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MEDC | PMBC Connections Newsletter: Mid-May 2022

Michigan Business Network
May 19, 2022 2:00 PM



Midwest Buyers Mission – Michigan Supplier Showcase

Are you a Michigan food or beverage business interested in meeting with international buyers?

PMBC and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) invite you to submit your interest in participating in the Midwest Buyers Mission in Grand Rapids on Monday, July 25th, with the cost of your attendance covered by PMBC, if you are selected. Selected businesses will be invited to join the PMBC and MDARD teams at the event, to meet with international buyers interested in purchasing Michigan food and beverage products.

Additional details and buyer needs are available here, an application is due by June 2.


Small Business Journeys through MEDC Services

Small businesses across Michigan serve as the lifeblood of their communities. PMBC recognizes that among many other obstacles, getting in front of buyers and accessing resources can be especially challenging for small businesses. That’s why PMBC works alongside partners from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Small Business Services team to make an even greater impact for businesses who need it most. Berry Clean LLC and Superior Culture are two businesses whose journeys through MEDC programs have resulted in multiple wins, made possible through a suite of services available to support Michigan suppliers with their growth.

Berry Clean Soaps opening its first location soon in Clarkston, Mich., makes handcrafted products including natural cold process soaps, bath bombs, unique gifts, and personal care and beauty products dedicated for people with sensitive skin, and has become a fast-growing, customer-focused online store with customers all around the world. Founder Jessica Black recently attended the Meijer Market Local Vendor Event hosted in partnership with PMBC, the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD), and the MSU Product Center, where she was able to get her products in front of multiple Meijer market format store directors. As a result, she has made her first shipments to three stores with weekly orders expected. Thanks to its local success, Berry Clean Soaps has restarted exporting efforts with assistance provided by the MEDC International Trade team. The International Trade team facilitates export opportunities for Michigan businesses interested in or currently selling products in foreign markets.


Superior Culture in Marquette, Mich., is a locally sourced, seasonally rotating organic brewery specializing in kombucha, mead, cider, and other beverages fermented in small batches. Founder Alex Rowland participated in the MEDC’s Regional Small Business Support program in 2021, in the Upper Peninsula Food Processing Pitch Competition, where he was awarded a support package that included website design, e-commerce, and other marketing support. After implementing the web design and other support services from the pitch, the business continued to grow, leading to a successful application submission for MEDC's Match on Main grant; the grant provides small, place-based businesses with funding support as they seek to launch and grow on main streets across the state. The Match on Main grant provided Superior Culture with funds to expand their taproom to accommodate continuing business growth. MEDC’s support of new and existing Main Street businesses, as well as the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, helps foster a supportive business climate and provides tools and resources that are accessible statewide to aid in small business success.


Application Open for PMBC Access and Certification Grant

The PMBC Access and Certification Grant is designed to break down the barriers preventing Michigan business from winning purchase orders.

The program has three objectives:

  1. Increase supplier access to local and global procurement opportunities
  2. Improve competitiveness in advanced manufacturing for Michigan’s small businesses
  3. Enhance supplied capabilities and open doors to new industry verticals

The program funds may be approved for:

  • Industrial certification
  • Software access to procurement/bid site
  • Vendor registration/management platforms
  • Other procurement barriers as approved by review committee that are not based on race, sex, ethnicity or national origin

For additional information including eligibility guidelines, visit https://pmbc.connect.space/pmbc-grant-2020/details.


Update Your PMBC Community Profile to Get Connected to New Opportunities

The PMBC Community is a business-to-business (B2B) platform, created by Connect Space, that connects Michigan companies of all sizes and industries to facilitated matchmaking opportunities. If you haven’t set up an account yet or updated yours recently, now is the time to take action to ensure you are set up for successful connections.

Make your profile stand out by:

  • Adding a company logo or profile pictureHaving an image attached to your profile not only makes it more visually appealing but makes your company more recognizable. Let your branding help tell your story.
  • Listing your diversity ownership statusMany of the purchasing organizations and partners we work with are looking to get connected to diverse suppliers. Indicating your ownership status (woman-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned, disabled-veteran-owned, tribal-owned, LGBTQ+-owned, non-veteran disability-owned) will ensure you are searchable when diversity ownership is a focus of PMBC initiatives.
  • Adding or updating your company’s capabilities or supply chain needsAs a member of the PMBC Community, you can now customize what capabilities appear in your company’s profile so that buyers can see the products/services you provide or Michigan suppliers can see the products/services you seek. Include specialty capabilities and industries served to maximize opportunities for buyer connections.
  • Reviewing and approving pending users on your accountWho’s on your team? Each company profile may have multiple users – ensuring all pending user requests are approved will ensure that applications for matchmaking are reviewed, all team members are receiving communications for upcoming opportunities to get connected to buyers, and changes can be made to your profile when needed.

Additional details about updating your profile are available here.

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