Michigan once had the fiftieth highest jobless rate. The march from its “lost decade” to today’s jobless rate of 3.8% was a long one. However, data indicates even at the current upbeat rates of growth some communities are still struggling. In 20% of our counties, jobless rates went down, in 12% they stayed the same and in 69% the rates rose. Only three counties, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Mackinac were below the new state average. During the summer we should continue to see more seasonality baked into the numbers but clearly urbanized parts of Michigan continue to fair better than rural.
Northern Initiatives draws closer to its 1,000th loan – follow us on Facebook or Twitter for a contest in support of reaching that milestone. Hint, it should happen in August.
During June we celebrated being awarded a grant and participation in the Wells Fargo, Diverse Community Capital Program. We are now joined with 40 other Community Development Financial Institutions who are receiving support and are involved in learning network to grow our capacities to meet the capital and business development needs of a diverse array of borrowers.
Who Doesn’t Like Chocolate?
One of our favorite portfolio companies is Davin’s Chocolates. From late May to December a visit to the Marquette Farmer’s Market almost certainly means a visit with Davin Makela and a chance to see what new bar(s) he has created for the week. We have never been disappointed.
Davin is going to do a special creation for us as we celebrate our loan performance in 20 counties. The chance to gain a bar of Davin’s chocolate will be reason enough to attend one of these events when we announce them.