The Business Center of Southwestern Michigan, which is an example of entrepreneurialism at its very best, is hosting a celebration on Wednesday, July 11, to showcase its 22 business partners.
The public is invited to attend the event, at the former National Copper building that now serves as the Business Center and meet the many Dowagiac businesses located within. Located at 415 E. Prairie Ronde, the celebration will be held in the West Wing Training Center from 4 to 6 p.m. The event will be held in conjunction with the Chamber’s Business After Hours social gathering.
Chamber member Brian DeLong is vice president of Prairie Ronde Realty Company, which is the center’s property management entity.
“We want to showcase to the region the services and products our business partners offer,” DeLong said. “This will be a wonderful opportunity for business leaders, city and chamber officials, and county and regional economic development leaders to network with one another.”
“In 2008, when the banking crisis threw our economy into a tail spin, many companies were downsizing or closing,” DeLong said. “The copper tube business, located in our facility, also fell victim and closed.”
“Rather than becoming another statistic, we decided to become part of the solution,” Delong said. “We saw that many individuals were losing their jobs, some of whom were talented entrepreneurs. We wanted to partner with them and help them start their own business, and in doing so, help grow our local economy. To accomplish this, in 2010 the Business Center of Southwestern Michigan was opened.”
DeLong said the business center provides an inexpensive option for an entrepreneur to start a company with minimal capital, thereby removing some of the barriers they previously faced. The center also provides: flexible leasing options, reduced utility rates, assistance with tenant improvement projects, shared dock and rail access, and flex space for seasonal or temporary usage. It also provides human resource assistance, leadership, managerial consulting and facilitation of other professional services.
The center’s 22 business partners employ approximately 50 people at the Dowagiac facility. Its tenants include: Anything & Everything featuring on-line wholesale and retail, Coastline Title Agency, Creative Foam, Division Tire & Battery, Michigan Precision & Engineering, Erik’s Carpeting Cleaning, warehousing for Lake X-Ray, the economic development offices of Mno Bmadsen, the repair shop for Myer’s Forklift, North American Forest Product, warehouse space for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Prairie Ronde Realty Company, R & D Plumbing, Roger Smith Construction, warehouse space for RV/Boat, Skeleton’s & More, Symbiotic Ag Products, System Clean Inc., TRAAC Designs, Unique Cutting & Metal Works, Walnut Ridge Farms and Weaver’s Insurance Agency.
To RSVP call the Chamber at 782.8212.