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Michigan District Office

Success Stories

Success Stories

Sue and Kevin Burns never dreamed that a botched batch of laundry would turn their world upside down.  That’s exactly what happened when Kevin accidently washed one of Sue’s wool sweaters, rendering it useless.  Unless…Sue began thinking…she could someone reuse the beautiful wool and make something for her daughter.  And that was the beginning of Baabaazuzu, a little company that started from one useless article of clothing. 

That was in 2007 and today, Baabaazuzu is a manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer of fashionable clothes for women.  The company has received six SBA guaranteed loans to grow the business.  The most recent loans, approved in 2011, helped the company with inventory and marketing.  Baabaazuzu also received a State Trade and Export Promotion grant administered through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and funded by the SBA.  The grant enabled the company to participate in a Canadian trade mission.  The trade mission was a complete success with... Read More

Trained French pastry chef and baker, Sandy Bierlein, owner of Sweet Sandy B’s in the historic shopping district in downtown Bay City, MI has been perfecting her special recipe for success since she was a little girl.

“It all begins with love and passion,” said Bierlein. “As a child I loved watching my mom bake, as I grew older baking was my passion.”  When she was in college, Bierlein made it her mission to make the best chocolate chip cookies.

As her passion for baking intensified, she learned that although many people may have a favorite food, most everyone loved sweets.  She also saw how sharing a homemade treat could bring about a smile and turn a bad day around.  It was then that Bierlein decided to create a plan that would take her from the kitchen of her home to a busy downtown storefront.

To be successful, Bierlein knew she had to receive professional training and enrolled in the French Pastry School in Chicago where she learned from world renowned... Read More

JEMS Technology LLC, an Orion, Michigan firm is revolutionizing the way health care professionals do business.  The company develops and manufactures a telemedicine solution that has many applications in the health care industry.

Using a smart device or cell phone, a physician can consult a surgery, a neurologist can complete a full stroke evaluation, a family practioner can practice medicine, or an injured or ailing prisoner can be safely diagnosed - without the imminent dangers of transportation.  JEMS is the only company in the world that provides consultative physicians with a live video that is secure anytime and anywhere by delivering a live streaming video to a physician’s smart device using WIFI or 3 and 4 g networks.

The company has had great success in the U.S. selling to health care facilities and EMS vehicles and was looking to test the waters in the Chinese healthcare market.  Research indicated that this technology would be of significant clinical value... Read More

The SBA funded Women’s Business Center at Cornerstone Alliance in Benton Harbor, MI is proud of the accomplishments of Patricia McMichael, a client of the WBC.  Her new business venture, Always There HHC, LLC, a quality home health care service business is the result of much hard work, years of experience and a lot of help from Cornerstone Alliance.  The company provides home health care services to clients in need of additional assistance with day to day living.  Examples of services provided include, but are not limited to, meal preparation, medication reminders, grooming guidance, and respite care services.  The mission of Always There HHC, LLC is to provide its clients with continued support towards a positive quality of life.

Patricia McMichael worked in the elderly care field for many years and in doing so, she found her passion to take care of those that needed one-on-one help and support.  After finding her passion, she decided to become a Certified Nurse Assistant... Read More