Building Blocks for Local Food Entrepreneurs

Ypsilanti's Spark East, Growing Hope and Whole Foods-Cranbrook are teaming up to host a series of Building Blocks workshops to help local food entrepreneurs grow their small businesses! Each workshop will have a panel of local experts on the topic. They are kicking off the series with a workshop on turning your cottage food business (i.e. baked goods, jam, etc) into a commercially licensed business! This step opens up a lot of doors- including selling online, selling in grocery stores, and using ingredients that do not fall under the cottage food law.

Bring your questions, and if desired, bring your product for everyone to check out! For planning purposes, and to find out more about the series, the hosts are asking that you register ahead by clicking here.

Artisans and Herbs and Food Trucks, oh my!

The Food Truck movement has taken over the U.S., and Ann Arbor is gettin’ in on the action! Head down to the Wednesday evening Ann Arbor Farmers Market on September 3rd for this seasons' second food truck rally, and get a taste of some local, mobile munchies.

Missed out so far on the food truck craze? AADL has insights on how to get your own mobile business started, as well as books from chefs like Roy Choi, who is best known for changing the food truck game. Looking to stay local? Tune in to a great interview with Michigan native and Top Chef winner Kristin Kish, along with cookbooks from local restaurateur Eve Aronoff.

Small Business Support for You

Small Business Support for YouSmall Business Support for YouStarting a new business for the first time can be daunting. There are so many things to learn which have nothing to do with the product or service you will be selling. Luckily, we have thought of all of the potential questions you may have, and compiled a list of resources to help you relax a bit when it comes to organizing your new business.

The AADL Small Business and Entrepreneur Resources page has links for help with every step of the way in setting up a small business. There are resources for finding a mentor, and a list of organizations that can help you get started. You will find information on the difference between a for-profit verses a non-profit business model, and links to check the availability of potential business names in Washtenaw County.

If your business includes packaging food, we have a link to the MSU Product Center who specializes in working with small businesses and helping them package their products. Many of their clients have gone on to win awards for their innovative packaging.

Also included is a list of U.S. government important links about tax laws and IRS information.

Finally, once you get all of the preliminary groundwork out of the way and well on your way to getting your business off the ground, visit our site again. Once you start to meet with clients, or you need to hold meetings, don't forget AADL has rooms available for rent. If you need an ongoing space, in our resource list, we also have local options for shared office spaces.

The B. Side - Make Money While Learning New Skills

The B. Side is recruiting low-income youth age 14-21 who are out of school for the opportunity to participate in The B. Side programs. Qualified youth will have access to paid/unpaid work experiences, including internships and job shadowing, occupational skills training, assistance in securing better paying jobs, career development, and education all while getting paid.

B. Side Basics is a program that provides practice and study in the basic principles of entrepreneurship and business plan development. Participants are introduced to the concepts of entrepreneurship, receive training on writing and conceptualizing a business plan, learn product/concept development, and develop critical thinking and analytical skills. Youth who complete this program receive certification in introduction to business and entrepreneurial concepts.

Digital Inclusion (DI) is a social enterprise that trains community youth in basic computer knowledge, information technology, and digital literacy. The program also promotes technical and business skills development by training youth to refurbish computers and by giving them real-world entrepreneurial exposure through the Digital Inclusion virtual and physical storefront. Youth can receive course completion certification as well as CompTIA Strata IT Fundamentals Certification.

If you know any youth that you believe would benefit from this program please have them contact The B. Side at (734) 487-6570 or at to obtain further information on the program and the steps needed to enroll.

Get the Facts About the Affordable Care Act

Join MSU Extension experts for a live, online webinar to learn how you can get the most out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Sessions for individuals and families will be held on Mondays from 9 am to 11 am, 3 pm to 5 pm, and 6 pm to 8 pm. The same information will be provided during each time period. Sessions for farmers, self-employed people and small business owners will be held on Mondays from noon to 2 pm. To participate, log on to Click "guest" and type any name to attend anonymously.

Call for Community Presenters

North Quad Programming is seeking presentations by individuals or groups from the greater Ann Arbor-Detroit vicinity whose work explores the idea of supporting, sustaining, or establishing community. The Exposure Series is an ongoing Powered by PechaKucha event in Space 2435, organized by North Quad Programming. Presenters are invited to prepare a powerpoint presentation under the following guidelines: 20 slides, presented for 20 seconds per slide, for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds. The presentations will take place on December 18 from 6 to 8 pm. Email to reserve your presenter slot. Videos of past Exposure Series presentations can be viewed on the North Quad Vimeo.

Affordable Care Act 101 Webinars for Small Businesses

The Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority are excited to announce the next set of Affordable Care Act 101 weekly webinar dates. The webinars will focus on what the new healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, means for small businesses. It will focus on both federal and state provisions to help local small business owners understand how the law will affect them. Topics being discussed include small business tax credits, marketplace updates, shared responsibility, cost containment and tools and resources available for small businesses interested in learning more about the law. A question and answer period will follow. The webinars will be held from 2pm to 3pm on the following dates: August 22, September 5, September 12, September 19, and September 26. Click on a date to complete registration for that session.

Fundamentals of Marketing Your Business

Have a business but not sure how to get the word out? Join Ann Arbor Area SCORE as they present Fundamentals of Marketing Your Business. This workshop will provide practical applications of marketing concepts designed to grow small businesses. It will be held at Cleary University on Thursday, February 21 from 6 to 8 pm. The workshop is free, but registration is required.

Google Community Office Hours

Google Ann Arbor is excited to offer Community Office Hours as an opportunity for local small businesses and nonprofits to get their questions related to a variety of Google products answered in person by Google Gurus. If you have technical questions about Google AdWords, Analytics, and Apps, Google Gurus can help. Schedule time with a Google Guru during Community Office Hours and meet a Googler in the lobby at 201 S. Division Street. This is the place for free advice, insight, and friendly, hands-on technical guidance. Google Gurus are available by appointment only so please schedule in advance. Appointments must be scheduled by 5:00 pm the day before office hours.

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