*Pictured above is Keith Gram, winner of the 2018 local (1st place) and regional (2nd place) I-69 Thumb Region Small Business Competition. The Economic Development Alliance has been boosting entrepreneurs with funding since 2015 through local business competitions held annually. In 2019, the I-69 Thumb Region awarded a total of $40,000 in prize funding to help entrepreneurs launch or grow a small business venture.
Entrepreneurs are essential to an innovative economy and a key element to the future success and prosperity of the region. Innovation leads from ideas into the creation of useful new products, services and exciting new ways of doing things; and modern technologies are central to creation of wealth through business expansion leading to economic development.
St. Clair County is fortunate to have a network of organizations dedicated to supporting growth and innovation. Here are a few of the resources that are available:
- The Underground Incubator and Business Service Center - Providing entrepreneurial & small business support, co-working, entrepreneurial funding, incubation/acceleration programs, permanent office space and more. Contact Matt Fernandez for entrepreneurial services or questions at 810.937.2003 or for more information visit: www.startunderground.com
- Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – SBDC offers no-cost assistance in everything from writing a business plan to finding ways to finance your start-up to expanding your business into international markets. The local SBDC representative can meet with you one-one-one for free consultation in their office at The Underground. SBDC counselor, Shannon Schwabe looks forward to assisting you!
- The Bluewater Area Chamber of Commerce also holds several networking and informational sessions and ribbon cuttings to assist and promote St. Clair County's entrepreneurs.