Northern Initiatives – Data

February 3, 2018

New Data and Information

This month, you’ll notice a broader set of regions in our territory. In December, Northern Initiatives added management of Regional Revolving Loan Funds through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in Regions 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 – which means we are now administering loan funds that are attached to specific units of local government in those regions. View the MEDC map of regions here.  As we make loans, and those funds support job creation, the repaid funds can be available anywhere in that particular region. We are therefore playing an expanded role in more counties, and at this time the focus of our lending includes these funds, and funds originating through the Michigan Good Food Fund.

We think this will be interesting to monitor monthly and see how a big slice of urban Michigan looks in comparison to a big slice of rural Michigan. Many issues are the same throughout Michigan, and there are also disparities.

The obvious quick look is how seasonality affects jobless rates. In rural counties, the swing in jobless rates tends to be more pronounced, and in some tourist-dependent counties, like Mackinac and Cheboygan, the swings are very significant. Among the 78 counties, jobless rates dropped in two, remained the same in four and saw an increase in 72 counties – contributing to an overall rise in Michigan’s jobless rate.

View the December 2017 data here.

How Northern Initiatives Fared Through December

Milestones in 2017 included reaching over 1,000 loans, as well as going above $60M loaned. Of the $60M loaned, over $12M were loaned to women-owned businesses. This year, half of our loans went to startups – far more than typical. In an average year, we provide 30% of our loans to startups. Musings from the Month

We celebrated the Dr. Martin Luther King national holiday recently, and we want to share a quote from Dr. King.

“For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way the God’s universe is made. This is the way that it is structured.”

Focusing on supporting startups is giving life to dreams, and sometimes dreams are fragile and sometimes they are robust. The challenge for any institution is – can we see ourselves as stewards of well-being for those that we serve and carry on in such a way as to also constantly learn from each of our experiences? If that becomes our aim, we can be far better for next person we serve. Startup customer Bake Superior Bread had their grand opening on January 5 in Ironwood. Owners Andrew and Rachel Brand are providing fresh bread that is made in the traditional old-world fashion.

Loans Closed in November and December

Abby Baker’s Dozen-Chippewa
Bake Superior Bread-Gogebic
Bauman Engraving and Signs-Dickinson
Biere de Mac Brew Works-Cheboygan
Busy Boys-Marquette
K & M Industries-Delta
Les Cheneaux Coffee Roasters-Mackinac
Mell Trucking-Grand Traverse
Michigan Property Rentals-Newaygo
Second Street Juice Company-Alpena
Steve Edwards Trucking-Marquette
Teal Lake Pizzeria-Marquette
Zilke Vegetable Farm-Washtenaw

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