Small Business Development

Small Business & Startup Development

The City of Battle Creek Small Business Development (SBD) team delivers economic development services to small businesses throughout the community. Guided by the Small Business Development Strategic Plan, the city employs economic development professionals who work to attract investment, and facilitate small business growth and development.

The city's small business development efforts are led by Development Manager John Hart. John works closely with Business Development and Retention Manager Valerie Byrnes, and city staff in Planning and Zoning, Inspections, and Community Development to provide comprehensive economic development services to small businesses, with an emphasis on women- and minority-owned businesses.

Together, this group makes up the city's SBD team, with services including:

Business Attraction & Retention

  • Recruitment -- attract new investment to the community
  • Retention calls
  • Data collection and management
  • Research -- best practices
  • Business incentives
  • Access to capital

Marketing & Communications

  • Downtown website
  • Social media marketing
  • Commercial/retail sales kit
  • Development Request for Proposals

Access to Recreation, Cultural, & Leisure Opportunities

  • Event programming
  • Event staffing and support

Administration

  • Business Improvement Districts
    • Columbia Avenue BID
    • Dickman Road BID
  • TIF Districts
    • DDA, LDDA
  • Property management -- DDA and City of Battle Creek
  • Loan administration
    • Micro-lending and business incentive portfolio
  • Grant administration

Community Development

  • Affordable housing
  • CDBG administration
    • Community Development planning
    • Placemaking support
  1. John Hart

    Development Manager
    Phone: 269-966-3355 ext. 1191

  2. Valerie Byrnes

    Business Retention and Development Manager
    Phone: 269-966-3355 ext. 1193

  3. Jacquie McLean

    Marketing and Promotion Specialist
    Phone: 269-966-3355 ext. 1192