KEY SUPPORT SERVICES
 

BUSINESS CONNECTION

The Business Connection office at Western Michigan University is dedicated to strategically match Western's resources to the needs of the local business community. The office serves as a "one stop shop" for companies that want to engage with the University to help grow their business. By working together with the various resources already available on campus, the Business Connection can assist the business community in a variety of areas. These areas include research partnerships, faculty consultancies, finding student talent and much more!

 

CITY OF KALAMAZOO  

We are an All-American organization committed to public service, with a “can do” attitude to make Kalamazoo a livable and sustainable community for all citizens. We strive to create a work environment driven by enthusiasm, where innovation and risk taking are encouraged and rewarded. We respect the diversity of our co-workers and recognize change as an opportunity, and value teamwork, honesty, and integrity. We celebrate and learn from our successes and failures, and use those lessons to guide us in our work to make Kalamazoo the best city possible.

 

DOWNTOWN BUSINESS DIRECTORY

Search for downtown business-to-business services.

 

DOWNTOWN RETAIL AND RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION (DKRRA) 

The Downtown Kalamazoo Retail and Restaurant Association (DKRRA) is a private, non-profit organization that exists to be a unified voice in the promotion of the restaurant, retail, service, and entertainment businesses of Downtown Kalamazoo. For nearly a decade, the DKRRA has worked to enhance our position as the premier Downtown in West Michigan and ensure that the collective best interests of our businesses are served.

 

KALAMAZOO PUBLIC LIBRARY  

The Kalamazoo Public Library offers an easily accessed and comprehensive source for the information needed by local businesses. Our library staff is available to assist with your business research needs. In addition to our print collection, the library offers several helpful online databases that can be accessed either from home or inside of the library. Capable and trained staff can help find the information you need to be successful in your business pursuits, including materials on how to:

 

  • start and run your small business

  • obtain a business loan

  • locate competitors within specific markets

  • manage tax, legal and accounting issues

  • identify business sources, buyer guides, manufacturers, and distributors

  • search for marketing, demographic and minority business information

 KPL’s Small Business Collection is located in one easy-to-access area behind the reference desk on the second floor. Here, you will find helpful books to borrow and for reference, plus pamphlets and other materials. For more information call 269-553-7844 or visit us online at www.kpl.gov/business

 

MICHIGAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION  

For any company already in Michigan or considering a location in the state, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) offers one-stop business assistance. Our business development managers work with consultants, utilities, associations and local economic development agencies to best match businesses' needs with Michigan's opportunities. From attractive financing through our $2 billion 21st Century Jobs Fund to significant and long-term tax abatements, few places can offer a more attractive financial package. The MEDC is also the channel for continuous improvement of the state's business climate.

 

MICHIGAN SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (MI-SBDC) 

The Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC) Southwest Michigan is located at the Western Michigan University Haworth College of Business and is one of ten statewide offices. The MI-SBTDC provides free small business consulting and low or no cost training and secondary research services for new entrepreneurs, existing businesses, growth businesses, and technology companies in Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren counties.

 

SCORE

SCORE, Counselors to America's Small Businesses, is a volunteer organization providing mentoring, information, and ongoing advice to small businesses and entrepreneurs planning to start new ventures. Our members will assist you at no charge. Please call 269-381-5382 for an appointment or visit our website: www.kalamazoo.score.org.

 

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN FIRST

Southwest Michigan First is an organization of privately funded economic development advisors who act as the catalyst for economic growth in Southwest Michigan. Founded in 1999 on the principle that the most powerful force for change is a job, the organization works to create jobs across all industries throughout the eight counties that make up the Southwest Michigan Region.

 

THE CHAMBER

The Chamber supports, educates and grows small businesses in Southwest Michigan by developing programs that help its members to advance their business forward, providing educational opportunities that facilitate true learning and deepening new and existing relationships that change the community for the better.