In the previous MMYH Blog post, Jill Bommarito, CEO of Ethel’s Edibles told her story of growing her business in Macomb County. Now hear from Macomb County about how they were able to help Ethel’s grow!
By: Jack Johns, Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development
MacombCounty is committed to helping new businesses grow. I specialize in the food industry sector and our team reaches out to food business clients who have made Macomb their home.
A phone call went out to Jill Bommarito from Ethel’s Edibles and she was interested in learning more about our available services. A meeting was set up at their facility in St. Clair Shores around her availability. I visited the facility and began the process of determining what their needs were. I asked a number of questions to get a good idea of where her business is and where they are headed. It was then determined the type of assistance Ethel’s Edibles needed to meet their goals and to overcome the challenges they face.
A number of helpful suggestions were given at the meeting, and Jill was left with my contact information and useful fact sheets from our partners about their programs. We also sent a follow-up email with a number of additional contacts and programs that would help her business grow.
Since the first meeting with Jill, communication has been essential in assisting the company. Our department offers a wide variety of services and also networks businesses with our development partners to form mutually beneficial relationships. After speaking with Jill and determining what her business needs were, we came up with a specific set of resources we were able to share with her:
- The University of Michigan Industrial Assessment Center for energy efficiency
- Michigan Loan Participation Program fact sheet with contact information
- Social media posting for the State of Michigan to get her name out to a larger audience
- Pure Michigan Business Connect fact sheet to register for business services and to be registered for Food Procurement Summits
- MacombCommunity College and OaklandUniversity internship contact and program information
- On-the-job training incentives fact sheet and contact to Michigan Works for when she is ready to hire additional staff
- Industrial property tax abatement fact sheet to understand how the process works if she is going to add new equipment or expand her operation
- The Detroit Food & Agriculture Network micro grant application
- Site selection form if she is looking for a new location
- International marketing PowerPoint presentation for expanding sales into foreign countries
- MichiganTechnicalEducationCenter contact regarding food safety training
- The MichiganStateProductDevelopmentCenter for future counseling, product packaging, or labeling assistance
Building good relationships is crucial to the process of assisting businesses. Once a business reaches out to us, they have a friend by their side willing to help them long term. All partnership agencies in the State of Michigan have a strong working relationship with the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. Locating a business in MacombCounty means that your business has an expansive network available to help you reach your goals.
From distributors to manufactures and farmers, I’m in contact with many businesses within the food industry. We have a team that covers numerous industries, with a specialist on our staff ready to help the next Ethel’s reach their potential! Our department encourages businesses at any stage to reach out to us. Visit our Macomb Business website to find out what we can do for you.
About the author: Jack Johns, MSA BSP is a Senior Economic Development Specialist with the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. Jack specializes in the food and Alternative Energy industries and previously worked at Michigan Works. He is a resident and former Commissioner of Mount Clemens.