Finding your place in West Michigan can be a tough task for a new small business. All of the work that goes into getting set up, trying to differentiate yourself from the competition, figuring out cash flow, and so much more can be overwhelming. With all of that coming at you, how are you supposed to get support of the local community?
Local First is a Grand Rapids based non-profit that promotes local West Michigan businesses. Recently it was announced that Local First has partnered with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Local First will receive $450,000 from the State of Michigan over the next 2 years to expand its operations. The MEDC will follow the program and measure its success in order to determine if it’s worth further expansion of Local First.
A 2008 study of Kent County suggested shifting 10 percent of the market share in a population of about 770,000 from non-locally owned businesses to locally owned businesses could create $137 million in new economic activity, more than 1,600 new jobs and $50 million in new wages.
Local First is just one of the many services that are offered in West Michigan to help small businesses. They help promote and market your small business because it is their goal to see you succeed over a business that is not owned by local residents.
This is one of the extended team you should have around you and your Grand Rapids small business. Similar to the assistance you get from Local First, a Grand Rapids business law firm can guide you through starting your new business too. Avoiding mistakes that can cause your small business or startup to stumble out of the blocks. Often times these are just minor oversights but can be big problems down the road. Talking to a small business attorney can take away some of those other early worries too.
Source: “Grand Rapids nonprofit gets $450,000 from state to study local business development” by Garret Ellison