Small Business Development Center Expands Services to Aid COVID-19 Recovery

February 4, 2021 - 5 minutes read

FEBRUARY 2, 2021— The Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a statewide small business support organization, has expanded its no-cost services to reflect the needs of small businesses continuing to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses in all 83 counties in Michigan will benefit from new support services including accounting, e-commerce website development, human resource support and more.

“The pandemic hit small businesses exceptionally hard, and demand for SBDC services skyrocketed. We’ve doubled our staff and extended services into key areas that will expedite small business recovery,” commented J.D. Collins, State Director of the Michigan SBDC. “These services provide immediate value for businesses responding to the pandemic; an online menu for a restaurant, mental health support for struggling staff or child care focused consulting are just a few of the services that are part of our comeback kit.”

In close partnership with the State of Michigan, the Michigan SBDC continues to work towards enhancing Michigan’s economic well-being by providing consulting, training and market research for new ventures, existing small businesses and advanced technology companies.

“Our small businesses are a vital part of our state and we all must do our part to support them throughout the pandemic,” said Governor Whitmer. “The Michigan SBDC’s services will help small businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and help them continue to serve communities across the state. I am grateful to organizations like Michigan SBDC who are committed to keeping our economy and small business strong.”

The SBDC has contracted Michigan-based small businesses to deliver its expanded services including website development agencies, branding agencies, social media agencies, accountants, EAP programs and more. These no-cost services are available through September 2021 and are complemented by the SBDC’s well-established team of business consultants who provide free, one-on-one consulting to small businesses in all 83 counties.

“The stressors of COVID-19 have challenged business owners and their employees in extreme ways, including elevated rates of depression and anxiety,” remarked Bob VandePol, Executive Director of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services. “Through the Michigan SBDC’s small business recovery program, entrepreneurs now have access to Pine Rest’s Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) aim to support employers by training leaders, counseling employees and their families, and providing resources to reduce life’s stressors. We are honored to support the business objectives and the human objectives of Michigan small businesses.”

Along with EAP services, eligible small businesses may take advantage of the following services offered through the CARES Act funding:

  • Accounting
  • Branding
  • Graphic Design
  • Website Development
  • E-Commerce Support
  • Human Resource Support

“I am happy that I was referred to the SBDC,” said Kristin Andrews, owner of Blue Fish Learning Center.  “My SBDC consultant has been a tremendous resource in opening my business, staying afloat in a pandemic and even more. I am truly grateful for the services offered by the SBDC.”

All entrepreneurs and small businesses can access free consulting through the SBDC at any time. To qualify for the SBDC’s expanded small business recovery program, a business must:

  1. Be a client of the Michigan SBDC
  2. Have Gross Revenue under $1M
  3. Have a demonstrated need for such services as a way to pivot or survive the crisis

Individuals can register for SBDC services and learn more about our small business recovery program at SBDCMichigan.org/Recovery.

About the Michigan SBDC

The Michigan Small Business Development Center provides no-cost consulting, business education, market research and technology commercialization to new and existing businesses throughout Michigan’s 83 counties. Michigan SBDC services are available through the support of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Entrepreneurs and small business owners may access the services of their nearest Michigan SBDC by visiting www.sbdcmichigan.org.

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