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Monday, November 9, 2020
The Pure Michigan Business Connect and Community Development teams at MEDC, along with local business support services, joined forces to help small batch food manufacturers through their recovery and growth following the struggles of COVID-19.
Small businesses all across Michigan serve as the lifeblood of their communities. As Michigan faces economy recovery in the wake of COVID-19 head on, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation is working with local partners to find innovative new ways to support small business recovery and growth in every corner of the state.
The Shiawassee Small Batch Support Program is one such effort designed to assist small batch food businesses in Shiawassee County start or scale operations, with business support services recently awarded to six local businesses through a competitive pitch competition.
The effort was a collaboration between the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Owosso Downtown Development Authority, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce and Michigan Small Business Development Center to support these growing businesses, as well as a food and agricultural sector critical to the region’s economy. AZee Business Solutions in Owosso was hired to provide key marketing and digital support as part of the service packages awarded.
“Thank you to our friends at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for launching the innovative Shiawassee Small Batch Business Support program with our community partners,” said Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership President/CEO Justin Horvath. “We were able to assist six companies in the county with various services that will help them grow their operations, made even more important in these challenging economic times. We are hopeful this can become a model to assist food entrepreneurs across the State of Michigan.”
Six businesses participated in the pitch competition, receiving customized support packages tailored to their specific growth needs through the process.
Each of these small batch food manufacturers virtually pitched to a panel of judges that included leadership from the MEDC, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the MSU Product Center and Downtown Owosso Farmer’s Market to access a variety of support services to help grow their business. The Michigan SBDC offered participants a “Pitch Prep” workshop prior to the virtual event. The effort brought together the MEDC’s community development team and Pure Michigan Business Connect platform to continue efforts to create economic opportunity statewide, while amplifying and empowering regional economic growth efforts. These programs, along with Michigan SBDC, MDARD and Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership will continue to offer support services to awardees.
“Innovative placemaking and fostering successful small businesses go hand in hand as we look at ways to grow an equitable and resilient economy here in Michigan,” said Michele Wildman, Senior Vice President of Community Development at the MEDC. “These six businesses are a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit thriving in Shiawassee County today, and it’s exciting to see what the future holds for each of them, and how their growth will create new opportunities in their communities.”
With success in Shiawassee County, the team at MEDC is continuing to pilot the program throughout the state, with the next Small Batch Support Program underway in the Upper Peninsula.
To learn more about how MEDC can support your small business, visit michiganbusiness.org/pure-partnership.
To contact a business development specialist, click here or call 1.888.522.0103.