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SBA & Council of the Great Lakes Region Commit to Area Economic Development & Small Business Success with Strategic Alliance

Release Date: 
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Andrea Roebker, or Mark Fisher,

CLEVELAND – Today Rob Scott, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Great Lakes regional administrator, and Mark Fisher, president & CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum at the Great Lakes Economic Forum in Cleveland. The mutual commitment creates a framework in which the federal agency and CGLR will partner on programming and outreach that supports entrepreneurs and small business owners in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“SBA’s partnership with the Council, which we’re committing to during National Small Business Week, will help ensure our efforts around access to capital, as well as government contracting and exporting opportunities, for small businesses keep the region competitive and move its economy forward,” Scott said.

The Great Lakes region has more than 7.8 million small businesses that employ 17 million people. They are vital to the region’s economy, as they significantly impact job creation and innovation, and play a key role in international trade with Canada and beyond. The eight states combined had approximately $112 billion in exports to Canada in 2017, and of all the companies in the region that export, approximately 88 percent are small firms.

“The Council is thrilled to announce this partnership with the SBA,” said Fisher. “Small business are the engines of the Great Lakes economic region and its revitalization, and the strategic alliance will allow CGLR and the SBA to connect small business owners to even more resources in the region through programs like CGLR’s new Great Lakes Ready initiative that aims to help firms scale, innovate, export, and succeed in today’s global marketplace with a focus on doing business with Canada.”

In 2015, CGLR launched the Great Lakes Economic Forum to bring together leading industry executives, senior government officials and policy experts, academics, and change agents from the nonprofit sector who have a stake in creating a more favorable business climate in the Great Lakes’ growing economy. The Forum allows for regional leaders to share ideas and insights to contribute to economic policy, boost the region’s competitive edge, and secure its long-term success and sustainability in a global climate of borderless trade, investment and mobility.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

About the Council of the Great Lakes Region

The Council of the Great Lakes, established in 2013, is a binational, member-driven organization. It was launched to create a stronger and more dynamic culture of collaboration between the United States and Canada in the Great Lakes Region with a focus on harnessing the region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and prosperity of the region’s citizens, and protecting the environment for future generations. To learn more, visit

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