Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance
The Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) takes a leadership role in Houghton, Keweenaw and Baraga Counties--helping to expand and diversify the area's economic base in order to create family sustaining employment and to increase the economic well-being of the Keweenaw Peninsula region.
KEDA designs and implements proactive, sustainable programs that are focused on retaining and expanding existing firms, starting up new businesses, attracting entrepreneurs and companies to the Keweenaw and initiating projects that create the conditions for future economic growth.
Event: May 8, 2013 KEDA Member Meeting: The Jampot: A Successful Business in the Monastic Tradition
Wednesday, May 8th from 7:30 am to 8:30 am
The May member meeting is sponsored by BHK Child Development Board and features a presentation by Father Nicholas and Father Basil of the Society of St. John on their very successful Keweenaw County business, the Jampot. Fathers Nicholas and Basil founded the Monastery in Keweenaw County almost 25 years ago, and created the Jampot to provide a living for the Monastery inhabitants. The Jampot's reputation for jams, bakery and other items has grown over the years, and is now a popular shopping place for both tourists and residents. Visit their website at www.societystjohn.com.
Members are encouraged to bring guests and prospective members to KEDA meetings. Meetings begin promptly at 7:30 a.m. and last for one hour. The agenda includes time for member announcements and introduction of guests, and for networking both before and after the meeting. A hot breakfast will be available beginning at 7:15 am and is being sponsored by BHK Child Development Board.
For more information, contact Phil Musser, KEDA Executive Director, at 906-482-6817 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
EVENT: MIOSHA Construction 10-Hour Course
May 7-8, 8:30 am to 4 p.m.., Community Room, lakeshore Center, 600 E. Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, MI 49931
This 2-day semimar presents an overview of MIOSHA regulations for the construction industry, and provides participants with both the MIOSHA and OSHA 10-Hour cards. It will cover the following topics:
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Handling & Storage of Materials
- Excavations, trenching and Shoring
- Lifting and Digging Equipment
- Fixed and portable ladders
- Scaffolds and Scaffold Platforms
- Electrical Installations
- Michigan Right-to-know Law
- Aerial Work Platforms
- Fall Protection
- Industrial Hygiene
EVENT: Developing a Milestone-Based Capital Raising Plan
Tuesday, May 14th, 6 - 7:30 p.m., Advanced Technology Development Complex (ATDC), Garnet and Sharon Avenues, Houghton, MI 49931
This free evening videoconference co-sponsored by KEDA and Michigan Tech features Don Baker Jr., a co-founder of Safford and Baker, a law firm specializing in early stage technology companies. Baker has founded Science Commercialization Ventures, therough which he makes early stage investments in technologies emerging from university and federal laboratories. He will present a tool entitled a Capital Fundraising Plan through which companies may assess and plan their milestones, fundraising rounds, valuation and equity stock diluton along the path to growth.
Register in advance by contacting John Diebel at 906-487-1082 or email@example.com, or you may register at the door.
EVENT: Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)
Wednesday, May 15th, 1-4 p.m., Gogebic Community College, Room 100, Copper Country Mall, 47420 Hwy M-26, Houghton
This seminar is designed to answer the following questions:
- What is the FAR?
- Where do I find the FAR?
- How do I look up and interpret a FAR clause?
- What are some scenarios ehre the FAR will come into play?
- How do FAR clauses apply to government solicitations?
KEDA to Provide Scholarships to Graduating HS Students
Thanks to the generosity of many local companies in donating products for its December silent Auction, KEDA raised $1,700 which, in addition to matching funds from local companies and organizations, will be used to provide $500 scholarships to 2013 graduating high school students to allow them to pursue further education, whether technical training, community college or university education. KEDA is working with the Copper Country ISD on scholarship criteria and procedures.
Given the increasing qualifications and training needed for most jobs, and in recognition that increased qualifications translates to increased earnings, KEDA is committed to working with local school systems to encourage high school students to continue their education beyond high school. If your organization is intererested in providing matching of $250 and having your name on the scholarship, please contact Phil Musser, KEDA Executive Director, at 906-482-6817 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keweenaw Specialty Woods (KSW) Receives KEDA Equipment Loan
KSW, located in Mohawk, has received a KEDA Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) equipment loan to purchase a portable sawmill that will allow the company to produce and deliver customers orders more quickly and efficiently. KSW will also hire additional workers. KSW was founded in 1984 in Mohawk and continues to be a family-owned and operated business. The company produces various wood products including tongue and groove paneling, square stock dimension lumber, baseboard and casings, hardwood flooring, over 200 styles of trim, custom millwork, stair parts and handrails for both new homes and home renovations. KSW operates its own kilns, planers, shapers and, now, a sawmill. Contact Phil Musser, KEDA Executive Director, at 906-482-6817 for information on RLF equipment, building and working capital loans.
3rd Flight to be Added at Houghton County Airport in Summer, 2013
Congratulations to the Houghton County Airport in negotiating a 3rd flight to be added from June 6, 2013 to August 26, 2013. The flights to Chicago are currently scheduled as follows:
1st flight - Departs 6:44 am; Arrives 7:07 am
2nd flight - Departs 2:45 pm; Arrives 3:08 pm
3rd flight - Departs 6:19 pm; Arrives 6:41 p.m.
The last arriving flight will continue to come in at or around 11:30 pm from Chicago, overnights here, and becomes the outgoing flight in the morning.
All flights will be a 50-seat CRJ aircraft, sames as we have as present. Just in time for FinnFest! Flights are available for booking right now!
Downstate- Based CONTROLTEC Joins Keweenaw Business Community
ControlTec, an Allen Park, Michigan-based software company, has just established a satellite office in the SmartZone's Lakeshore Center incubator. The company provides information technology and telematics for vehicle manufacturers to identify performance issues before vehicles hit the marketplace. Their customers include the majority of U.S. automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM). The company has initially hired four Michigan Tech students, and intends to increase its local workforce as it expands. KEDA welcomes them to the area, and will be assisting CONTROLTEC to connect with local companies that could lead to joint ventures.
Pettibone Seeking to Fill Positions
Pettibone Traverse Lift, LLC, located in Baraga, Michigan, is seeking to fill four positions:
Supply Chain Buyer/Planner
Parts & Service Customer Services Representative I
Parts & Service Customer Services Representative II
Parts & Service Inside Sales Representative
To apply and to see full job descriptions, go to www.pettibonellc.com/careers
EVENT: MIOSHA Workshop: Personal Protective Equipment Standards for General Industry and Construction
Wednesday, October 31st, 8 am - 4 p.m., Lakeshore Center building, 600 E. Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, MI 49931
This full day health and safety workshop will teach participants to:
- identify MIOSHA standards and sections addressing personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace
- Perform and document a simple PPE hazard survey
- identify MIOSHA requirements applicable to the selection and use of PPE in the workplace
- Identify required PPE training program content and documentation
Interested in Exporting?
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce have teamed up to assist small businesses to begin to export their products and services. KEDA recently met with MEDC and DOC officials and was advised that they will assist local companies with:
- identifying target countries and distributors for our products and services. For example, China is a prime market for selling consumer products through a Chinese web site. MEDC employee WeiWei Lu can help you. Other countries such as Chile, Columbia, and Peru are needing mining engineering and equipment.
- trade missions and trade shows. USDOC employees will work with in-country Commercial Attache's to identify and arrange meetings just for your company
- Help with Financing of: translations of marketing materials, attending trade shows, travel and hotel costs through the MEDC STEP program. STEP can cover up to 50% of these costs. For example, a trade mission to China would cost only $5,900 plus airfare, and STEP would cover 50% of the $5,900.
Funding Opportunity: Small Company Innovation Program Grants
The Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN) has announces Small Company Innovation Program (SCIP) grants to help small Michigan companies cover the cost of university research. These grants support the commercialization of a product or service by providing matching funds to make university research affordable. Michigan Tech and other Michigan universities are members of this network. Contact Brent Burns, MTU's Director of Corporate Partnerships, for more information at 906-487-3674 or email@example.com. SCIP's next application deadline in November 1. 2012. More details will be announced soon at www.michiganccrn.com/scip.
Project: Greenforces Project Update
This local project has just kicked into high gear with the committment of Lockheed Martin and a number of local companies to cooperate to develop green materials and components for the U.S. military forces. When Greenforces becomes operational later this year, a number of local companies will benefit through contracts to design, prototype and test materials and components for both U.. military aircraft and ground vehicles. KEDA, the SmartZone, Houghton County, WUPPDR and Michigan Tech are leading the effort to design and implement GreenForces.
In a related development, GS Engineering has just been selected as the Track Technology Integrator for one of the Ground Combat Vehicles (GVC). The GVC is the U.S. Army's replacement program for armored fighting vehicles of the future. This award compliments the GreenForces Initiative that GS Engineering is heavily involved with by supporting Upper Peninsula business growth through direct defense related activities.
Small Business Loans
KEDA operates a $275,000 small business revolving loan fund (RLF) to provide working capital and to help businesses purchase machinery and equipment. Loans can be from $5,000 to $100,000 and are based on the borrower's ability to create new jobs for Keweenaw residents. Personal guarantees are required. KEDA's RLF can partner with local banks and with the Houghton County RLF and the SmartZone RLF to provide loans. For more information, click on the Financial Assistance button in the upper left corner of this page.
KEDA Welcomes Dematic to the Keweenaw Business Community
Dematic, headquartered in Luxemborg and with offices in Grand Rapids, has just established a satellite office adjacent to KEDA's office in the SmartZone's Lakeshore Center business incubator. Dematic provides material handling solutions to customers around the world including Amazon, Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola. The company has over 4,000 employees world-wide, 1,000 employees in Grand Rapids and, now, 1 staff and 11 student interns in Houghton. The Houghton office will support the Grand Rapids engineering center.
Dematic corporate executives from Grand Rapids were in town for KEDA's June 13th meeting and made a short presentation on the company. Check out their web site at www.dematic.com.
EVENTS: Upcoming 2012 MIOSHA Health & Safety Workshops
These workshops are designed for manufacturing businesses, construction firms, municipalities, and Institutions. All workshops are held in the Lakeshore Center Community Room, Houghton, Michigan. For more information on any of these workshops, contact KEDA at 906-482-6817 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- October 3-4 Electrical Standards for General Industry and Construction: Parts 17, 39 & 40.
- October 31 Personal Protective Equipment Standards for General Industry and Construction
- December 4 Part 85 Control of Hazardous Energy Sources
New State of Michigan Programs for Small Businesses
Develop Michigan Inc - a $20 million, nonprofit public-private partnership designed to provide financing tools for large and complex community redevelopment projects.
Grow Michigan LLC - a public-private partnership designed to fil capital gaps for small and medium-sized, job-creating businesses. Its aim is to help companies to finance growth and assist in transitioning ownership.
Pure Michigan Business Connect business-to-business network, a Web-based system that helps companies find collaborators, suppliers and new business opportunities. The network will include a directory of Michigan businesses and an online procurement marketplace.
State Trade Export Program (STEP) - This program provides financial assistance to Michigan companies with fewer than 500 employees for export-related activities.
Export Now - an online platform for consumer-product companies in Michigan to sell their products directly to Chinese consumers.
Instant Innovation Program - A facilitated brainstorming session arranged by the Michigan Corporate Relations Network to bring together technical experts from Michigan universities to provide solutions to a company's technical challenges.
Contact Phil Musser, KEDA, at 906-482-6817 or email@example.com for more information.
News: KEDA Creates Keweenaw Air Service Task Force
KEDA has taken the lead in creating a Keweenaw Air Service Task Force to monitor air service to the business and overall Keweenaw community, and to proactively support the Houghton County Memorial Airport to improve service and to increase the number of flights serving the Keweenaw. Eric Peterson, a former member of the City of Houghton City Council and a frequent flyer, has agreed to Chair the Task Force. The 20-member Task Force is being formed in recognition of the importance of air service to local companies and to economic developmennt of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The Task Force meets every few months to review air service developments and to identify initiatives to improve our local air service. Most recently, the Task Force met with a SkyWest Airlines representative to discuss such issues as increased air service, decreasing passanger leakage to other airports, alternate landing site in the event of inclement weather and other issues. Comments and concerns regarding air service can be addressed to either Eric Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting KEDA Executive Director Phil Musser at 906-482-6817 or email@example.com.
Federal Procurement Represents a Huge Potential Market for Local Companies
Federal procurement represents a huge potential market for local company products. Some Keweenaw companies have had success in selling their goods and services to federal agencies, including the U.S. military, but many local companies have not yet entered this market due to the difficulty and complexity of the process and to the lack of personnel to devote to procurement. There is now help! KEDA is providing Elizabeth Tolsdorf, who has expertise in federal procurement, with the resources to start up a consulting business, Superior Research Services, that can work with your business to:
- Determine if state or federal government are buying your products and services
- Register with those state and federal agencies procuring your goods and services
- Monitor daily solicitations and notifying you of possible bids
- Interpret solicitation documents
- Help to submit bids, quotes and proposals
- Set up payment procedures, and
- Conduct market research to identify non-government markets, potential customers and competitors
Elizabeth can work with your business on an hourly, per job or retainer basis. To explore the possibility of getting into government procurement, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 906-337-0365. SRS is a KEDA-affiliated company; KEDA members receive a discount.
You are also encouraged to attend government procurement workshops sponsored by the Procurement and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) serving the Upper Peninsula, and to arrnange a visit by the UP PTAC representative, Don Makowski. Contact Don at 906-789-0558 x 244 or via e-mail at email@example.com. The next procurement workshop is:
News: Federal Recovery Act Assistance for Small Businesses
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has created a new web site to provide information on the Federal Recovery Act. to find the provisions that apply to small businesses, go to www.MichiganAdvantage.org/Recovery and click on "ARRA Program Information And Updates," then click on ""ARRA Information for Businesses." You will find information on:
- 5-Year carryback provision to increase tax refunds for small businesses
- Write off up to $250,000 of investment
- Reduced Estimated tax payments
- Extension of bonus depreciation deductions
- Incentives for investors to put money in small businesses
For more information, call the MEDC Assistance Center at 517-373-9808.
News: USDA Announces Renewable Energy Grants and Loans for Small Rural Businesses
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently announced the availability of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency grants and guaranteed loans for small business in rural areas. The grants and loans can be used to conduct energy audits, feasibility studies and to purchase energy efficient equipment or construct energy efficient facilities. For more information, go to www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs and click on Farm Bill 9006 resources. Or, contact KEDA for a summary sheet describing eligibility and types of projects.
News: Long-Term, Fixed Asset Financing Available Through SBA 504 Program
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers up to 40% of project costs at below market rates for fixed assets (real estate, buildings, equipment). Total project costs must be at least $200,000 up to $10 million, and the borrower must be a small business with a net worth less than $7.5 million and average net profit less than$2.5 million for the past two years. The Michigan Certified Development Corporation packages these funds in the form of debentures that are sold in the market place. A bank loans 50% of project costs and the borrower provides 10% equity which does not necessarily need be cash. The 504 funds are provided at a fixed rate for 20 years for real estate and 10 years for equipment. Read a longer description of this financing program by clicking on "finmechs" in the pull down menu in the upper left corner of this page, then scroll down to "Federal Financial Assistance." Contact Phil Musser for more information.