Widespread layoffs by West Michigan's furniture industry employers and numerous auto parts manufacturers.

West Michigan ranks in the top 25 percent in the nation in giving per capita, but United Way still struggles to meet its fundraising goal due to 9/11 and a faltering West Michigan economy. United Way introduces the 211 health and human service hotline, which receives more than 5,000 calls for help in its first three weeks, and the Kent County Tax Credit Coalition, which helps low-income residents apply for federal tax credits.