Economic Development, Higher Education, and Small Business & Startups

Michigan center for small business and technology picks up $3M federal grant

January 25, 2013
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Michigan center for small business and technology picks up $3M grant from feds
The teams of business counselors at the statewide offices of the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center help create thousands of jobs each year. Photo via fb.com

A $3.3 million grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration will enable the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center to continue funding business counselors who help drive job growth.

The business center — which is headquartered at 510 West Fulton St. on the campus of Grand Valley State University — has 11 regional networks across the state that provide free consulting and educational services for entrepreneurs, startups and existing businesses.

“The SBTDC has established tools and consulting teams to serve Michigan’s businesses through one-on-one counseling, business education, information-based planning and technology commercialization services,” said Jennifer Deamud, the center’s associate state director. “The statewide network positively impacts the economy by strengthening existing companies, creating new jobs, retaining existing jobs, and assisting companies in defining their path to success.”

In the video below, business owners discuss their experiences with the center.

The West Michigan center counseled 713 businesses and had 1,210 business owners attend training in 2011 — creating 466 new jobs, according to data provided by Deamud. Statewide for that same year, 6,273 businesses were counseled and 8,269 business owners attended training — creating 2,618 new jobs.

In 2010, the West Michigan center counseled 764 businesses and had 1,041 business owners attend training — creating 371 new jobs. Statewide that same year, 6,866 businesses were counseled and 10,097 business owners received training — creating 4,461 jobs.

The business center has four consultant teams offering four types of service to four different customer groups, Deamud said.

The four kinds of customers the center services are new ventures, existing businesses, growth companies and advanced technology companies.

The center’s four consultant teams are comprised of a regional consulting team, a growth group team, a finance team and a technology commercialization team. 

“It’s exactly what we expected," Deamud said. "The $3.3 million will go for overhead, and then the bulk of it does go to the consultants. We don’t have a requirement on who can come and receive training. Our consulting time is precious.”

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