A recent study by financial technology firm SmartAsset confirmed something West Michigan residents have known for a long time — companies want to spend their money here.

The study, which ranked counties across the United States by their level of investment activity, listed Ottawa County as the top county in Michigan with an incoming investment index of 37.05. Kent County was the No. 8-ranked county in the state with a 27.31 incoming investment index.

SmartAsset’s incoming investment index took into account four factors: change in number of businesses established over a three-year period; inflation-adjusted GDP growth in the local economy; the number of new building permits issued per 1,000 homes; and municipal bond investments, determined by municipal bond debt raised over the past five years divided by county population.

Ottawa’s reported business growth of 4.8 percent, GDP growth of $682 million, 15.2 new building permits per 1,000 homes and municipal bonds of $6,042 per capita launched it to the top of the list. The county’s index rating of 37.05 was six-and-a-half points higher than Ingham County, the No. 2-ranked county in the state.

Kent County reported business growth of 4.8 percent and GDP growth of $1.82 billion, with 7.4 new building permits per 1,000 homes and $1,760 municipal bonds per capita. Kent County has boasted a Triple-A bond rating from Moody’s for 18 consecutive years.

To read the rest of the story, pick up this week's edition of the Grand Rapids Business Journal or visit their website.