Providing resources for communities and entrepreneurs to create and retain jobs in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan & Emmet Counties.

Northern Michigan is Open for Business

Access to capital and revenue streams is one of the primary concerns for any growing business. In addition to venture capital, grants, and incentives, Michigan offers a number of business loan programs and financing options to meet your needs. While financing is an important resource, Michigan offers multiple technical resources that provide non-monetary support to growing businesses. For most tools, businesses must apply to use them before ground is broken on a project.


Brownfield Program

Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) can be used to develop and implement Brownfield projects. A BRA is a resource that may use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as a tool for redeveloping contaminated, functionally obsolete, blighted or historic properties that are former industrial, commercial, residential or public property.

Capital Access Program

The Capital Access Program (CAP) gives banks a flexible tool to make business loans to Michigan based companies. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation contributes a small amount of “gap financing” to provide Michigan businesses access to capital that otherwise might not be available, making it possible for the company to receive fixed asset and working capital financing.

Commercial Rehabilitation Act (PA 210)

Public Act 210 encourages the rehabilitation of commercial property by abating the property taxes generated from new investment for a period up to ten years.  Types of commercial property enterprises include office, engineering, research and development, warehousing, parts distribution, and retail.

Industrial Property Tax Abatement (PA 198)

Public Act 198 provides incentives for eligible businesses to make new investments in Michigan. These abatements encourage Michigan manufacturers to build new plants, renovate existing plants, or add new machinery and equipment while growing the local tax base.

Michigan Business Development Program

The Michigan Business Development Program is an incentive program available from the Michigan Strategic Fund, in cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The program is designed to provide grants, loans, or other economic assistance to businesses for highly competitive projects in Michigan that create jobs and/or provide investment.

Personal Property Tax Relief in Distressed Communities (PA 328)

Public Act 328 allows distressed communities, county seats, and certain border county communities to abate personal property taxes on new investments made by eligible businesses. Cheboygan County is among the eligible counties.

Private Activity Bond Program

Private activity bonds are an attractive source of financial assistance to economic development projects in Michigan. They provide profitable firms with capital cost savings stemming from the difference between taxable and tax-exempt interest rates.

Property Assessed Clean Energy Program

The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program is a long-term financing tool for commercial property owners in Michigan to pay for energy efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable energy upgrades. PACE financing is available in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, and Emmet Counties.

Revolving Loan Fund & Zero Interest Loan

Great Lakes Energy (GLE) partners with the United States Department of Agriculture on two loan programs offering up to $2 million in financing, a zero-interest program and a low interest program. GLE requires applicants to retain the professional economic development loan services of the NLEA for the loan application process.

SBA Certified Development Company (504) Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s SBA 504 program provides small-and medium-sized businesses with long-term fixed rate financing for the acquisition or construction of fixed assets. Eligible businesses can secure up to $5 million in financing.

SBA Programs

The US Small Business Association offers a variety of loan programs for very specific purposes offering up $2 million in financing.



Michigan Manufacturing and Technology Center

The Michigan Manufacturing and Technology Center (MMTC) offers direct technical assistance to small and medium-sized manufacturers to connect them to the best manufacturing practices and technologies available. Assistance is offered in several areas including lean manufacturing and continuous improvement, quality systems, ISO 14001, costing systems, management, and market diversification.

Apex Accelerators (formerly Procurement Technical Assistance Centers)

Apex Accelerators are considered the best means to secure government contracts. They can assist in the entire procurement process including registering to become a government contractor, identifying bid opportunities, simplifying the bidding process, expediting payments through electronic invoicing, and assisting with post-award evaluation of your submitted contract and/or award.

Pure Michigan Business Connect

Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) is a public-private initiative that introduces Michigan companies to opportunities that help them grow and expand. The program allows participating companies to find new customers while also leveraging procurement resources to increase their supply chain.

Redevelopment Liquor License (PA 501)

Through Public Act 501 the Liquor Control Commission may issue public on-premises licenses in addition to those quota licenses currently allowed in those cities to encourage cities to enhance quality of life for residents and visitors. Businesses must fulfill several criteria to be eligible.


The NLEA serves both current and prospective companies in Northern Lower Michigan, providing one-stop assistance for location, innovation, and growth.


Core Partners

Get the NLEA E-Newsletter
Be in the know about programs and events to benefit your communities and businesses.