Like most of America, the 1858 introduction of the railroad in Ada helped spur travel, trade, industry, and commuting jobs to Grand Rapids. In 1862 Ada was a thriving community that had a number of local businesses including: a sawmill, flour mill, trading posts, two churches, an attorney, and later a basket factory.
The small business tradition has continued in Ada over 150 years later. Although many businesses have come and gone since then, the Ada Village downtown continues the tradition of enhancing small business creation. Many of Ada’s businesses are still housed in turn of the century homes and buildings. Some of the village’s well-known businesses are: Godwin’s Ada Village Hardware, Ada Barber Shop, Schnittz’s Deli, Scooper’s Ice Cream Shoppe, Vitale’s Pizza of Ada, and Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery.
In 2013 the Ada Township Downtown Development Authority’s announced a redesign of Ada village that includes street construction to incorporate better bike and pedestrian pathways, enable space for new businesses, and enhance access to the Ada Farmers Market that runs from June to late October.
Ada residents are part of the Forest Hills School District but also neighbor the Lowell and Rockford districts. Ada Elementary located near the village’s downtown and feeds into the Forest Hills Central High School system. It is known for its Spanish language immersion program.