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Inventor-Con 21—Overcoming obstacles for investors and Entrepreneurs

A 3-day, live virtual conference for only $10 on May 6-8, 2021.

Inventor-Con is a world-class inventing and entrepreneurship conference designed to teach, enlighten, and reenergize you, your idea and what you do with it led by today’s top inventors, entrepreneurs & thought leaders in the inventing world.

Save your seat now

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

An eligible business may receive a tax-free federal grant equal to the amount of its pandemic-related revenue loss, calculated by subtracting its 2020 gross receipts from its 2019 gross receipts. If the business is not in operation for the entirety of 2019, the total is the difference between 12 times the average monthly gross receipts for 2019 and the average monthly gross receipts in 2020 (or a formula from SBA). If the business is not in operation until 2020, it can receive a grant equal to the amount of “eligible expenses” subtracted by its gross receipts received (or a formula from SBA). If the business is not yet in operation as of the application date, but it has made “eligible expenses,” the grant would be made equal to those expenses (or a formula from SBA)

Click here for more information

$10 Billion in direct investment capital

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. announced a new investment initiative of more than $10 billion to advance racial equity and economic opportunity by investing in Black women, in partnership with Black women-led organizations, financial institutions and other partners.

Learn more

MEDC and Ann Arbor SPARK to launch the Michigan STEM Forward internship program

The Michigan Economic Development Corp (MEDC) will partner with Ann Arbor SPARK to launch the Michigan STEM Forward internship program on a statewide level.

MEDC will work with SPARK to place 425-450 STEM students currently attending Michigan colleges annually into STEM-focused internships throughout Michigan.

With the support of a $1.5 million grant, SPARK will contribute up to 50 percent of the interns’ pay, and participating companies will pay the remaining 50 percent. SPARK will track the employment status of the interns for at least 12 months to measure their retention in Michigan as well as those remaining in those knowledge positions.

For more information contact Sandra Cochrane

PPP Application Deadlines Extended Through May 31

The PPP Extension Act of 2021 extends the application period for the program to May 31, instead of the current date of March 31.

It also gives the Small Business Administration an additional 30 days to process loans. The Senate is expected to pass the bill as well.

Through March 14, the SBA had approved more than 2.7 million loans worth about $181 billion this year alone. In addition, agency and advisor small business owners will benefit from expansion of Affordable Care Act subsidies, extension of the federal refundable payroll tax credit for COVID-19-related paid sick and family leave for small businesses, and extension of the employee retention tax credit for an additional six months. All are included in the current stimulus package—part of President Biden’s “American Rescue Plan.”

Read the summary

SBDC Launches Self-Guided Comeback Kit

The Michigan SBDC launched a self-guided starting point for business owners looking to determine whether to continue with their business or close. This course is designed for Michigan small business owners and entrepreneurs who are working to come back from the impacts and effects of the pandemic. This learning module will help small businesses to evaluate their financials, to understand where they are today, and to recognize what they need to do to get healthier tomorrow.

MI SBDC Comeback Kit

Southwest Michigan PTAC 2021 Class Schedule

The Southwest Michigan PTAC team is ready to assist you with your government contracting needs. This training is available to businesses in Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren counties of Southwest Michigan.

Check out our 2021 Class Listing

Make Connections

Find local business owners and resources that will help you advance your business.

Success Stories

Teresa’s Kitchen

Maria-Teresa Hernandez and Teresa’s Kitchen How do you go from making 100 tamales a week to making close to 700 tamales a week? You open a tamale busi
Woman smiling

Global Clinical Connections

Headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Global Clinical Connections is an international provider of clinical supply chain management services for compan
woman with cold brew coffee business

Mamaleelu Cold Brew

Maliesha's passion and mission for Mamaleelu Cold Brew’s future is to highlight her brand as a black-woman-owned food brand in a highly competitive...
Lauren Laster headshot

Colors and Cocktails

When you consider all that Lauren Parker Lasater has done in the last 10 or so years, you would think she would be exhausted and just looking for ...

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People are talking about our partners.

  • The WMed Innovation Center is a perfect environment for innovation to grow and become a successful commercial enterprise.
    Client, WMed Innovation Center
  • WMU Business Connection logoWhether you are seeking a research partner or want to enlist the help of student groups in developing business plans, or just looking for ways to engage with WMU, the Business Connection office can find the resource to help move your business forward.
    Mentor, SCORE Kalamazoo
  • LISC logoA loan (from Local Initiatives Support Corporation) helped expand our cafe to triple our seating, add a kids space, increase much needed staff work areas, and make other improvements to the space.
    Krystal, Fido Motors Cafe
  • MEL logo
    The Michigan eLibrary (MeL) is the State of Michigan's digital library. It has excellent resources available to Michigan residents at no cost.
    Owner, Michigan Small Business
  • Western Michigan University's Starting Gate helped me take an idea and transform it into a much more attainable reality. Whether providing talks with investors and business owners or accountability, the ultimate goal is helping your business succeed.  
    Peter Shutt, Science Cafe
  • Kalamazoo County Land Bank logo
    The [Kalamazoo] Land Bank did robust community engagement around the vision and gave us something to work with that was solidly desired by people in the neighborhood. Having a vision meant we had to protect it. That’s something I thank the Land Bank for. It was difficult. It didn’t make anything faster or easier, but we got a better project in the end as a result of it.
    Matt Hollander, President of Hollander Development Corp.
  • Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo is a hard working grassroots group focused on the greater Kalamazoo community and its small businesses. Their events and networking opportunities are the best!  
  • SBDC logo Michigan SBDC is a great company providing top notch service to local businesses all over Michigan. The consultants are professional and the student workers contribute with excellent work!
    Martin Herman Sorensen, SBDC Client
  • If you have any questions about starting, growing, or anything business related SCORE Kalamazoo/SW Michigan is a great resource.
    Taylor Kallio, Kalamazoo Aerial Media

  • The Fetzer Center has anything you could ever want for any occasion. The facilities are beautiful, the food is great and the staff is excellent! I have hosted an event and been to an event at the Fetzer and both experiences have been excellent. Mary does a marvelous job!
    Diane Holmes, Fetzer Center Client