Michigan Small Business Development Center Announces Portability Grant for Upper Peninsula Impacted by Empire Mine Closure

August 10, 2017 - 3 minutes read

August 10, 2017

The Michigan Small Business Development Center (Michigan SBDC) has been announced as the recipient of a $100,000 Portable Assistance Grant from the Small Business Administration. This grant will be used to assist negating the impact of the Empire Mine closure in the Upper Peninsula. There is an opportunity for the grant to be renewed for two additional years.

The Empire Mine, owned by Cliffs Natural Resource Inc., was closed on August 28, 2016. All counties in the Upper Peninsula were impacted, with the Marquette, Alger, Delta, Dickinson and Baraga Counties receiving the hardest hit. Closure of the mine displaced 307 employees and resulted in an estimated $48.4 million annual payroll loss and total annual economic impact of $216 million.

As a comprehensive statewide delivery system for assistance to Michigan’s small businesses, the Michigan SBDC will be able to assist the communities impacted in various ways. Using a common set of tools, practices, business education and approaches, displaced individuals who are interested in starting a business will be aided and local businesses that have been impacted by the loss of expendable income will be counseled.

The Michigan SBDC will work closely with a network of statewide and local partners and outreach opportunities to identify companies and individuals to be served under this Portable Assistance Program. With the three-year grant, the Michigan SBDC will provide an estimated 1,000 hours of counseling and 24 training events.

“We are excited to implement this Portable Assistance Program and help those impacted by the mine closure,” says Keith Brophy, State Director of the Michigan SBDC. “Small business is the heart of a community, and our programs are ready to assist them in every way possible to keep them sustainable.”

For more information contact Hanna Burmeister, Marketing Manager of the MI-SBDC by email at burmeish@gvsu.edu or by phone at 616-331-7489.

About the Michigan SBDC

The Michigan Small Business Development Center provides counseling, business education, information based planning and technology commercialization services to Michigan’s new business ventures, existing small businesses, growing businesses and innovators. The Michigan SBDC State Headquarters is located at the Grand Valley State University, Seidman College of Business in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners may access the services of their nearest Michigan SBDC by calling 616.331.7480 or visiting www.SBDCMichigan.org.