Northern Initiatives Prosperity. Money and Know How


Northern Initiatives and its customers are on the move

Customers in the News

Our go-to pub in Marquette has gotten even better! The Blackrocks Brewery expansion is open for business.


Impactful Gifts

If you want your money to go further, keep it close to home. Here are some of the wonderful local businesses we support; get out in your community to discover even more!


As Seen on TV

Craftsman Phil Myer just wanted to pick up some quarter sawn white oak at his local lumberyard. He didn’t know he was going to be famous. “Hey, was that your lamp I saw on TV last night?”


Fall Customers in the News

Public Thread is revolutionizing the textile industry. Beechwood Cafe is serving up the freshest food possible. These small businesses, helped by Northern Initiatives, are in the news.


CSG at Italian Fest

The missions of the Continuous Solutions Group aligned with a project to implement standard work at Iron Mountain’s Italian Fest. Even Gov. Gretchen Whitmer noticed.


Community Business Loans

The Community Business Loan Fund is a great example of partners on multiple levels working together to support communities. The 20 communities we work with love these loans.


Customers in the News

These small businesses, helped by Northern Initiatives, bring you everything from freshly brewed coffee to tarot cards, bubble tea to sweet deals. And they’re in the news.


Initiate Is Growing

We just launched a section for Startups, to go along with sections on Money, Marketing, and Management. We continue to add subscribers around the country. And now we’re adding more strength to the Business Services team.

Line of Credit Partners

Northern Initiatives has partnered with Marshall Community Credit Union to offer our first line of credit to a loan customer. We plan to expand the program statewide in 2022.

Perseverance Rewarded

The federal government’s Rapid Response Fund acknowledged our hard work and perseverance with grants to CDFIs around the country, including Northern Initiatives. It affirms our work is appreciated.

Initiate’s Startup Resources

Initiate’s startup resources are in four categories: Idea, Plan, Fund, Launch. The startup resources are in addition to the 300+ existing Initiate resources about Money, Management, and Marketing.

NI’s PPP Success Stories

The Grand Rapids Business Journal and TV6 in Marquette did stories about our PPP efforts, showing the breadth of our lending. “[T]he Michigan-based lender is not done helping under-resourced small businesses.”

MEDC Initiate Cohort

Initiate, Northern Initiatives’ online business resource, is already in use in 33 states. Now we’re blanketing our own backyard, thanks to a partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

PPP Stories (Part 3)

Opening a business during a pandemic is tricky. Jeff and Patti Dewes got some grants that helped, but every time they tried to qualify for a PPP loan they were told Tillie’s Tafel hadn’t been in business long enough.

PPP Stories (Part 2)

Running a restaurant is like raising a baby, said Paola Mendivil. “You have to care for it, take care of it.” There have been times during the past year when she did feel like throwing in the towel, but El Granjero is her baby.

PPP Stories (Part 1)

The Paycheck Protection Program has been a lifeline to many during this pandemic, but there have also been disparities. We wanted to fix that, so we reached out to colleagues, friends, and partners to find businesses that had been left behind.

Our Annual Report

While the world seemed to be simultaneously spinning out of control and standing still, Northern Initiatives stuck to our mission of helping underserved businesses survive and succeed.

Initiate Annual Report

At Northern Initiatives, we’ve been building our training, education, and technology systems for years. That’s why Initiate was able to transition, grow, and help more businesses during the pandemic.

A Note from our President

This past year, my first as president of Northern Initiatives, has been full of learning, lending, awe, and gratitude. In 2020, we had a 25% increase in loans closed, making more than 200 loan modifications to support 268 customers.

TCF Mini-Grants

Northern Initiatives along with TCF Bank offered mini-grants to support businesses during the COVID crisis. This was a reimbursement-based grant, offered to select northern Michigan businesses.