Economic Development News

A model for economic development.

A model for economic development.

Posted: 12-02-2011

“Micro-business on a neighborhood level is definitely going to be the way that Michigan comes back.”
      Darel Ross, Co-Executive Director

LINC is leading the charge in the creation of micro-business opportunities in Grand Rapids. On November 11, the LINC Business Center opened on Madison Ave allowing six entrepreneurs to realize their dreams. City Commissioners, State Representatives, Grand Rapids and West Michigan Hispanic Chambers of Commerce all came out to commend the new business owners.   

The eclectic group of entrepreneurs is as diverse as they come and all bring a different service or trade to the community. Yet they share a common thread – perseverance to overcome obstacles in pursuit of their dreams and the ability to think creatively in an environment not so conducive to economic success.

Israel Johnson discovered his love for barbering at age thirteen and after honing his skills across the country he has returned to his hometown to open up shop. The founder of Klipper Kingdom is determined to be “a cut about the rest.”

Erick Pichardo had art in his veins and Yarixa in her hands and heart, however, they did not know how to start a business. Erick connected with Jorge Gonzalez and learned of the opportunity to open their business through LINC’s Business Incubation program. A series of meetings, stacks of paperwork, permits and phone calls provided the platform for them to launch Epic Emporium an art gallery and gift shop providing a variety of services to the Madison Square community.

Miguel Gonzales hopes that RaiderTek will become a community staple, providing computer repair, classes, and web design.

Kristian Grant, the youngest of the bunch, has taken a leap to turn her passion for design and fashion into a thriving business. Sydney’s Boutique specializes in unique, but versatile fashion for women that accent their life and beauty.

Dean Wiers-Windemuller and Robert Womack are filling the LINC Business Center with music. Southtown Guitar is a one stop shop for all things guitar, offering lessons, guitar and amp sales as well as repair. And WYGR 1530 AM is a local broadcasting station providing a mash-up of classic Motown, neo-soul, jazz, funk, and mid-tempo hip hop.  

Support our local economy and visit these new businesses as you are preparing for the holiday season!

For more coverage of the event check out the following local news links:
Photos from the LINC Business Center Ribbon Cutting - GRNow
New Grand Rapids business incubator starts small to revive economy - GR Press
LINC incubator launches with six new businesses in Grand Rapids' Madison Square - Rapid Growth
linking artists to business - ARTSERVE