(ESCANABA, MI.)–The Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has launched Step UP Your Business, a program created to assist entrepreneurs in starting and growing their businesses in communities impacted by the Empire Mine closure. This innovative program is designed specifically for residents in an eight-county area of the Upper Peninsula including Marquette, Iron, Baraga, Alger, Ontonagon, Dickinson, Schoolcraft and Delta counties. Step UP Your Business includes six no-cost online courses that are developed by business experts from the Michigan SBDC. These online courses include: Starting a Business, Writing a Business Plan, Fundamentals of Small Business Marketing, Understanding Your Financial Position, Cyber Security Awareness for Small Businesses, and Grow Your Business with Government Contracting. These courses will equip individuals with tools to successfully start, launch, or grow their small business. Participants also have access to a no-cost business consultant to help them with their small business needs. Interested individuals are invited to attend an in-person orientation session to learn more about the program, and can register at http://www.sbdcmichigan.org/
- Escanaba, January 23, 1-2 PM
- Marquette, January 25, 1-2 PM
- Ishpeming, February 6, 12-1 PM
The orientation sessions will be led by Laura Marohnic, Regional Director of the Upper Peninsula SBDC, and Nicole Young, Portable Assistance Business Consultant. As the Portable Assistance Business Consultant, Nicole will provide business consulting and training to entrepreneurs enrolled in the Step UP Your Business program. Nicole began her career in advertising and direct marketing, and has experience starting her own businesses in addition to corporate marketing roles. Nicole works with small businesses across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to help them increase sales through expanded marketing efforts. “The purpose of this program is to assist small businesses increase their sales by going outside their normal comfort zone,” said Laura Marohnic, Regional Director of the Upper Peninsula SBDC. “This will open up greater sales potential for our local small businesses and increase their sales influence to bring dollars into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We all can benefit from this program.” The Michigan SBDC received a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide targeted support to areas affected by the closure of the Empire Mine. The closure displaced 307 employees and resulted in an estimated $48.4 million annual payroll loss and total annual economic impact of $216 million. Former employees and local business owners have been affected by the closure. This program will provide new opportunities for Upper Peninsula residents interested in entrepreneurship. “We are very excited to see this federal grant awarded to Michigan,” commented Keith Brophy, State Director of the Michigan SBDC. “It enables additional targeted support to our efforts to boost small business in this region of the Upper Peninsula. We know the area has great people, some very strong existing small businesses, and great potential for new small businesses. The additional training and consulting programs will make a meaningful difference in propelling small business momentum.” The online program is currently open for registration and is available at no cost. If you are interested in signing up for the online course and accessing one-on-one business consulting through the Michigan SBDC, visit www.SBDCMichigan.org/StepUP.
About the Michigan SBDC
The Michigan Small Business Development Center provides consulting, business education, market research and technology commercialization services to Michigan’s new business ventures, existing small businesses, growing businesses and innovators. The Michigan SBDC State Lead Center is located at the Grand Valley State University, Seidman College of Business in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Entrepreneurs and small business owners may access the services of their nearest Michigan SBDC by calling 616.331.7480 or visiting www.SBDCMichigan.org.