Local access to business planning tools expanded

Entrepreneurs win with newest business resource center opening at the North Central Michigan College Library in Petoskey, Mich.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for Business Resource Center at North Central Michigan College (NCMC) Library
Ribbon-cutting ceremony for Business Resource Center at North Central Michigan College (NCMC) Library

Through the cooperative efforts of several organizations, Michigan State University Extension partner Northern Lakes Economic Alliance has expanded their regional network of Business Resource Centers. In January, a grand opening was held at the North Central Michigan College Library (NCMC). North Central Michigan College became the 10th Business Resource Center in Northern Michigan’s four-county region, which includes Emmet, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Antrim counties. The event was hosted by Tom Erhart Entrepreneurship Director at Northern Lakes Economic Alliance and featured North Central Michigan College President, Cameron Brunet-Koch and Terence O’Neil from the Michigan State University Business Library.

Local and easy access to resources for entrepreneurs is the goal of this Business Resource Center Network. Located in local libraries, they provide easy access to materials and expertise. Although open to everyone, the program targets small businesses whether their status is pre-startup or startup. Small businesses have created over 75 percent of the new jobs in the United States over the past decade and that is certainly true in rural northern Michigan as well.

By sharing resources, the BRC Network offers support to Entrepreneurs by providing research and business development tools locally, within our four county Northern Michigan region. The North Central Michigan College Library now joins the libraries in Boyne City, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, East Jordan, Indian River, Mackinaw City, Petoskey, Elk Rapids and Central Lake.

The BRC Network is a partnership with local libraries, chambers of commerce, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA), Michigan State University Business Library and SCORE. Each Business Resource Center offers: Business related books, magazines, periodicals and hard copy resources; Internet based resources, Business Counseling and Business seminars. A website, part of our integrated BRC Network, was created by the Michigan State University Business Library and provides excellent support for new and growing businesses.

For further information contact, Tom Erhart, NLEA Entrepreneurship Director at NLEA, 231-582-6482 or visit, www.northernlakes.net. Also check out the Petoskey News-Review feature story on the new Business Resource Center.

Michigan State University Extension has had a unique partnership relationship with the regional economic development organization Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) for more than 20 years. Recognizing the strength of combining resources, this partnership focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship growth and community infrastructure throughout a four-county region in the northwest Lower Peninsula, specifically Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet counties. As a result, the NLEA utilizes resources offered through MSU Extension as it provides leadership to state-wide programs sponsored by MSU Extension.

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