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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. 

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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

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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 yur employer ID

Determine if you are subject to any special licensing 


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 Alison Cook to get the conversation started at 906-450-0353 or email

Connect with a local financial institution

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, Sheila Aldrich at

906-450-2090 |

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

Jim Messer | | 906-399-6806

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.

Bonus Steps & Resources

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.


Bonus: Marketing

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