Helping small businesses in Kalamazoo.

Resources

Business First – What Does Southwest Michigan First Do?

Thursday, December 9

What does economic development really mean, and what do we do here at Southwest Michigan First? As a regional economic development organization, we have the opportunity to work with many businesses across our seven-county region of Southwest Michigan.

Since our team is able to work with so many businesses, it can sometimes be confusing what we actually do! On this call, our team will highlight the business services our organization offers including, but not limited to, our bread and butter: Economic Development. We will also touch on other focuses of the organization like small business and entrepreneurial efforts, including the Chamber, talent, and Leadership Programming.

Contact Information

I appreciate your ears for listening, your eyes that see my vision and your heart that makes you who you are.  I thank you for your time. You are making a difference.

—Shawntel Lindsey, Director, The Artbor Community Connections Center

The WMed Innovation Center is a perfect environment for innovation to grow and become a successful commercial enterprise.

—Client

WMU Business Connection logo

Whether 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

A 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

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

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

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

Buy Local logo

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!

—Cheri Bales

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

Score Kalamazoo logos

If you have any questions about starting, growing, or anything business related SCORE Kalamazoo/SW Michigan is a great resource.

—Taylor Kallio

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