DBMA Owosso, LLC & Barrister Brewing Co. LLC

902 W Main St
Owosso MI, 49967

What are two couples planning for Westown Owosso? Renovating a site on the National Register of Historic Places from a vacant, functionally obsolete building into a mixed-use development, of course—as their first foray into entrepreneurship. 

Barbara and Dan Nees and Don and Melissa Hall formed DBMA Owosso, LLC (DBMA) and Barrister Brewing Co., LLC to convert the historic building into two second floor market rate apartments and a ground floor commercial tenant: Barrister Brewing, their new microbrewery bar and restaurant. The refurbished building is seen by many as a future hub for neighborhood revitalization and community connections.

During the height of COVID-19, Barbara sought out the Michigan Small Business Development Center’s assistance to secure funding for the project. The team worked remotely with their business consultant for nearly one year to hone their business plan and to prepare their pitch for lending institutions. Their hard work paid off when they secured a business loan and received several grants, including the Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant, a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development grant and a city of Owosso Main Street program grant.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Michigan SBDC for the support they provided during a time when we couldn’t even work with them face to face,” said Barbara. “Since then, we’ve spent hours learning the ‘language of business’ and refining our business model with our consultants Harry Blecker and Emily Marrah.” 

The building’s apartments are already occupied, but the finishing touches remain to be completed on Barrister Brewing’s space. The establishment estimates it will create nine full-time jobs and is targeting a soft opening in January 2024.

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