Northern Michigan village beats the odds

Sleepy village of Indian River is seeing new businesses pop up.

This spring, the business landscape of Indian River, Mich. saw an amazing amount of growth. They recently opened four new businesses, representing $655,000 in investment. These four businesses also created 15 jobs for the small community (population, 1,959), with more expected in the coming years.


In a business environment that was struggling, these open doors are a welcome site to community members and visitors alike. For the small community in Cheboygan County in the northeast of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, closed businesses could spell doom, accounting for a large percentage of their business landscape. But Christopher's Cafe opened their doors in May and have been delighting diners ever since. Michigan Pure Ice Company has been making and delivering packaged ice to party stores throughout northern Michigan. The Stargate Motel & Memories Resort opened under new ownership and is ready for the summer crowds. The Pour of Indian River is also becoming a necessary stop for wine, beer and coffee lovers, hosting tastings and many fun events. These four businesses are just the beginning of the growth that continues to happen in Indian River, watch that community for even more changes as the year goes on.

These four businesses have worked with the Entrepreneurial Division of the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA), a partner of Michigan State University Extension, to develop business plans, marketing strategies, and seek financing for their new ventures. These are essential parts to any new or newly reopened business. The NLEA was also able to leverage their working relationship with Tip of the Mitt SCORE to provide additional hands-on business mentoring and practical experience for these clients.

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