Back to the top

2020 Annual Report

Woman working at a shop with a facemask on

The Year of Resilience

Michigan SBDC Annual Report 2020

The Michigan SBDC is pleased to offer our support services to small businesses in all 83 counties of Michigan. Please join us in celebrating the impact of our team and our clients in this 2020 annual report.

Duty Called

In early March, a global pandemic created chaos for small businesses, and out of that chaos, the Michigan SBDC created clarity, guidance, and hope.

With a year’s worth of requests arriving in just one month, we adjusted our approach and programming to support the small business community. In a year where we were needed the most, the Michigan SBDC rose to the occasion.

It is my pleasure to share the 2020 Annual Report—a year in which the Michigan SBDC was called to duty and helped small businesses hold onto their dreams.J.D. Collins, State Director

New Issues. New Services.

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 hit small businesses particularly hard, and the Michigan SBDC had a hand in helping small businesses respond and recover. When the pandemic hit, we started by listening to small business owners, our regional offices, and consultants who had boots on the ground. This approach helped inform our response and understand the needs of the small business community. 

CARES Act funding allowed us to expand staff in all regions and extend our traditional services to help fight the effects of the pandemic. As a result, 70 new consultants joined our team along with 15 statewide small business services providers, aka “small businesses helping small businesses.”

The SBDC team’s ability to distill mountains of information and make it consumable to the masses earned us the nickname, “the source of truth.”

Live Dashboard

In a year of uncertainty, Michigan small businesses moved the needle. This interactive dashboard demonstrates some of the key outcomes of the Michigan SBDC’s work in 2020, including the number of businesses consulted, attendance at training events, jobs created, new businesses started and more! Manipulate the tool to see impact by region, district, and statewide aggregate.

Impact Targets


Businesses Consulted
174% compared to our goal


Training Attendees
200% compared to our goal


Jobs Created
133% compared to our goal


Jobs Retained
258% compared to our goal

Capital icon, blue$241.2 million

Capital Formation
136% compared to our goal


New Business Starts
90% compared to our goal

Their Dreams. Our Passion.

Addressing the impact of a pandemic wasn’t our only focus this year. As our state and our nation continues to have meaningful discussions surrounding injustice and race relations, the Michigan SBDC continued our dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We put plans into action by creating a digital marketplace to showcase 35 businesses of color, creating a tribal outreach position that services the Upper Peninsula, and developed resources and materials translated in Spanish, simplified Chinese, and Arabic.

Client Demographics

48% of clients

Women-Owned Businesses

27% of clients

Businesses of Color

6% of clients

Veteran-Owned Businesses

Ty GrayEL

Ty GrayEL, LLC
In the midst of COVID-19, Ty connected with the Michigan SBDC to take advantage of the SBDC’s CARES Act services to launch a cultural enrichment content creation company that develops eCommerce, audio, and video presentations.

SBDC Teams and Services


Hours of consulting provided

Financial Assistance

In services hired to provide assistance to Michigan small businesses

Market Research

Market Research And SEO Reports Completed


In capital raised for technology commercialization

Consultants Statewide

50 SBDC consultants and 99 contractors/consultants/specialty service providers hired through the CARES Act

Training / Business Education

Workshops hosted

Xiaohong Gayden

Intecells has a lab‐proven system to convert battery making to a dry deposition process in a typical manufacturing environment. CEO and co-founder Xiaohong Gayden worked with the Michigan SBDC Tech Team to develop her business plan, financial model, and patent strategy. Intecells continues to count on the support from Michigan SBDC as it faces new challenges in growing its revenue.

Intecells woman smiling and working

Statewide Teams

The Michigan SBDC consists of specialized teams such as the Growth Team and the Tech Team where industry expert business consultants assist new and expanding businesses with their specific needs for success.

Bar graph icon, blue

Business Growth Team

Services businesses interested in growing or transitioning.

Technology Team

Bridges the gap between technology development and commercialization.

Our Initiatives

Cybersecurity – Small Business, Big Threat

The Michigan SBDC cybersecurity program, Small Business, Big Threat (SBBT), is a leading resource to increase small business awareness of cybersecurity threats and offer tools for small businesses to strengthen their cybersecurity plans and programs.

Focus Four

Vision, Strategy, Execution, and Cash Flow. Focus Four is a program designed to help small business owners grow their business faster, improve profitability, elevate themselves to a more strategic role, and build more value in their companies.

Economic Inclusion

The Michigan SBDC is committed to equitably serving the state. It is our belief that inclusion is vital for serving our diverse communities to strengthen Michigan’s economy.

Gregg Masters

Golden Choice Inc.
When veteran and small business owner Gregg Masters took over Golden Choice Inc. in Port Huron, he tapped into the Michigan SBDC to re-brand the business, design a new logo, and for free consulting as his business navigates through COVID-19.

Partnership Events

Stronger Together

To combat the challenges Michigan small business owners faced in 2020 with adjusting to a global pandemic, the need for a collaborative effort with our partners became increasingly important.

To respond to the urgent and changing needs of Michigan small businesses, the Michigan SBDC strengthened its partnerships with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and with our host partnerships and statewide providers.

The Michigan SBDC has been a tremendous blessing for my new startup. They have opened up new doors for my business to grow each and every day. Thank you SBDC for giving me this opportunity to grow a successful business.Laketa Henderson, Michigan District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration

The Michigan SBDC provided vital support and resources to Michigan’s small business owners during the pandemic. I commend their efforts to help our small business community thrive while promoting economic strength and resiliency statewide.Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan

Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business has been home to the Michigan SBDC’s Lead Center for more than 20 years. The enduring strength of this partnership ensured the agility and flexibility needed to deliver a robust and effective COVID-19 response in assisting small businesses across the state.Diana Lawson, Ph.D., Dean of the Seidman College of Business, Grand Valley State University

We are proud to partner with the Michigan SBDC to support our small businesses and entrepreneurs – from emergency relief efforts to services that build foundations for growth – and advance opportunity for long term economic opportunity for all Michiganders.Josh Hundt, Chief Business Development Officer & Executive Vice President, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

Nancy Russell

Landmark Taphouse & Grille
“[My SBDC consultant] Tamara Davis has been a godsend. I just didn’t have any idea how much paperwork I needed to pull together to even start the process. She helped me so much with getting everything organized and continues to help me today! I honestly don’t know where I would be today without Tamara’s help. I don’t know if we would even be open. That’s how great of an impact she and the Michigan SBDC have had on me and my business.”

Landmark Taphouse & Grille owner smiling in front of building

Onward—It’s Time to Thrive

Spikes in demand caused by the pandemic revealed weaknesses in the SBDC’s technical infrastructure, and we will focus on operational excellence by upgrading our core systems in 2021. I’m thankful for the role we played in the response to the pandemic. It was an honor to serve as part of the solution, and not the problem. We take comfort in the fact that we helped many businesses hold onto their dreams.”

– J.D. Collins, Michigan SBDC State Director

Map of Regional Locations and Territories

Additional Information

Read small business success stories

Learn More

Stay informed on the latest SBDC news via our newsletter

Learn More

Want to start or grow your business? Contact us today for free business consulting.

Learn More