Helping small businesses in Kalamazoo.

Coffee & Cocktails with Clarence

Stamped Robin 128 Portage Street, Kalamazoo, MI

The Southwest Michigan First Chamber is excited to invite you, our members, to get into the networking spirit and share what's brewing in your organization. Join Clarence Lloyd, the director of the Southwest Michigan First Chamber, for a coffee or cocktail at Stamped Robin. This is a great chance for area business leaders to further […]


Protecting Your Business: Intellectual Property and Contracts

Protecting your business is important. Learn from the United States Patent and Trademark Office about intellectual property, and other experts on how to protect your brand. Featured speakers Nathanya Ferguson, Program Analyst at United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Shavon Smith, Principal, SJS Law Firm, PLLC

Access to Capital | Business First Series

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 […]

Navigating Your Small Business through Financial Milestones

Presenters: Amanda Brinkman, Deluxe Corporation and Nadine Seivert, U.S. Bank Sponsored by: Deluxe Corporation From initial startup investments to deciding when is the right time to hire employees, business owners are constantly evaluating the impact of financial decisions.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Making the Business Case

In today’s rapidly changing society it has become important for businesses to take a more targeted approach integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into their business plans. While many businesses might recognize the importance of D.E.I from a compliance perspective many fail to understand and articulate the actual benefits of D.E.I integration from a practical perspective. […]

Money Management and Access to Capital

Bookkeeping is critical for the success, growth, and investment of your business. Learn about small business money management tools for tracking expenses and revenue, and places to turn to access sources of capital. Featured Speaker Zoe Bogan, Founder/CEO, ZB Agency

MOGUL: Making Our Goals Unite Lives

A live virtual fireside chat featuring famous comedian and entrepreneur Loni Love, Co-Host of The Real and Owner of True Love, Inc. Oftentimes, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs experience barriers with accessing capital and resources needed to start or sustain their businesses. Lately, COVID-19 has exacerbated those challenges, especially for women. However, when […]


Cyber Monday Virtual Marketplace

Support Michigan small businesses of color, women-owned, veteran-owned, disabled-owned, and rural businesses on Cyber Monday and through the holidays by attending the Michigan SBDC Cyber Monday Virtual Marketplace! This virtual event will feature businesses all over the state in a Zoom-style marketplace where you'll have the opportunity to engage in product demonstrations and connect with […]


1 Million Cups Kalamazoo

1 MILLION CUPS is a free, nationwide program designed to educate, engage and accelerate early-stage startups. We believe in the notion that entrepreneurs can discover solutions and thrive when they collaborate over a million cups of coffee. Drop in on our community of innovators and entrepreneurship enthusiasts to connect and support our local startups. Meetings […]


Data Protection Policies – Cybersecurity for Small Business

Do you have essential data protection policies in place for your small business? Join us as we discuss the importance of data protection policies and how they protect your business. We’ll walk you through a quick-paced webinar, ask a few poll questions of the audience, and give you time for question and answer with the […]


Win Customers With Your Website

Presenter: Jessica Baldwin, Co-Founder of Cardsetter You'll learn the critical role your website plays in your online marketing strategy and how to get everything working together to achieve your goals.

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

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