Ferndale Business and Industry
Ferndale has been a center of economic growth in Michigan since Henry Ford began building Models T’s at the nearby Highland Park Ford Plant in 1913. Ford’s introduction of the assembly line and $5 daily wages attracted employees and suppliers. Today the growing business sectors of Ferndale consist of more than 1,000 businesses and a thriving downtown with a strong shopping and entertainment presence.
In 2008, the City of Ferndale saw a 300 percent increase in public and private investment in downtown Ferndale over 2007 which included a net increase of 225 new jobs. While many other cities in southeast Michigan saw many of their businesses close, Ferndale was one of a few to have a net increase in the number of businesses. In 2010, that trend continued with the opening of around 50 new businesses including Search Optics, a internet marketing firm headquartered in San Diego that will be adding 250 jobs over the next five years. Search Optics chose Ferndale for its central location and hip urban downtown which is crucial for them to attract the young, creative educated class for employment.
Many powerful companies have chosen the Ferndale area as their place to do business including Ferndale Laboratories, a long-standing nationally-recognized healthcare products manufacturer; Credit Union ONE; Gage Products Company, a leading global supplier of paint solvents, test fuels and paint system recycling technology for the automotive industry; Progressive Metal Manufacturing; Allied Printing; BIG Communications; and Garden Fresh Gourmet, “American’s #1 Fresh Salsa Maker.”
Start-ups, as well as, established businesses find that Ferndale has what it takes to foster commerce. Along with support from the City and Chamber of Commerce and a reliable infrastructure, the City offers a Brownfield Redevelopment Program providing tax credits for companies to enhance growth.