Our Region

The Grand Traverse region is the economic hub of Northern Michigan. Its diverse local economy has seen many transitions over time, originating in 1850’s with the start of the Sawmill at the mouth of the Boardman River. In the 1950’s John Parson and Frank Stulen patent the first CNC -or Computerized Numerical Control- technology in Traverse City beginning the “Second Industrial Revolution” for this area. This became the industry standard  for which they received the National Medal of Technology & Innovation the nation's highest award for technological advancement. Presently, Traverse City’s diverse economy now is home to world leaders in manufacturing, technology, and agriculture, all rooted in one of the most naturally beautiful towns in America and we seek to expand our technological innovation footprint.


Watch two of Traverse City's global business leaders discuss “Why Traverse City” and where they believe we’re headed next. Casey Cowell co-founded U.S. Robotics, Inc. at the age of 23. He served as Chairman and CEO throughout the company’s history culminating in its merger into 3COM Corporation in 1997. McKeel Hagerty is the CEO of Hagerty Insurance and the most recent Board Chairman of the Young President’s Organization.


Industry Exports (2016
Manufacturing $1,333,304,463
Public Sectors $753,408,884
Health Care and Social Assistance $689,199,325
Finance and Insurance $392,174,588
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction $153,974,380
Accommodation and Food Services $150,037,261
Wholesale Trade $148,221,016
Construction $137,674,252
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing $110,791,585
Information $105,138,529


A growing and diverse regional economY: $4.8 billion in exports (2016) - $1.3 billion in manufacturing alone! 


$4.9 billion in imports: $4 billion was locally produced and consumed


Regional Population growth is 4.4% over the last 5 years: compared to the state of MI growth of just .5%



Source: U.S. Census

In 2014 the base population of Grand Traverse County was 90,782. Between 2010 and 2014, Grand Traverse County was the third fastest growing county in Michigan. Since Grand Traverse County is a regional hub for jobs and a tourist destination, the daytime population in Grand Traverse County can exceed 115,000. Traverse City is the business capital of a 5 county region totaling 200,000 metro residence year round which grows seasonally to to 300,000 from May to October and attracts over a million tourists annually.



Contact Info

Grand Traverse Economic Development Corporation

202 East Grandview Parkway
Traverse City, MI   49684

Phone: (231) 995-7108