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Smith Truck Body, Rosebush
Curtis Smith of Smith Truck Body in Rosebush saw an opportunity as a hooklift and roll-off truck builder and was ready to run with it, but the bank wouldn’t budge. For too long, he was working out of his home garage – on one truck at a time. And he was struggling to pay vendors up front. He needed more space, more equipment and funds to pay the bills. His local bank turned him down for a loan because Smith Truck Body was a startup. But Northern Initiatives saw the promise and was able to step up the plate. You can support local businesses throughout Michigan by supporting Northern Initiatives.
PM School, Escanaba
What if you could save a school with a 100% employment rate for its graduates? Meet Mary Doyen and Peg Lippens, the women who bought the PM School in Escanaba after working there for years. When the pandemic brought challenges, the new business owners couldn’t find a bank to support them. A loan from Northern Initiatives helped them consolidate debt and free up resources for the day-to-day operation of the school, which is back to maximum capacity. And they dove into technical assistance. “The free coaching, I can’t say enough about it,” said Mary. “I’ve learned so much.”
Emmanuel Barbershop, Muskegon Heights
You can personally boost a community by helping one small business. The Emmanuel Barbershop in Muskegon Heights is an example of that. Carlton Briggs says he’s “part social worker, part counselor,” dispensing wisdom and fades in a city where 35% of the people live in poverty. When the Emmanuel Barbershop reopened after the pandemic lockdown, Carlton had customers lined up for days, and a pile of hair on the floor that kept growing, just like his pile of credit card debt.