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      Northern Initiatives turns 20

      Northern Initiatives is celebrating 20 years of non-profit community development here in the Upper Peninsula. The organization gives small businesses start-up capital and information on markets. In recent years, Northern Initiatives has focused on developing tourism in the area as well as businesses run by women. After 20 years of work in the U.P., Northern Initiatives says they're positioned for continued success.

      "Last couple of years we've had record numbers of new loans, our work with the university and the students is stable and developed, so there's more opportunity to have more support for small businesses by working with students, so I think the future's really good," said Dennis West, President of Northern Initiatives.

      Northern Initiatives also gives Northern Michigan University students a chance to work with developing businesses in the area. Interns working for Northern Initiatives get a chance to develop e-commerce and marketing for start-up businesses across the U.P.