Initiative provides growth opportunities for outdoor recreation businesses.

September 1, 2021

Initiative provides growth opportunities for outdoor recreation businesses.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has partnered with The Right Place and The Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office on an initiative to provide growth opportunities to outdoor recreation small businesses looking for support to start or increase operations. Local efforts are being marketed and managed under The Oceana County Economic Alliance.

An Outdoor Recreation Industry Support webinar Wednesday, Sept. 15, will feature highlights from outdoor recreation resource partners including DNR Parks and Recreation, SBDC Michigan, and Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, followed by a panel of successful West Michigan outdoor recreation businesses moderated by Brad Garmon.

“Attendees will gain a high-level understanding of resources available to the outdoor recreation industry and learn about the successes and challenges of outdoor recreation businesses including best practices and things others wish they’d known starting out,” said Jodi Nichols, Right Place Business Development Coordinator for Oceana County. “Anyone with a new business idea in the outdoor recreation space or any new small outdoor recreation business wanting to expand its products and services is highly encouraged to take advantage of this free offering.”

The webinar will also offer the opportunity to learn more about a first-ever Pitch Competition taking place virtually Oct. 27. This pilot event is only open to businesses geographically located in Oceana, Mason, Lake or Newaygo counties.

Businesses interested in participating must complete an application by Sept. 30 by visiting https://pmbc.connect.space/west-michigan-outdoor-recreation-pitch-competition/forms/small-business-application/submissions/08c79a0c-a50f-418f-bdfd-9d06e869f05f

Participating businesses must meet the following criteria:
• Businesses must be located in Mason, Lake, Oceana or Newaygo counties;
• Businesses must have under $750,000 in annual revenue;
• Businesses must have 10 employees or less;
• Businesses must meet applicable industry laws and standards.

Up to 10 selected applicants will be invited to pitch their business in the virtual competition Oct. 27. Five awardees will receive customized support services valued at more than $5,000 from a selection of merchandising, prototyping, reputation management, GEO targeted marketing, photography and video and consulting providers. All applicants will also receive access to free business services from partners such as SBDC-Michigan, MEDC, and The Right Place.

Oceana County businesses seeking more information about these opportunities can contact Jodi Nichols, Right Place Business Development Coordinator for Oceana County, at 231-742-3328 or nicholsj@rightplace.org.

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