Business Counseling and services
- SCORE – SCORE provides free business coaching in many areas, including starting a business, financials, marketing, business development, operations, legal help, and more. SCORE also has planning resources such as business plan templates and financial planning templates. Additionally, they offer workshops and other learning events free of charge.
- Small Business Development Center – The Michigan SBDC offers numerous counseling services for all business stages. Services include business plan development, market data and research, financing your business, technology commercialization, strategic planning, workshops, and more.
- Northwest Michigan Business Atlas – This tool allows you to tailor your search for business resources by selecting business needs and industries in order to locate resources specific to your company.
- Networks Northwest – Services Northwest Michigan’s 10 county region by managing programs pertaining to workforce development and business and economic development.
- Pure Michigan Business Connect – PMBC is a free service that connects suppliers and buyers in Michigan. Through customized searches and matchmaking summits, companies can find the goods and services they need from other Michigan companies.
- Retired Engineers Technical Assistance Program (RETAP) – RETAP is a service that provides small Michigan manufacturers with free energy efficiency, pollution prevention, and water conservation assessments.
- Traverse Legal – A group of attorneys who specialize in internet and intellectual law and help companies, including start ups, protect intellectual property. Areas of expertise include trademark, copyright, and patent law, internet law, drone law, cyber squatting law, defamation law, trade secret law, and non-compete law.
- MiSpringboard – Provides free legal services to start ups in an effort to remove barriers associated with starting a new business. They have already dedicated $2 million to their free legal services.
- Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-Northern Lower – The MMTC is a manufacturing solutions company which offers programs in quality management, lean training, Advanced Manufacturing Technology, and more to help small to medium-sized businesses grow and become even more competitive. Additionally they can help manufacturers grow through supplier matchmaking, effective marketing services, and growth strategy development.
- Northern Lakes Economic Alliance – Business planning tools including resources for market research and industry analysis, templates for business plans, and more. Also, their website provides a list of traditional and non-traditional lenders throughout Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Cheboygan counties.
- New Enterprise Forum – The New Enterprise Forum works with entrepreneurs to help them locate potential sources of capital and venture funding, prepare for investor pitches, and connect with mentoring and management expertise, among other business services.
SOURCES OF CAPITAL
- Lending Continuum – Provides a listing of both traditional and non-traditional lending services in the Grand Traverse Region, specific to what stage your business is in.
- MEDC Capital Locator Tool – A search tool which helps businesses find organizations, banks, and programs offering the types of loans they are seeking.
- Networks Northwest – Provides a wealth of data services regarding labor force statistics, occupational wage data, economic metrics, and much more. Their data covers over 15 different topics, including but not limited to, demographics, talent, food and farming, energy, growth and investment, health care, and education.
- Small Business Development Center – In addition to the business counseling services listed above, the Michigan SBDC also offers market data and research services.
- Economic Gardening Program – The Economic Gardening Program provides technical research assistance to second stage companies. They often focus on a few specific challenges the company may be facing, and then provide strategic research and information addressing those challenges. This is a free service provided by the MEDC.
- NMC Northwest Lower Michigan Wage Survey – A survey of 3800 companies in Northwest Michigan that provides information about wages. The wage data is specified by job position and the size of the company.
- Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center Research Services – The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center can help manufacturers use research to implement effective data-based strategies. They can assist your company with market research, competitive intelligence, and supplier scouting in order to help make strategic decisions.
- Northern Lakes Business Resource Centers (BRCs)- Northern Lakes Economic Alliance has established 10 Business Resource Centers throughout Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Cheboygan counties. Located within district libraries, BRCs give you access to business research tools as well as workshops, training programs, and other types of business counseling.
- Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget Data Search – This data search tool allows you to perform advanced data searches by filtering by category, subcategory, and region. Some category topics include wages, industry, population, projections, unemployment, inflation, income and taxes, and more.
- MI-STEP – The State Trade Expansion Program (MI-STEP) is a grant through the MEDC which reimburses companies working to expand or develop exporting activities. This program can help cover expenses for international trade shows, marketing materials, website language conversion, consultancy services, and more.
- Global Trade Alliance of Northern Michigan – The Global Trade Alliance works in partnership with the MEDC as an international trade resource center. Businesses that are interested in expanding international sales can use this resource to help develop an international sales strategy, effectively research and market internationally, peer network, and more.
- MDARD International Marketing Program – This program provides guidance for agricultural producers who are looking to expand their international reach. Services they provide include international marketing and matchmaking, reimbursement for export activities, and consulting.
- Venture Up North – Provides information about how the Grand Traverse region is a growing center for Advanced Technology and highlights many high tech companies in the area.
- Traverse City Michigan Works! – A division of Networks Northwest which assists with employee recruitment and training. Their business liaison will assist in posting jobs, recruiting and screening candidates, and training employees. They also provide services for job seekers, including help with résumés, job search assistance, and career coaching.
- Pure Michigan Talent Connect – An online marketplace that helps connect employers and job seekers by directly matching job seekers’ skills to employers’ job posting descriptions.
- NMC Michigan New Jobs Training Program – A job training program that allows community colleges to provide free training for employers who are creating new jobs or expanding. The colleges work directly with the employer during the training, and it’s paid for by using the state income tax associated with that employee.
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Program – This program is a federal credit for businesses that make hires from targeted groups who have had difficulty obtaining employment in the past.
- Northwestern Michigan College Courses – Professional Development courses are available at NMC in areas such as technology, small business, energy/construction, and real estate. Certificate programs are also offered.
- Live Work Play in Northern Michigan