InvestUP is supporting economic development activities to help offset the Ojibway Correctional Facility closing in Marenisco Township of Gogebic County.
Their efforts are focused on developing a resource stimulus program to create jobs within existing businesses and start-ups. InvestUP members mBank, headquartered in Manistique, and People’s State Bank of Munising, stepped up immediately and led a partnership with Gogebic Range Bank and First National Bank of Wakefield to provide a $5 million low fixed interest rate commercial loan pool that is easily accessible to companies in that region of the U.P.
The loan pool will assist existing companies with expansion plans, needed capital improvements, new equipment, or working capital. The fund is also available to business start-ups with industrial or technological ventures that may want to locate into the Gogebic County area.
According to Kelly George, InvestUP Board Member and President and CEO of mBank, “This collaborative approach shows exactly the potential we have as a U.P. region to work together to address opportunities and challenges alike. It’s important to think regionally, to do what’s right for the U.P. first and foremost, not just the domiciled local area. Growing the Gogebic area and retaining critical workforce infrastructure will be a win-win for all in the Upper Peninsula in the long run.”
“This is the most affordable way to start and grow a business in Gogebic County right now,” says InvestUP’s Interim Executive Director Karyn Olsson. “We encourage businesses in Gogebic County looking to expand and people thinking of starting a business who need some capital to leverage this loan pool opportunity.”
The low interest rate loan pool is supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) through several loan programs designed to augment cash flow or provide collateral support in financing packages. The MEDC is also currently working with a local steering committee to develop a roadmap to move the region’s economy forward now and well into the future. The MEDC has committed to fund the study as part of the state’s effort to help area leaders identify opportunities for success.
“This loan fund highlights how businesses working together with state and local officials can address the unique challenges this region is currently facing,” said MEDC CEO Jeff Mason. “These types of strategic partnerships will provide the foundation for rebuilding the Gogebic area economy by attracting private investment and creating jobs.”
Businesses interested in these loans should contact Mr. Anton Ringsmuth, President of First National Bank of Wakefield at 906-224-9581, ext. 105 or Mr. Neil Beckman, President and CEO of Gogebic Range Bank of Ironwood at 906-932-7646 to discuss their plans and submit their loan applications for consideration.