for three years toward the cost of a contract between the Greenville Chamber and The Right Place, the total of which is estimated at around $50,000 per year.
“I attended the Alliance meeting in April and I am encouraged that they are not giving up on getting the funds they need,” Braman said. “It’s just going to take them some time, and I think it’s important to get started right away.”
The remaining $20,000 needed for the contract will have to be raised through the Chamber, something Co-Director Candy Kerschen, says she is optimistic will happen.
“This is the first step. We are really planting a seed for the process in Montcalm County,” Kerschen said. “Bill Braman has been keeping close tabs on economic development at the county level. He offered to lend the Chamber the funds needed to get started, allowing us to act quickly in establishing a position with The Right Place.”
Effective July 1, the new contract will utilize The Right Place for business retention, expansion and attraction services for Greenville’s “core job providers.”
“We were an active participant on the Montcalm Alliance’s committee that was charged with re-defining its approach to economic development,” said Greenville City Manager George Bosanic. “That plan’s strategies include aligning with our defined region of prosperity and engaging in a more robust relationship with The Right Place.”
With several Greenville-based companies in a growth mode, the newly established contract is timely, officials said. Business development leaders from The Right Place will be expected to provide those companies with the tools and resources available to continue growing in the community.
Montcalm Alliance officials have been working on a countywide effort for funding local economic development, but Greenville officials decided to enter into their own contract with The Right Place, hoping to keep the countywide effort moving forward.
“This contract with Greenville establishes a more deliberate pursuit of regional economic development and support of Montcalm County,” said Twayne Howard, chief operating officer of The Right Place. “From the beginning of our discussions with Montcalm County and Greenville, the goal has been to deliver services that can easily and quickly scale up to serve the whole county as funding is secured.”
“The Alliance is glad to have a presence from The Right Place in Montcalm County,” added Montcalm Alliance Chairwoman Yolanda Lewis. “This is a key component of what we are working toward and we can’t wait to get them here full time.”