Site Search

Business Training Alliance Merges With Regional Business Network

News Release
June 14, 2012

Media Contact:     
Annie Shetler
BTA Coordinator and MI-SBTDC Certified Business Consultant
Voice: 231-357-4292


Business Training Alliance Merges With Regional Business Network
More Services Available for Local Businesses


CADILLAC, MI— The Business Training Alliance (BTA) launched in April of 2011 as an entrepreneurial development program for Wexford and Missaukee counties. After a successful first year of the program, the BTA has merged with the northwest regional office of the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC), bringing even more resources to support small businesses in the region.

Since its launch, BTA has counseled more than 40 small businesses in the Cadillac area, including 14 start-up businesses. These counseling efforts resulted in more than $1 million in capital formation and approximately 20 new jobs. In addition, 219 people received training in starting and managing a small business.

“I have referred several clients to the BTA,” said Jon Catlin, Community President of Chemical Bank. “When a business is unprepared to obtain financing, they need the expert help of this program.”

The BTA began in partnership with many local organizations, including the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce, Baker College of Cadillac, Northwest Michigan Works!, and numerous local businesses. A primary partner was the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center.

The MI-SBTDC is a network of business consultants and resources providing business counseling, training, and market research to small businesses. Programs are available in every state; in Michigan, there are 12 regional offices. The program is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and is hosted in Northwest Michigan by Northwest Michigan Council of Governments.

“By merging with MI-SBTDC, we can access a larger system of resources,” said Annie Shetler, BTA Coordinator and MI-SBTDC Certified Small Business Consultant. “We can conduct market research using the systems and data of the MI-SBTDC and we can bring business counseling specialists to the region. These specialists include teams of consultants that emphasize growth, technology, and manufacturing."

Ms. Shetler will continue to serve as the primary business consultant for Wexford and Missaukee counties, and will also provide specialized counseling to agriculture businesses throughout northwest Michigan. To access these services, any business or aspiring entrepreneur in Wexford and Missaukee counties can call 1-888-774-7988 or visit

“This is an exciting step forward for our community,” said Bruce Schafer, Vice President of Rexair. “The more help and resources we can give to local businesses, the more successful our entire region will be.”


#      #      #


Northwest Michigan Works! is an essential resource for employers and job seekers in the Northern Michigan area.

Kathy Stuart, Michigan Rubber Products Human Resource Manager