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Cornerstone Alliance Small Business Services and Michigan Small Business Development Center Expand Partnership

Published Friday, February 20, 2015

Greg Vaughn, Cornerstone Alliance Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, Business Development announced today that they have expanded their service offerings through a formal partnership with the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC is a resource for second stage small businesses and advanced technology companies that provides counseling, training, and market research. “Cornerstone Alliance has had an informal partnership with the SBDC for many years, collaborating on small business development initiatives throughout Michigan’s Great Southwest,” said Vaughn. “We are delighted to now be able to include SBDC among our toolbox of viable resources focused on the success and sustainability of our entrepreneurial clients in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties.” The SBDC will operate out of the Cornerstone Alliance offices at 38 W. Wall Street, Benton Harbor, MI on a bi-weekly schedule.

The SBDC joins the Women’s Business Center at Cornerstone Alliance, SBA Microloan Program, SCORE and  504 Loan Program as strategic business offerings, all available at Cornerstone Alliance; creating a single business development resource for local small businesses. “This partnership is a win and step forward for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the tri-county area,” Vaughn said.  “Local entrepreneurs and small businesses can leverage the full support of SBA business assistance programs under one roof and tap into the expertise of the area’s best business mentors and participate in workshops and seminars.”

Tamara J. Davis, Michigan Small Business Development Center Regional Director said “The partnership with Cornerstone Alliance is a logical fit. Clients will benefit from access to a wide array of services, counseling, secondary research, and training. And, our SBDC team will benefit as they collaborate with the Cornerstone Alliance Business Development team to support and strengthen the area’s entrepreneurial clientele. SBDC growth consultants, Melissa Angel and Carolyn Rourke will provide consulting services for Southwest Michigan. We will increase our presence at Cornerstone Alliance in the near future by adding an additional consultant.”

To schedule a meeting with a SBDC Growth Consultant, the Women’s Business Center, SCORE, or for a Microloan or call Cornerstone Alliance (269) 925.6100.


About the Cornerstone Alliance Small Business Services

Cornerstone Alliance Small Business Services (CASBS) provides technical, business, and financial assistance to small businesses with emphasis on income disadvantaged and women owned businesses. The Women’s Business Center at Cornerstone Alliance and Microloan Program are funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

About Cornerstone Alliance

Cornerstone Alliance is a non-profit, investor-governed, economic development organization primarily focused on increasing employment opportunities, private sector capital investments and the local tax base in Michigan’s Great Southwest; with specialized business services offered in economically distressed areas.

About the MI-SBDC

The Michigan Small Business Development Center provides counseling, training and secondary market research for Michigan’s new business ventures, existing small businesses, expanding new businesses and new technology companies.  The MI-SBDC Southwest Michigan is located at the Western Michigan University Haworth College of Business.  Entrepreneurs and small business owners may access services by calling (269) 387-6004 or visiting www.SBDCMichigan.org.