top of page

Want to create a business
you're proud of? Let's get started.

5 Steps to Start Your Business

Congratulations on your decision to start your own business in Schoolcraft County! Below is our 5-step approach to navigate the many resources we have available to help you succeed. 

Step 1: From Idea to Reality

Start with a written business plan. It will be your own custom roadmap that shows you where you are in relation to where you want to be. Any bank, nonprofit, or public-sector financing and/or grants you hope to obtain will require a written business plan.

Develop a business plan

Connect with our local Michigan Small Business Development Center representative for free, hands-on business planning support. 

Nicole Potvin Young | | (906) 450-5042

Tap into free educational resources

Additional free and low-cost resources such as help obtaining market research, business workshops, and webinars can be found at

Step 2: Locating Your Business

All businesses, including those that are home-based and store fronts, should research the necessary zoning laws of the county and city where your business will be located. Never purchase or lease a building without first checking with the appropriate zoning department. 

Check the zoning category of the property and get in touch with the appropriate zoning administrator.

Schoolcraft County Zoning Ordinance Administration

Natasha Rosebush | | (906) 341-3677

City of Manistique Zoning Ordinance Administration

Corey Barr | | (906) 450-3682

Step 3: Licenses & Permits

To run your business legally, there may be certain state, county, and/or city licenses and permits you will need before getting your business up and running. The Michigan Small Business Development Center is always available to help you walk through these steps.

Decide on your legal structure & obtain your employer ID

Determine if you are subject to any special licensing 

Determine Permit requirements:

Step 4: Financing & Incentives

Special incentives and programs may be available depending on your type of business, needs, and future plans. Support often starts with a call or meeting to discuss more details. Contact Victoria George to get the conversation started at (906) 341-5010 or email

Connect with a local financial institution

To help with financial needs contact one of our local financial institutions who are members of Schoolcraft Tourism and Commerce. 



Not able to qualify for a traditional business loan? Learn more at Northern Initiatives, a Community Development Financial Institution that may be able to help. 

Tax Abatements, Grants & More

For Tax Abatements contact our City Manager at

(906) 450-3682 |

To view Tax Abatement options visit: 

To view additional programs and resources available visit:


Step 5: Workforce Development

Our local Michigan Works! office offers a wide range of free services to help businesses recruit, hire, train, and retain employees. They even have programs available that help fund the wages of eligible employees if you quality!


Connect with our Business Services Specialist

Julie Bosanic | (906) 280-6181

Access their online Resource Center

Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! has resources available for employees, job seekers, and they value employers' need to succeed and are there to help grow your skills.

WorkLiveUP is a comprehensive platform designed for individuals and businesses interested in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It covers various aspects, including employment prospects across different industries, lifestyle amenities such as recreational activities and cultural events, and business resources like job postings and networking events. Overall, WorkLiveUP serves as a central resource for fostering economic development, community engagement, and an enhanced quality of life throughout the U.P.

Bonus Steps

Start maximizing your business exposure while building relationships. Here are additional ways to get more involved in the community and start off on the right foot.

 No-Cost Small Business Development Services, Resources & Tools

The Small Business Development Center's Mission is to help your Michigan small business succeed so we offer free support with small business consulting, tools and resources. Provided or developed by experts, each one is geared to help you with a key aspect of Michigan entrepreneurship.

Business Consulting Services


Many times new businesses focus on the first 5 steps of this checklist and forget to develop a marketing plan. One of the main reasons to create a marketing strategy is to help you connect with the right people and customers. 

Create a Marketing Strategy

Make an outline of how you plan to share your products and/or services to the community and future customers.

Create an Action Plan

Turn your goals, strategies, and other plans into an action plan that can help your business stay on track and measure progress. 


There are many ways to promote your new business. Our networking settings put you into contact with fellow entrepreneurs and business owners. This creates the perfect environment for business opportunities to be shared between community members. 

Become a member of Schoolcraft Tourism & Commerce

We at STC are a non-profit that functions as the county's Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corporation, and manage the county Welcome Center. 

Attend a Third Thursday Networking Event

Our casual, monthly networking events have connected business owners to employees, new residents to community organizations, and new ideas and partnerships have flourished all while having a good time at a local eatery.

Schedule a Ribbon Cutting or celebratory milestone

Once your doors are open for business let's celebrate! Schedule a free of charge ceremony to kick off your newest adventure to the community. 

Downtown 1 (1).jpg

      We are committed to the success of       Schoolcraft County and work collaboratively       to create an environment that results in                   economic prosperity for all.            

bottom of page