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UP Paper LLC wins SBA Michigan Rick Snyder Spirit of Entrepreneurship award

UP Paper provides over 100 jobs and indirectly helps to support several hundred others in the Manistique community.
Mike Biehl accepting the award for UP Paper LLC.
Mike Biehl accepting the award for UP Paper LLC.(SBAM)
Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 10:32 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - The Small Business Association of Michigan recently honored Michael Biehl, representing the ownership group of UP Paper LLC, as the recipient of the 2nd annual Rick Snyder Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award.

The Rick Snyder Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award is named in honor of former Governor Rick Snyder in recognition of his work reinventing Michigan. The award-winning small business must have fewer than 500 employees, be headquartered in Michigan, and have a turnaround story that allowed it to achieve substantial growth.

“UP Paper LLC is an exemplary recipient of the Rick Snyder Sprit of Entrepreneurship Award,” said SBAM CEO Rob Fowler. “The work Michael and the rest of the ownership group behind UP Paper LLC have done to restart what had been a closed mill and convert it into a successful operation is truly remarkable. Their vision, desire, and drive characterizes the very spirit of entrepreneurship.”

UP Paper LLC was formed in 2015 with the sole purpose or reopening the Manistique paper mill, which had shuttered its doors earlier in the year after 95 years of operation. The ownership group behind UP Paper LLC recognized the mill’s potential, but quickly realized success would depend on transitioning the mill away from newsprint paper products to 100% recycled kraft paper for use in bags and packaging.

The decision to convert the mill to kraft paper, along with significant investment in capital improvements over the past four years have turned a once failed mill into a thriving company that generated over $57,000,000 in sales during 2019.

UP Paper LLC provides over 100 jobs and indirectly helps to support several hundred others in the Manistique community.

The Small Business Association of Michigan focuses solely on serving the needs of Michigan’s small business community through advocacy, collaboration and buying power. Today they serve over 28,000 members in all 83 counties of Michigan. SBAM is located in Lansing, just one block from the Capitol.

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