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Program Promoting Entrepreneurship in Northwest Michigan Helped by $10,000 Grant


The Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (NWMCOG) has received a donation of $10,000 from the Fifth Third Foundation for implementation of business services promoting entrepreneurship across the 10-county region. The Northwest Regional office of the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC), hosted by NWMCOG, will use the funding to increase business owners access to free business counseling and training services. Together with funding from Northwestern Michigan College (NMC), SBTDC will launch remote business assistance services in late October 2013.


“This funding allows us to change how we deliver services. Today’s entrepreneur is far more comfortable accessing information from the web. We can use technology to maintain personalized consulting and training while our client is in their office, at their kitchen counter, or their cottage in the woods,” said Mary Rogers, Regional Director of MI-SBTDC. “Fifth Third and SBTDC are long term partners in educating business owners. This contribution demonstrates Fifth Third’s commitment to small business owners in northwest Michigan.”


In addition to face-to-face consulting at NMC’s Aero Park Campus, clients across the region will be able to access live webinar training and web-based one-on-one consulting integrating technology with individual attention from a certified small business consultant.


In the photo (left to right): Eric Thibo, Fifth Third Bank, Assistant Vice President, Business Banking Relationship Manager; Doug Buck, Fifth Third Bank, Vice President SBA and Government Lending Programs; George Bailey, III, Fifth Third Bank, Market President Northern Michigan; Mary Rogers, Regional Director, Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center; Ed Bailey, Northwestern Michigan College, Technical Division Director; Janie McNabb, Northwest Michigan Council of Governments; and Julie Doyal, Northwestern Michigan College, Program Coordinator, Extended Educational Services.


The Fifth Third Foundation makes strategic grants to improve communities where Fifth Third Bank operates.


The MI-SBTDC is a statewide business assistance program that provides one-on-one counseling, training and research support for Michigan small businesses. The Northwest Michigan Regional office is hosted by the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments. For more information, go to:




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