Northern MI business briefs

Export funds for small businesses
MI-STEP is designed to spur job creation by empowering Michigan “eligible small business concerns,” or ESBCs, to export their products. The program has three primary objectives: increase the number of Michigan small businesses that export, increase the dollar value of Michigan exports, and increase the number of Michigan small businesses exploring significant new trade opportunities, including expansion of existing export markets.
The fiscal year 2020 award supports export development for ESBCs through financial assistance grants for trade missions, international sales trips, and trade shows along with website translation, localization, and search engine optimization.
In addition, financial assistance grants will support regionally based ExporTech trainings with the US Commercial Service in Marquette, Saginaw, Detroit, and Lansing. For complete details on how companies can apply for assistance, including eligibility requirements and the application process, please visit

Small Business Summit Oct. 30
The inaugural Northwest MI-SBDC Small Business Summit in Traverse City is a one-day conference featuring nearly a dozen break-out sessions. This event is intended for existing business owners or entrepreneurs who have recently launched a new business interested in resources and ideas for how to take their businesses to the next level.
The summit is Wednesday Oct. 30, from 8 am to 3:30 pm at the Northwestern Michigan College Hagerty Conference Center, 715 E Front St., Traverse City.
Check-in begins at 7:30 am.
Summit attendees will learn about topics such as Getting Financed, Year-End Tax Planning, Cybersecurity, Understanding Your Data, eCommerce, Getting Your Business Online with Google, Intro to Exporting, and much more.
The cost to attend is $95; however, contact the SBDC for a discount code if you are affiliated with any of the sponsors to attend at a reduced rate of $60. Price of admission includes a light breakfast, lunch, and refreshments. Registration is available online at

Networking at Challenge Mountain
The Challenge Mountain Resale Store will host the Boyne Chamber’s Business After Hours from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday Oct. 17. The store is located at 1100 Boyne Avenue in Boyne City.


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