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Venture North Gets Boost for Businesses from DTE, Consumers Energy Foundations

Venture North 2

A northern Michigan nonprofit that aims to help small businesses is finding their job is a little easier thanks to two big donations.

Funding and Development in Traverse City is expanding the , which was stared during the COVID pandemic.

The organization provides grants, loans, and technical assistance to help small businesses in ten counties in northwest lower Michigan. Two brand new contributions this month from the and the , are pumping an extra $160,000 into the programs that Venture North offers.

Venture North President Laura Galbraith says whether it’s getting a low interest loan to start a business or a micro-grant to get help with marketing or accounting, there are many ways businesses old and new can get help. “If somebody wanted to access some small grants to be able to access legal services, accounting, marketing, the list goes on and on. We now have grant funds available. We can help businesses that need to know what federal and state programs might be available to them, other grant opportunities, other low interest loan opportunities and services that might be available.”

“During COVID of course we were dealing with a lot of emergency needs. And now we’re shifting to people are moving away from their corporate jobs and wanting to start new businesses,” Galbraith says. “And so they need help putting those business plans together and being able to find capital.”

Since its inception in 2012, Venture North has made 137 grants of $8.3 million, leveraging another $26 million; awarded 350 mini-grants; and provided 935 small businesses with technical assistance.

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