Northern Initiatives Prosperity. Money and Know How

Data That We Track, August 2019

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Communities We Serve

 

Jobless Rates Continue to Rise……

The June numbers were surprising in that 73 of the 78 counties Northern Initiatives serves saw a rise in jobless rates. Most were small and nonetheless, we often see rates that are falling throughout the summer. The jobless rate for the US rose one-tenth, Michigan remained the same as May and Wisconsin rose for the first time in a long time.  

 

 

We have reached 75% of our loan volume goal for the year. This also means that likely by mid-August we will have had our best dollar volume year ever.

 

How Northern Initiatives Fared

 

We will soon be making an announcement about a significant grant that will help us to take our on-line portal, Initiate to a place of more content offerings, more Spanish sharing, and more ways for both large and small organizations to become a part of the Initiate Learning Community.

 

Initiate Keeps Growing

 

We will soon be making an announcement about a significant grant that will help us to take our on-line portal, Initiate to a place of more content offerings, more Spanish sharing, and more ways for both large and small organizations to become a part of the Initiate Learning Community.

 

 

Monthly Musings from President, Dennis West

 

 

Building Customer Intimacy

 

There is something we strive to achieve in our work at Northern Initiatives and that is customer intimacy. What does that mean? It means that we value having a relationship with our borrowers and the means by which to help our customers to be sustainable and growing. To do this we must know their goals and their problems. It also means that we value relationships as much or more than simply doing transactions (making new loans).

 

Awareness and Alignment

 

Reaching customer intimacy is a matter of knowing. In a previous blog, I wrote about the 7 C’s of Credit adding compassion and courage to our underwriting equation. Those 7 C’s are important if we are to support communities to reach their entrepreneurial potential. That means that it is critical to work through disparities that are embedded in our history and their contemporary meaning.

 

Read more about how we build customer intimacy here.

 

Supporter Spotlight

 

Muskegon a decade ago was like many Michigan cities, a former manufacturing hub that helped to build a middle class, suffered from a declining downtown and population. The investments by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County to stave off the decline saved downtown buildings and built a vision for a farmer’s market and food hub that helped the community turn a corner.

 

Supporting Northern Initiatives

 

As Northern Initiatives expanded to the urban centers of Lower Michigan, the Community Foundation for Muskegon County supported our efforts with a Program Related Investment for loan capital and a grant to help us open an office and start lending.

 

 

 

“Northern Initiatives took a leap of faith within an area that at the time wasn’t as booming as it is today. They invested in us from the beginning and have walked alongside us every step of the way from vision to opening.” Shawn Church, Owner


 

Full Steam Ahead in Muskegon

 

Since early 2018, Northern Initiatives has done $996,000 in loans to small businesses in Muskegon County (with $1.3M in loans prospecting). One such business is Nipotes Italian Kitchen. Featuring fresh, authentic Italian dishes, Nipotes opened its doors this past July with lines out the door. And, according to the owners Shawn and Jeff Church, Nipotes is one of only three restaurants in the U.S. built from repurposed shipping containers. Northern Initiatives provided three loans to Nipotes in support of working capital and purchase of inventory and equipment.

 


 

 

Join us today to help another small business start or grow.
 

 

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