Press Release- $89K awarded to Sawmill Rural Business Center

Roscommon, MI, August 2, 2017– The Sawmill Rural Business Center receives nearly $89,000 in various grant monies for continued rural business and economic development support.

“I can’t put into words the joy in my heart, but I can say, ‘the proof is in the pudding’. In these first few months we've had successes that have shown that our services are needed and valuable.” Diane Love-Suvada, Sawmill Executive Director.

In the few short months since the Sawmill contracted with its local DDA to get to work supporting the local business district and setting up a co-working space, they have made haste on showing results. The metrics reported by the Sawmill in the last 7 months include 20 consultations, 6 ongoing client engagements, the formation of 8 new businesses that created 12 new jobs, and activation of 2 empty buildings in the Roscommon Village limits with retail businesses. Still within the Roscommon area, the Sawmill has assisted with the launch of a much-needed day care facility, a farm-to-table extended-season produce operation and a cottage-food product line.

As part of its programming initiatives, the Sawmill has partnered with northern Michigan’s Kirtland Community College to offer workshops for youth entrepreneurship over the 2017 summer break and is also working on a future externship program for Kirtland’s business students. The Sawmill also was a sponsor of the Heart of Michigan Beer and Wine Festival hosted by the Young Professionals of Northern Michigan to make aware to Michigan’s young professionals that it is possible to live, play and thrive in northern Michigan.

The Sawmill has been hard at work seeking grant support for on-going funding to which the following fruits have come to bear:

Northeast Michigan Council of Governments, Region 3 Prosperity Initiative, gave the Sawmill its seed money last summer in the amount of $5,000. This past May, they followed that with another $5,000 to support the Sawmill’s first entrepreneurship program, The Springboard Summit, launching September 2017 in partnership with the Small Business Development Center of Michigan and Roscommon County Economic Development Corporation.

Roscommon County Community Foundation also granted a total of $4,252 from two of the funds it manages for local projects.

The Roscommon Downtown Development Authority, who gave the Sawmill its first contract earlier this year, has renewed its contract for services through the end of 2017 with a sum of $19,240.

Lastly, the Sawmill applied with the USDA Rural Business Development Grant program for an initial request of $78K and was awarded $60K. The scope of the grant supports equipment purchases, support for the rural business development programs and operation of a new co-working space for entrepreneurs, startups and existing businesses.

The Sawmill is planning a combination grand opening and informational session on Thursday, August 24th from 6-8 p.m. at the Sawmill Workspace, 702 Lake St. Roscommon, MI, 48653. For more information, contact Diane Love-Suvada at 989-275-5743 ext. 15 or [email protected] or visit


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