Cornerstone Alliance offering financial incentive to move to Berrien County
BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich. -- A new program by economic development agency Cornerstone Alliance is offering a financial incentive to get more people to call Southwest Michigan their permanent residence.
As part of “Move to Michigan,” people could move to either Berrien Springs, St. Joseph, Benton Harbor or Stevensville.
Cornerstone Alliance focused specifically on those living in the Chicago area as we’ve seen more people leave big cities during the pandemic.
“Remote workability has forever changed the landscape of the modern working world as we know it, it’s given us the opportunity to have a big city career and a small town life,” said Christina Frank, Vice-President of External Affairs.
The campaign just started in October, but only a few weeks later, Cornerstone Alliance had to close the application process after an overwhelming response of 600 submissions – and the 20 people accepted into the program will all be given money for moving.
“Up to $10,000 that individuals, couples could get and that is a forgivable loan,” said Frank. “If you’re here for the whole first year you can have $5,000 forgiven, in the second year, that second $5,000 will be forgiven; and these are not tax payer dollars, this is private investment that Cornerstone Alliance has made.”
The only requirement is being a full-time, remote worker, who’s not already living in the area.
And as far as those who may be critical of offering a financial incentive to get more people in Southwest Michigan —
“If you have individuals in this community and they’re paying taxes that benefits everyone’s streets, our schools, and so everyone will benefit,” said Frank.
Cornerstone Alliance said the return from this investment will ultimately bring $1.38 million to Berrien County.