Northern Initiatives Prosperity. Money and Know How

Customers in the News

One-year celebrations, Michigan Celebrates Small Business, NI’s new office, and more

Sleepy Dog Books is open!

Sleepy Dog BooksA husband and wife duo are opening a new bookstore. The store will sell all kinds of genres, including books by Michigan authors.


Sleepy Dog Books will be the only locally owned bookstore in the Mount Pleasant area.


“So, Jenny always used the literacy strategy of the kids reading out loud to each other but also to our dogs. So, we have big golden retrievers, and the dogs would sleep as the kids would read to them. So that’s where Sleepy Dog Books came from,” said Riley Justis, one of the owners.


Watch the story at WNEM.


A new ‘ecosystem’

Bacon BuildingInside the newly renovated Kaufman Block building on Washington Street, economic development organizations are moving in to improve collaboration and innovation.


They are Accelerate UP, Invent@NMU, LSCP, Northern Initiatives, InvestUP, Innovate Marquette SmartZone and Northwest Michigan PTAC. In recent years, the 55,000 square foot space has been as much as 80% vacant.


“We’ve had a vision for a long time as an organization to put all the economic development organizations in the same building, there’s a lot of collaborative things that can happen. And if you look at many other organizations around the nation who are successful in economic development they have what you call an innovation hub,” said Innovate Marquette SmartZone CEO Joe Thiel.


Watch the story at Upper Michigan Source.


More About Our Move

New locationAs promised when they purchased the building, Veridea has returned the facility to its previous vibrant self, with several area entrepreneurial organizations already moved in and going full-steam.


Called ‘economic development organizations,’ or EDOs, the new tenants include: Accelerate UP, Innovate Marquette SmartZone, Lake Superior Community Partnership (LSCP), Invent@NMU, InvestUP, Northern Initiatives, as well as Northern Michigan University.


The idea is to bring all these collaborative partners together under one roof to better offer the new wave of entrepreneurs the services and support they need to get their dream off the pillow and on to the street.


Read more at Word on the Street.


GRNoir Celebrates

GRNoirThe owners of GR Noir, a downtown Grand Rapids business, have a lot to celebrate as they continue their dream of making the wine industry more inclusive.


The wine and jazz bar has been in business for a little more than a year now and the owners recently released the second wine in their collection.


It’s all part of their goal to make wine more accessible to everyone.


Watch the story at WZZM13.


Michigan Celebrates Small Business

Hungry HippieThe Hungry Hippie, of Alpena, is a Michigan Best Small Business.


Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB) is the most prestigious small business awards program in the state of Michigan. The mission of the program is to honor and recognize Michigan’s small business people as well as the champions and advocates that support them.


The Hungry Hippie started as a food truck, and moved into its new location on Ripley Ave. in Alpena in November 2021. Now open year round!


See the list of awardees.