Bonnie Nawara, GROW CEO, Announces Retirement Grand Rapids, MI — Following a decade of leading Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) CEO Bonnie Nawara announced her retirement at the end of this year. “These last 10 years have been a whirlwind, and it’s been an honor to lead the organization to a whole new level,” … Read more

According to Dana Precious’s son, her downtown Muskegon grocery store is, “like industrial Muskegon had a love child with funky L.A.” The “little hometown grocery store” carries local produce, organic products, craft beer and wine, food to go, fresh meat, deli, and toiletries and hosts special events like wine and beer tastings. Precious is a … Read more

Manning’s Hometown BBQ is more than mouthwatering food that customers rave about; for owner Derek Manning, it’s a legacy. “I want to leave something for my kids,” the father of three expressed. “That’s important to me.” Manning’s mother passed away when he was just 4-years-old. He is inspired by memories of his father working hard … Read more

Small Businesses Grant Opportunities As we move toward the end of the year, there are still grant opportunities for small businesses impact by COVID-19. If your business is struggling as a result of the pandemic, we encourage you to apply! LISC-Lowe’s – Rural Relief Small Business Grants Details: Grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 are available to businesses … Read more

Preparing Your Business for the Holidays The holiday season is upon us! For retail businesses, this typically means ramping up for their most profitable quarter. While this year’s holiday shopping season undoubtedly different, consulting firm Deloitte predicts that retail spending will go up 1-1.5% during the holiday shopping season. We spoke with retail veteran Michelle Krick for … Read more

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) is providing federal CARES Act funds to help qualifying small businesses expand their capacity by adding weatherized, temporary outdoor facilities. Grants will be awarded to eligible businesses on a first-come, first-served basis with special consideration given to awarding at least 10 grants in each of Michigan’s … Read more

“Bling Queen” Ozetta Aaron Keeps a Family Tradition Alive For Ozetta Aaron, her business is a family affair. A fourth-generation seamstress, Aaron inherited Bessie’s Alterations from her mother, who started the business in 1985. “Sewing has always been in my family,” Aaron expressed. “I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. I love seeing people happy … Read more

How to Show Gratitude While Working Remotely

  How to Show Gratitude to Your Team While Working Remotely Businesses that cultivate a culture of gratitude tend to perform better than those that don’t. According to a 2016 study conducted by Gallup, employees that feel appreciated are more engaged, productive and loyal. As the pandemic continues and COVID19 numbers rise, many companies are … Read more

CDFI Grant

GROW Receives $400,000 Federal Grant to Fund Small Business Development  Grand Rapids, MI — GROW received a $400,000 federal grant to increase its lending power in economically disadvantaged communities and fund small business development. The grant is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Financial-Award. In 2016, GROW received CDFI designation from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s CDFI … Read more

CMS Consulting Thriving After Shutdown Consuelo Maxim-Sparrow is a problem solver. In 2016, while working as the grant manager for Muskegon County she was in a meeting to address budget constraints when she offered a solution.  “I offered to go off as an independent contractor,” she said. “I did it, and off I went.”  And so became … Read more