Jeff and Patti Dewes of Tillie's Tafel
Jeff and Patti Dewes, Owners of Tillie’s Tafel

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (August 28) — This week Governor Gretchen Whitmer laid out a $2.1 billion proposal to grow Michigan’s middle class, support small businesses, and invest in communities by tackling several underlying issues. As Michigan’s economic jumpstart continues, Governor Whitmer’s proposal commits $651 million to support small businesses and create better jobs.

Whitmer’s plan leverages a significant influx of federal American Rescue Plan money coming to Michigan from the Biden Administration. With these billions in additional dollars, Michigan has an extraordinary opportunity to make critical long-term investments in our economy.

The proposed $651 million to support small businesses will provide needed capital to Michigan businesses, create a robust statewide network of support organizations to provide training, assistance, and mentorship to entrepreneurs, make future-oriented investments in electric vehicle infrastructure and workforce skills needed for Michigan to compete in the global marketplace.

“This past year, the Michigan SBDC responded to massive demand from small businesses experiencing unprecedented challenges. The SBDC helped businesses react and thrive during the pandemic through focused investments into support services,” said J.D. Collins, CEO, Michigan SBDC. “Continued investment in support services for small business recovery as well as the investment in technology innovation for small businesses is paramount to Michigan’s long-term economic recovery.”

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan SBDC experienced a 300% increase in demand for their small business support services, including no-cost business consulting, business education webinars, assistance applying for state and federal economic relief programs, and strategic consulting on adjusting business operations to survive the crisis. 

“We cannot imagine being where we are without the help and support of the Michigan SBDC,” commented Jeff and Patti Dewes, owners of Tillie’s Tafel in Petoskey, MI.  “The SBDC helped us secure a grant for the development of our website, guided us through a systematic marketing program along, and helped us develop a solid business plan. We are grateful for the day that our Michigan SBDC consultant walked through our door.”

Demand for the Michigan SBDC’s statewide small business services remains 1.5x higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the continued need for investment in support services. 

“Our team of small business consultants are well-positioned to help Michigan’s businesses benefit from the Economic Jumpstart Plan,” said Collins. “We are actively helping businesses navigate the changing pandemic climate and look forward to supporting Michigan’s continued recovery.”

About the Michigan SBDC

The Michigan Small Business Development Center provides 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


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