The Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) at Marshall University was established in 1994 to enhance regional economic development endeavors. CBER began by providing services to and support for the business community through leveraging expertise within the Lewis College of Business. In 1998, CBER merged with the Applied Research Division at Marshall University, adding additional researchers and expertise.

In 2004, CBER became a subsidiary of the Marshall University Research Corporation (MURC), a 501(C)(3) organization established by Marshall University to administer externally funded projects. Since 2011, the Appalachian Transportation Institute (ATI) has served as the umbrella organization for CBER due to their complementary missions of advancing regional economic development.