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New Partnership Provides Business Development Assistance in Northern Michigan

PETOSKEY, MIA new partnership in northern Michigan will give small business owners and those considering starting a business access to a wide variety of business development tools. North Central Michigan College is partnering with Networks Northwest to deliver Small Business Development Center (SBDC) services in the Antrim, Charlevoix, and Emmet area. By working together, the two organizations are able to expand the program’s reach and better integrate the entrepreneurial activities of the outside business community with North Central’s entrepreneurial programs. SBDC services will include no cost one-on-one business counseling, information based planning through secondary market research, and business development workshops. Regular SBDC office hours will be held at North Central’s campus in Petoskey in the Student and Community Resource Center (SCRC), Room 535, and SBDC staff will also be available to meet with business clients in multiple other locations as needed. 

“We’re so thankful to North Central Michigan College for seeing the value in SBDC for the business growth of the Emmet-Charlevoix area,” said Elaine Wood, Chief Executive Officer of Networks Northwest, which runs the SBDC program in Northwest Michigan. Dr. Cameron Brunet-Koch, President of North Central, agrees that SBDC will be a great addition to the college’s offerings. “Having SBDC services closer to home will bring great advantages for our students and our community’s businesses. We’re excited to be involved in this advancement,” said Brunet-Koch.

Kicking off the partnership is a Starting a Business workshop, May 10 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at North Central Michigan College in the SCRC Room 536. The workshop will be facilitated by SBDC Small Business Consultant, Kathleen Bagley, who will help aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, and evaluate market and sales potential for their products or services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning will be introduced, along with necessary steps to getting started. This workshop is a requirement prior to meeting with an SBDC consultant one-on-one.

There is no charge to attend the workshop, but pre-registration is required by contacting the SBDC at or 231-922-3780. Registration can also be completed online at

The Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) enhances Michigan's economic well-being by providing counseling, training, research, and advocacy for new ventures, existing small businesses, and innovative technology companies. The Northwest Michigan Regional office is hosted by Networks Northwest and serves the ten county region including: Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska,

Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford counties. The Northwest Michigan SBDC’s contributing partners are Baker College, North Central Michigan College, and Northwestern Michigan College. For more information, go to:

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North Central Michigan College is an open-door community college based in Petoskey, with additional locations offering classes and services in Cheboygan and Gaylord. North Central’s mission is to provide educational, economic and cultural opportunities for student learning, personal growth and community improvement.  North Central is an Achieving the Dream Leader College and a Military-Friendly School®.

Founded in 1974, Networks Northwest facilitates and manages various programs and services for the 10 county region. These programs include Northwest Michigan Works, Small Business Development Center, Procurement Technical Assistance Center, various business services, and many different regional planning initiatives in response to our communities’ requests and needs. You will see the broad spectrum of workforce, business and community services Networks Northwest offers if you visit our web site,

Networks Northwest's member counties are: Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford.


Networks Northwest always proves to be a valued resource for our local government planning efforts. No organization does a better job of convening partners, promoting collaboration, and reporting on the data than does Networks Northwest
- Ty Wessell, Leelanau County Commissioner