Thursday, July 7, 2011

Assistance to small business in southwest Michigan expands

Finance and strategy specialists are available through the SBTDC 

Carolyn Rourke, along with eight other finance and strategy specialists, has joined the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development team to assist second stage small businesses in improving their financial management and access to capital. 

Second stage companies are those that have $1 million or more in annual revenues and have nine or more employees.  The specialists have extensive experience in accounting and banking and are focused on working with companies to further their success through sound financial management. 

 “I love working with small businesses,” said Rourke. “It has been the focus of my consulting business for over 10 years, with most of my experience in assisting with the financial aspect of the business.” The position at the MI-SBTDC allows Rourke to leverage her background, which will help rebuild Michigan and create jobs. With the ever-changing lending environment, Rourke, as well as the other specialists, are able to engage with clients to find the right lending solution for their company.

 “My favorite part about working for the Southwest region thus far is helping clients to grow their businesses,” says Rourke. While being on the job only a short time, she has already been able to assist 10 businesses by restructuring their debt to free up cash flow which will allow them to confidently take the next step in growing their business venture. Clients have come from a variety of places, including referrals from economic development agencies, commercial loan officers, other counselors, as well as directly from small business owners.

“The finance and strategy specialists are available to help companies ensure their financial records are accurate and ready for preparing loan packages for submissions to financial institutions, compare their financials to industry benchmarks to identify areas of improvement, use their financials as a tool to manage their business and develop “what-if” scenarios for financial impact on the business for new initiatives,” states Tamara Davis, Southwest Michigan SBTDC regional director.

The services provided through the MI-SBTDC, including those provided by Rourke, are underwritten by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and are provided at no cost to small businesses. For more information on services offered MI-SBTDC, call (269) 387-6004 or visit