The Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC) network, located at Grand Valley State University, received a two-year, $200,000 award to increase assistance to American Indian communities across the state. The funds will be used to help start or grow businesses.
“The funding allows the MI-SBTDC network to increase business assistance to the 12 federally recognized Indian tribes and their members through hiring two business consultants and opening several Business Resource Centers dedicated to outreach in these communities,” said Carol Lopucki, state director of the MI-SBTDC. “The consultants have annual impact goals of acquiring $2 million in capital, performing 750 consulting hours and creating 25 jobs.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and its department for Tribal Business Development will assist with the initiative. Terri Fitzpatrick, vice President for Tribal Business Development said, “We are excited to be working with the MI-SBTDC on this initiative.”
Elaine Clement and Ross Miller will serve as MI-SBTDC tribal business consultants. Clement is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and Ross is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. They will assist clients with analyzing business problems, developing solutions and providing access to resources.
“The funding will strengthen the American Indian business community,” said Clement. “I look forward to working with the American Indian tribes as well as tribal members to develop their business ideas.”
The MI-SBTDC will also assist American Indians by providing access to specialty team consultants, customized market research for information-based planning reports and business training to increase the knowledge and understanding of operating a successful business.
For more information, contact Jennifer Deamud, MI-SBTDC associate state director, at (616) 331-7480 or visit www.misbtdc.org.
The Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center provides counseling, business education, information-based planning and technology commercialization to new and existing businesses throughout Michigan’s 83 counties. The MI-SBTDC is located at Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business. As host of the MI-SBTDC State Headquarters, the Seidman College of Business oversees the 11-region MI-SBTDC network.