When asked what excites him the most about being a Michigan SBDC Business Consultant, Lou Smallwood replied “being able to use my considerable experience to teach and mentor others.” With over 40 years experience in the restaurant and small business industry, Lou’s expertise is well-respected and sought-after in the I-69 Trade Corridor Region.
Lou joined the Michigan SBDC team after receiving consulting for his own business. “After 40 years in the restaurant business, I decided to start my own restaurant consulting business in 2011. I stumbled upon the SBDC while trying to figure it out on my own. The Michigan SBDC was integral in helping me to successfully start my business. I was brought on board as a SBDC consultant in 2014 to service the Michigan Thumb area. I now have an opportunity to serve others as I was served by the SBDC.”
Lou has been the front line SBDC consultant in providing business plan technical assistance for participants in a community based grant program that offers up to $10,000 for existing businesses that experienced financial hardship related to the Flint water situation. Since April 2016, Lou (and MI-SBDC Consultant Harry Blecker) have counseled 81 existing business clients in writing or updating business plans, a required component of the grant program. A total of $900,000 economic impact will be distributed in Flint through the grant program.
To learn more about the Start Grow Flint initiative, click here.