Community Resources: Business Startup


City of Grand Rapids Planning Commission, opens a new window

Provides information on doing business in Grand Rapids as well as information on tax abatements, business expansion, downtown development, and small business assistance.

MiSpringboard, opens a new window

Varnum law's statewide initiative design to provide $1 million in free legal services to Michigan-based startups and growing businesses. To be considered, clients are referred by business incubators, Smart Zones, angel investors, state agencies, universities, and entrepreneurial programs.

The Right Place, opens a new window

Offers assistance and counseling for existing and prospective Kent County entrepreneurs. Helps in navigating tax abatements, available industrial sites, technology and training resources, business planning, and general financing. 

Training and Mentoring

ELEVATE Minority Business, opens a new window

ELEVATE is a Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce-hosted program designed to accelerate the growth and development of minority-owned businesses in West Michigan.

Spring GR, opens a new window

Spring GR is a training, mentoring, and networking program designed to help budding entrepreneurs in Grand Rapids turn their ideas into thriving businesses.

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW), opens a new window

Nonprofit organization that provides support networks, training, confidence building, mentoring, and financial access (including a $1,000-$5,000 microloan program) to women in the business field.

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), opens a new window

Retired business people provide "starting your business" workshops and free business counseling.

Grand Angels, opens a new window

Offers mentoring, strategic advice, and network expansion. Provides advice on customer connection, management, and venture capital. Typically invests $250k-$1M in early stage companies. 

Incubation and Co working Space

Downtown Market - Incubator Kitchen, opens a new window

Helps food entrepreneurs and startups by teaching new owners about the business of food. Aids with their development, growth, and collaboration. Sponsors a commercially-licensed kitchen space with equipment for food production, packaging, prepping, and catering.

The Factory, opens a new window

A co-working hub, popular among local entrepreneurs for co-learning courses, startup weekends, and collaboration.

Start Garden, opens a new window

Focuses on assisting entrepreneurs going from "zero to positive cash flow." Oversees the Grand Rapids SmartZone co-working space and sponsors various platforms such as 5x5 Night, Seamless Accelerator, Collective Metrics, TechShop, and Collective Impact.

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