Data That We Track, March 2018



How Our Target Area Fared


Only one county in Michigan and two in Wisconsin saw their jobless rates rise in March, contributing to a 1/10 lowering of Michigan’s overall rate. Talent is being sought out by everyone, and communities that have attended to their amenities and having a healthy entrepreneurial environment are faring better.


View the March Data Sheet (Adobe PDF File).


How Northern Initiatives Fared


We look to be on pace to close over 100 loans this year, which would be a pedestal year. We now have three organizations who have bought into our customer portal, Initiate. The portal offers customers over 160 resources, articles, videos, webinars and small business calculators with a wide array of resources to cover the educational needs of many customers. Through Initiate a coach can offer customers learning resources to support gathering terms and definitions so that coaching time can focus on strategies and tactics. Our partner organizations using Initiate are Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation, Southwest Initiative Foundation, and the Colorado Enterprise Fund. Northern Initiatives uses a blended learning approach to efficiently cover a large geography and come closer to offering development services to all of our customers each and every year.


Monthly Musings from President, Dennis West


When one looks at our portfolio almost 30% of our loans are made to manufacturers. The chance to work with manufacturers is fascinating. To be competitive in manufacturing you have to focus on your efficiency and quality day after day, shift after shift. In other words, you need to have great systems and be able to communicate through the organization on how to execute on those systems.


We also work with a lot of start-up businesses, who ideally will become growing businesses. While that is the aim, that is not always the case. The difference between launching a business versus growing a business is the degree to which the owner has the ability to build systems.


NI’s mix of capital and knowledge is precisely why we say that we specialize in “money and know how.” It is particularly true in rural places that businesses can find themselves not only distant from larger markets but isolated from other business owners. That is precisely why we stay true to our dual role of provider of money and know how, and innovate as we have with Initiate, to support that aim for all of our customers.




Loans Closed in April


Studio Woodworking


JNH Trucking


Teal Supply

Petoskey Cheese


The Little Black Rake Company


40 Acres Lifestyle

Contrast Coffee
Buteyn Enterprises


Support Northern Initiatives


Northern Initiatives wishes to thank our funders, investors and donors for their continued support. Northern Initiatives provides money and know how to start-ups and growing businesses. We invite you to join us to help more businesses start and grow. Please consider giving a donation today.



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