Michigan is on The Right “Trac”: Helping Small Businesses








LANSING, MI —  Michigan is dedicated to helping small businesses succeed. Recently, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm  joined with the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Centers (MI-SBTDC), Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) and FastTrac NewVenture program enthusiasts at Lansing Community College to discuss new tools available to help small and medium-sized businesses grow in Michigan.

The governor discussed a new partnership that will be launched this year with the MCUL and the MI-SBTDC to provide an initial $43 million for eligible small business loans. With the initial pledged funds of $43 million, assuming an average loan size of $20,000, credit unions hope to help at least 2,150 small businesses statewide. A formal working group to outline the step by step process will be formed.

“Small businesses are vital sources of innovation and job creation in Michigan,” Granholm said. “Through collaboration and tools like the FastTrac program, and the Michigan Small Business Financing Alliance with the Michigan Credit Union League, the state will enable even more Michigan citizens to develop their entrepreneurial talents that will help continue the diversification of Michigan’s economy.”

The small business panelists had an opportunity to sit down with Governor Granholm and tell their personal stories of success utilizing the programs that are available to help displaced workers turn their passion into profit.  They also discussed how businesses keep up with the ever changing economic climate by taking classes to re-tool the way  they conduct business.

Linda Hundt, owner of Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe in DeWitt, MI said, “When I speak at entrepreneurial workshops and I hear people aren’t using them (training programs), I won’t allow it. For me, the SBTDC is a must for anyone going into business and for those that need strategy/updates or help with established business expansion.”

Rina Risper, President and Publisher of The New Citizens Press, lamented that is important to find a way to get information to those small business owners who work many hours. She said, “Small business owners have to always look for ways to upgrade their current situation.  Michigan provides information that is useful even when you feel like you’re alone.”

For information about the Fast Trac program, log on to http://www.misbtdc.net. Other classes are also available on the website to help entrepreneurs diversify their business.