Helping small businesses in Kalamazoo.

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Access to Capital | Business First Series

November 18, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am EST

Are you struggling to find capital to expand or start a business?

Although capital is essential for all businesses to run successfully, accessing capital, and understanding which kind you need, is often confusing. On November 18, join Southwest Michigan First and our session speakers to learn the who, what, and where that you need to know to secure financial support. Our panel of representatives will include seasoned professionals from the Small Business Administration(SBA) and the City of Kalamazoo, in addition to financial leaders from local angel investing and lending organizations.
If you’re in the market to stay in the market, lend an ear and join us for this virtual information session.

About Southwest Michigan First’s Business First Series

Access to Capital is part of a series of free business discussions hosted by Southwest Michigan First. These sessions are designed to strengthen and grow businesses of all sizes in our community by focusing on the topics most important right now—financial planning, brand presence, utilizing technology in the day-to-day, culture, and much more. These virtual Zoom sessions bring together the knowledge of experts and foster discussion between community leaders and small business owners. Learn more about Southwest Michigan First.

The Business First Series is brought to you by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

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Congratulations to Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry for receiving his first loan through Northern Initiatives. With help from his SCORE mentor, Cheri Bales, Gregory did a fantastic job on developing his business plan and showing real entrepreneurial spirit. We wish you much success, and look forward to your upward movement. You are a wonderful role model.

—Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry

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.


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.


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.


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.


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