Carl Levin - Small Business Resource Guide

I have always been a strong advocate for the interests of small businesses in Michigan. As a senior member of the Senate Small Business Committee, I understand that small business is the heart of America's economic strength and job creation, and is particularly important during the recent period of economic slowdown.

Small business is important to Michigan. More than 98 percent of Michigan businesses are small businesses. Because these businesses often have more difficulty gaining access to credit, I have worked to increase the amount of SBA government-guaranteed loans that are made to small businesses, providing a source of credit to those businesses that otherwise would not qualify for conventional bank loans.

I also helped reauthorize and expand the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, a $1 billion government effort to use small high-tech businesses to develop and commercialize technologies.

This page is intended to assist small businesses find resources and help establish and run successful enterprises by compiling useful small business web pages. Use the links below to find the information you need.

Michigan Resources

For small business resources in Michigan the following links may be useful:

SBA Michigan District Office

SBA's Detroit district office supports the formation and growth of small business throughout the State of Michigan. The office concentrates on four primary functions, advocacy, procurement, business development and financial assistance.

Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) Michigan

PTAC provides government contract and export assistance to all business types in a 14-county service area that includes the following counties: Barry, Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo, Muskegon, Oceana, Osceola and Ottawa.

Michigan Department of Career Development

Job training opportunities in Michigan.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Information about doing business in Michigan, including statistics, tax free zones, links to other economic development agencies.

Michigan Small Business Development Center

Michigan's SBDC provides programs to assist small businesses in Michigan, including the Minority Entrepreneur Business Development Program. SBDC is a good place to start when seeking small business counseling and advice.

Northern Initiatives (NI)

Small business micro lender in Upper Peninsula.

Business Law

Helps small businesses find, understand, and comply with the federal, state, and local laws and regulations that impact their operations.

Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps America's entrepreneurs form successful small enterprises. SBA's program offices in every state offer financing, training and advocacy for small firms. In addition, the SBA works with thousands of lending, educational and training institutions nationwide.

The U.S. Small Business Administration's Small Business Startup Kit

Office of Advocacy

The voice for small business in the federal government and the source for small business statistics. SBA's advocacy page is intended to help with the initial research that enterpruners should engage in when planing their small business. For more research information go to the SBA page on research.

SBA Training

SBA offers training through numerous venues such as: workshops, seminars and courses -- many are free.

This page will assist firms conducting innovative research and development projects or firms that are pursuing new technology, to find important procurement, technical assistance and financing in research and other high tech oriented resources.

Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourages small business to explore their technological potential and provides an incentive to commercialize research. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

NIST offers a broad base of initiatives and technical expertise to maximize its impact on R&D and technology commercialization. Manufacturing extension partnership (MEP) http://www.mep.nist.gov/ Assists small manufacturers by improving productivity, strengthening competitiveness, and increasing profits.

The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM)

This association runs the Michigan High Tech Business Development Program. The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) operates the Entrepreneurial Development Center (EDC) under the auspices of its Small Business Foundation of Michigan (SBFM). Funded in part by a grant from the Michigan Jobs Commission, the EDC provides training, counseling and resources to help Michigan small business entrepreneurs create and profitably expand their businesses.

Michigan Small Business Development Center

The MSBDC network provides a full range of services for a variety of small businesses that are emerging and growing throughout Michigan. They help with counseling, training, research and advocacy.

8(a) Business Development and Small Disadvantaged Business Certification Program

While the 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged firms, SDB certification strictly pertains to benefits in Federal procurement. Companies which are 8(a) firms automatically qualify for SDB certification.

Native eDGE

Native eDGE (economic Development Guidance and Empowerment) is an interagency initiative of the Federal Government to facilitate sustainable economic development within American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

The Michigan Minority Business Development Council (MMBDC)

MMBDC is a privately funded, non-profit, small business development organization which works to enhance business opportunities and educational development.

These links are designed to help women create and run their own businesses.

Center for Empowerment and Economic Development (CEED)

The women's initiative for Self-Employment Program began in 1987 as a means to provide low-income women with the tools and resources they need to begin and expand businesses. The WISE Program provides a comprehensive package of business training, personal-development workshops, credit counseling, startup and expansion financing, business counseling, peer-group support and mentoring.

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW)

GROW offers long-term training and counseling and also provides training in economic self-sufficiency and asset building through its Individual Development Account program. GROW is also actively involved in providing training for home-based day-care providers in business management and setting up financial management systems.

Women's Business Development Centers

Each women's business center provides assistance and/or training in finance, management, marketing, procurement and the Internet, as well addressing specialized topics such as home-based businesses, corporate executive downsizing and welfare-to-work.

The Tibbetts Awards - named after Roland Tibbetts who spearheaded the establishment of the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program - are presented annually to small technology firms which have achieved excellence under the SBIR program. A winner from each state is selected every year by criteria such as the economic impact of the technological innovation, overall business achievement, and demonstration of effective collaborations. I have nominated an outstanding Michigan high-technology company each year to be recognized for its contributions to the SBIR program, for creation and innovation.

See the list of the latest Tibbetts Award winners.

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