The motto of the city of Detroit is: “speramus meliora; resurget cineribus.” We hope for better things; it will rise from the ashes. Fitting, isn’t it? Time and time again, Detroit – and southeastern Michigan in general – has seen hard times, only to pick itself back up with conviction. Nowhere is this indomitable spirit more evident than in the vibrant startup community in Michigan.

Young and seasoned entrepreneurs alike are flocking to Michigan to pursue their dreams of owning and operating their own businesses, often attracted by the many resources and opportunities the state has to offer. In fiscal year 2013 alone, the Michigan District of the U.S. Small Business Administration supported over $770 million in small business lending. On top of that, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation administers more than 70 programs to advise, fund, network and house innovative companies, committing more than $100 million to the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem in the past three years. Job growth is on the rise, with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute ranking Michigan number three in the nation for high-tech job growth. More and more entrepreneurs are choosing Michigan, and it’s not hard to see why.

Business owners need to be smart about getting the resources they need to make their dream a reality, and in many cases, this starts with acquiring a small business loan. With small business on the rise, it’s important to look at the first question a budding entrepreneur might ask: What do you need to approach a financial institution for a loan? Here we’ve provided the five essential things to keep in mind when applying for a small business loan:

  • Create a business plan demonstrating a sound, profitable reason for you to have the money. Be specific, and present as much information in a clear, concise manner as possible. Bill Beardsley, president of the Michigan Business Connection, says the most important thing is showing that you know the industry and what it takes to be successful – and that sometimes, opening the door to a new business is not as difficult as keeping the door open. “Sometimes success consumes more cash than slow survival and demonstrating the ability to fund the expenses and assets required by growth is very important,” Beardsley says.
  • Research and choose your lending institution carefully. Ask yourself if you just want a loan or if you’re looking for a long-lasting relationship. “Most credit unions and community lenders are focused on lending to businesses that are going to develop account relationships beyond the loan,” Beardsley says. Larger banks may be good at cross-selling other products, but you tend to miss out on personal service and a community connection. Also, make sure your institution of choice has a full suite of business products – some credit unions or local community banks may lack particular business services.
  • Gather all required information for the specific institution’s loan application. This may sound obvious, but arming yourself with all information before you begin the loan application process can spare headaches and last-minute scrambles. Don’t be afraid to call the institution and ask for a list of required documents.
  • Demonstrate your ability to pay the loan back. Your personal track record (credit history, financial preparation, etc.) is probably the number one aspect that lenders look at when determining your ability to pay them back. Beardsley advises, “Show the lender you are committed to success both by making your own financial investment and by having a solid financial footing before you start your venture.” If you’ve had a history of money issues, you might not be ready to jump into business ownership.
  • Describe the loan repayment plan, including timelines and income sources. Show the lender that you’ve thought ahead about making payments and where you’ll get the money. Come up with a few options in case you fall short while getting started. If the lender feels confident that you won’t fall behind, you’re more likely to be approved for a small business loan.

An important thing to remember: having a brilliant idea and the motivation to succeed is not enough to get your business off the ground. You can’t make money without first investing money. Armed with a solid business plan and financing, you’re ready to make your mark in the burgeoning Michigan startup scene.

Janelle O’Hara is the primary blogger for, a blog for 25- to 35-year-olds facing life’s big decisions. She’s the Social Media Specialist at Michigan First Credit Union in Lathrup Village. In her spare time, she likes to nerd out over sci-fi and fantasy, pretend she’s an exercise person and cheer on the Tigers and Red Wings.

Bill Beardsley is president of Michigan Business Connection, a company owned by Michigan credit unions which helps credit unions originate and manage their business loan programs. Bill has more than 25 years of business lending experience in Michigan, with significant expertise in new business financing and capital raising. 

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Four years ago a downtown Alma landmark was gutted by a fire, but thanks to a dedicated Alma native and some investment from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, it will soon be home to Alma College students and retail space.

The Wright Opera Block project, which was awarded a $1 million grant from the MEDC’s Michigan Community Revitalization Program, will help redevelop the historic Ammi Wright Opera House into mixed-use residential units and retail space, bringing new opportunities, jobs and students to Alma’s downtown business district.  The city of Alma will also be provided nearly $420,000 in a Community Development Block Grant, to assist with infrastructure improvements.

The original opera house was completed in 1880 under the auspices of a wealthy businessman and early lumber pioneer, Ammi Willard Wright. It was his second business in the city, and only the second brick building to be built in Alma at the time. Since then, it has played host to countless shows, politicians, and musicians. After an initial successful life as an opera performance space, the economics of the times changed, the theater shut down and was remodeled into a Masonic Temple in 1918 and served in that capacity until the mid-1950s.

In 2010, both the opera house and its adjacent Lancashire Building were damaged in the fire.   However, because the brick structure was so well built, and fire separated, most of the building is capable of being restored and will still be able to be used for the new venture.

The revitalization project, led by Alma native Kurt Wassenaar, is contributing $6.7 million worth of capital investment, creating opportunities for Alma College to get students more integrated with the downtown district and will create jobs. The National Historic Trust has named the Alma Opera House as a National Trust Property and historians at the state feel that it is one of the best preserved buildings in Michigan.

“The MEDC grant is an absolutely essential part of making this type of project work economically at the start but will return its value many times over in overall job creation and positive impact on the economics of the Alma downtown area,” said Wassenaar.  “We are very grateful for this program and the opportunity to work with MEDC on the project.”

The upper level will be available to 45 students and 2 resident advisors, while the ground floor will house space for two restaurants and three bays for retail and office space. Developers are aiming to have the upper housing floors, which will be small multi-room student apartment suites, available for the winter 2015 semester. The retail development portion will immediately follow with several tenants already interested in leasing space.

“The Wright Opera Block restoration and redevelopment is a transformative project for downtown Alma,” said Aeric Ripley, director of the Alma Downtown Development Authority.  “Downtown residential living is essential to the long-term economic success of downtown, and bringing more than 40 students to live here will make ready customers for current and future businesses.”

To learn more about resources available to communities, visit

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Looking for a job in Michigan? Pure Michigan Talent Connect – a collaborative effort of the State of Michigan’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) – is your launch pad for new jobs, careers and talent. The site is an online marketplace connecting Michigan’s job seekers and employers.

The demand for health care continues to grow, and according to the Labor Department’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, some of the fastest-growing jobs are within the health care industry. 

In Michigan, there are more than 70,000 job openings listed on, with many of them in the healthcare industry. Employers such as Spectrum Health, Henry Ford Health Systems, Covenant Healthcare, and Beaumont Health Systems all have opportunities available. Below is a roundup of several hot jobs on

Wellness Care Management Health Care Analyst  -  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Detroit, Michigan

Responsible for leading Wellness and Care Management System Readiness project plans. Interface with internal business partners and vendors to identify and/or analyze business problems and develop solutions. Monitor project status and provide weekly updates. Assist with the development of business cases for initiatives. Ensure that expectations are developed, controlled, and executed in a timely manner.

Senior Health Researcher -  Mathematica

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Mathematica is a nationally recognized research organization that conducts social policy studies on health care, disability, education, welfare, nutrition, and related topics. Our mission is to improve public well-being by bringing the highest standards of quality, objectivity, and excellence to bear on the work we do for our clients, which include federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as private foundations.

Mathematica is inviting senior health researchers to join us in leading significant studies in health policy. We are currently conducting projects in Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance markets, public health, managed care, quality of care, state health policy, maternal and child health, mental health, substance abuse, disabilities, and long-term care. Our current work includes studying disease-management programs for Medicare beneficiaries, federal and state options for expanding health insurance coverage for the uninsured, public reporting of hospital quality indicators, evaluating chronic disease prevention and health promotion programs, and measuring performance of federal programs. As a senior researcher, you would join our staff of approximately 100 health research professionals, which includes doctoral-level (Ph.D., D.Sc., or Dr.P.H.) and physician researchers in economics, public health, public policy, and behavioral or social sciences, as well as M.P.H. and other master’s-level analysts. We offer our employees a stimulating, team-oriented work environment, competitive salaries, and a comprehensive benefits package, as well as the advantages of employee ownership.

Certified Nursing Assistant

Escanaba, Michigan

The Certified Nursing Assistant cares for residents under the direction and supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.  The position requires patience, compassion and a desire to care for the residents in a gentle and empathetic manner.

Are you a new CNA?  Christian Park Village may reimburse you for your training costs!  Bay College’s M-TEC program runs classes periodically in Escanaba, as well as the newly-opened Superior Pro Medical Training facility in Marquette (Harvey).  Call the facility at (906) 786-0408 for scheduling information regarding these training facilities.

We also want to help you attain your nursing degree!  Eligible full time employees may apply for up to $2,500 per calendar year tuition reimbursement!

Physical Therapy Assistant HRS PRN Covenant Health

Saginaw, Michigan

Covenant Health is recruiting for a Physical Therapy Assistant to work per diem. You will work in a team where you will provide quality, compassionate care in a secure setting. Under the supervision of the Physical Therapist, you will implement the patient’s Care Plan for rehabilitation. Help mentally and/or physically impaired patients to participate in tasks to restore, reinforce, and enhance their performance.

Responsibilities including: Communicate patient progress or problems to supervisor and other team members; assist with patient scheduling and post charges daily to patient records. Document patient care in accordance with Peoplefirst, regulatory, licensing, payer and accrediting requirements. Instruct patient’s family or nursing staff in follow-through programs.

Director Nutrition Retail Services  -  Beaumont Health System   

Grosse Pointe, Michigan

Beaumont Grosse Pointe is seeking a strategically focused leader to direct Nutrition Services and Retail Services. The Director is responsible for all inclusive direction for departmental nutrition, culinary and food retail operation to include operational and capital budgets, marketing, promotion and strategic development of food retail and culinary services. Manage State, industry and healthcare regulatory compliance. Establish excellent relationships and work collaboratively with Beaumont Health System leaders at Troy and Royal Oak to achieve standardization where applicable. 

The successful candidate will have an extensive leadership record with experience in growing and sustaining a multi-faceted Nutrition Services service line.  A Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics, Food Retail, Culinary or other related business field is required.

Apply now for any of the jobs above, and search for more, on



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Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) launched in 2011 to increase procurement spending within the state and connect in-state companies to business resources.  Since the launch, the program has facilitated more than $1.8 billion in revenue for Michigan companies, which translates into approximately 8,500 jobs created across the state.

Consumers Energy and DTE Energy helped build the foundation of Pure Michigan Business Connect when they joined in 2011. Initially, their combined pledge was $500 million per year, and since then, they have increased their combined Michigan goal to $2 million.  Their combined efforts have led to new contracts with more than 500 Michigan companies, highlighting the success of the program and growth to Michigan’s economy.

Here are five reasons why businesses of any size should consider Pure Michigan Business Connect.

It’s free

Michigan companies can sign up for free at to access the business-to-business network, be introduced to opportunities to expand their supply chain within the state, and access Michigan service providers.

Access to Michigan companies 

In recent months, many Michigan organizations have partnered with PMBC to increase purchasing including Ford Motor Co., General Dynamics, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Michigan State University, American Axle, Meijer, Chrysler Group LLC.  With all of them looking to partner with other Michigan businesses, now is the time to join.

For companies that have procurement needs, the website has a searchable database of Michigan service providers, making it easy to look for solutions to procurement needs and keeping dollars circulating in Michigan.

Connecting with buyers through summits

A unique aspect of the program are the “speed dating” summits aimed to establish buyer-supplier relationships through face to face meetings.  These summits connect Michigan suppliers to organizations in and outside of Michigan that have real time need.  Organizations such as Ford, Chrysler, Boeing, General Dynamics, DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, and many others partner with PMBC Summits to buy more in Michigan.

Since the launch, thousands of Buyer-Supplier meetings have been organized and future summits are in development with expectations to complete at least one per month.

Access to professional business services at little to no cost

Small businesses need services as they grow, but are often working with tight budgets.

A benefit to Pure Michigan Business Connect is the access to Michigan business professionals that are offering thousands of pro bono and discounted hours in a variety of services, including legal, accounting, consulting, business education, marketing, etc., to entrepreneurs and any Michigan business.

Giving back to the business community

Interested in offering business services to Michigan companies?

More than 40 firms such as Varnum Law Firm, Google, Morgan Stanley, Rehmann, and Yeo & Yeo have combined to pledge more than 30,000 pro bono service hours for Michigan businesses.

It’s a great way to give back to the business community, and get your name out there.

For more information on Pure Michigan Business Connect, visit or email


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This 4th of July Weekend, ‘Buy Nearby’ and Support Your Community

July 2, 2014 Economic Development

Aunt Candy’s in Rockford, Michigan gets caught “blue-handed” According to AAA, July 4th holiday weekend travel will grow almost 2% compared to last year, which is good news for retailers in Michigan.  An increase in travelers shopping the downtowns and shopping districts in Michigan’s summer destinations means more economic opportunity for small businesses and independent [...]

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Celebrating National Picnic Month with Michigan-made Foods

June 30, 2014 Events

    The summer in Michigan is all about beach parties, camping and picnics with family and friends – even if that is a simple bar-b-que in your own backyard on a hot summer day. Did you know, some of your favorite picnic foods and beverages are made right here in the Great Lakes State? [...]

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Michigan Grads Strengthen Economy

June 26, 2014 Technology Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Michigan houses some of the most competitive schools in the country. The University of Michigan consistently ranks in the top tenth percentile of universities by U.S. News and World Report. With graduation season now behind us, U-Mich grads join an impressive alumni community of business visionaries, such as Twitter CEO Richard Costolo (’85), Craigslist CEO [...]

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Pure Michigan Talent Connect: Hot Jobs in entrepreneurship and innovation

June 25, 2014 Talent Enhancement

  Looking for a job in Michigan? Pure Michigan Talent Connect – a collaborative effort of the State of Michigan’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) – is your launch pad for new jobs, careers and talent. The site is an online marketplace connecting Michigan’s job seekers and employers. Michigan [...]

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Detroit’s Got Talent

June 20, 2014 Technology Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The secret’s out. Entrepreneurs, engineers and investors – even those without any prior connections to the city – are packing up and moving to Detroit to be a part of the magic that’s happening here. I frequently have the opportunity to chat about the city’s appeal, the state of the business environment, and why so [...]

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Molina Healthcare: Where expansion means growing it better

June 19, 2014 Economic Development

  In April, Molina Healthcare announced an expansion of its Midwest headquarters in Troy and Detroit, a project expected to generate up to $20.3 million in total capital investment and create 462 new jobs. According to research from the Center for Health Workforce Studies, nearly one in nine jobs in the U.S. will be in the [...]

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