Northern Initiatives gets District Award

MARQUETTE – On July 9, The Small Business Administration District Director for the State of Michigan, Gerald Moore, met with community leaders and business owners who have applied Small Business Administration loans in Boyne City, Mich. As a part of his visit, Moore spoke at the Boyne Valley Lions Club and presented the first District Director’s Award to Northern Initiatives.

“They have done a phenomenal job of working with the small business community and the communities they serve,” Moore said. “We really can’t do what we do as an agency if they’re not out there doing what they do.”

Since launching its small business lending program in 1994, Northern Initiatives has assisted with over 760 loans, totaling nearly $45 million.

“We were created,” said West, ” “to contribute to the building of a more diverse and resilient set of economies in the Upper Peninsula, and that’s where we focused our attention from 1994 to 2007. Since 2007, we have extended our work into northern lower Michigan”.

Of the loans provided, approximately one third have been granted to start-ups, forty percent to women owned businesses, and one third to manufactures. Many of the loans that Northern Initiatives makes are referrals from community bankers.

“As a non-profit, we’re doing the deals that lenders can’t do, won’t do or shouldn’t do, and the fact of the matter is that we’re in a world where a lot of people have blemishes in credit, lack of collateral or experience and so, consequently, we try to help overcome some of those blemishes to make sure that people actually have access to capital to start and grow a business.”

With the support of the Small Business Administration, Northern Initiatives has been able to serve the people and communities of forty six northern Michigan rural counties and five border counties of Wisconsin.

About Northern Initiatives:

Northern Initiatives is a Community Development Financial Institution. We’re in business to provide loans and business services to small business owners and entrepreneurs who create jobs and enable the communities of Northern Michigan and neighboring Wisconsin to thrive.