Northern Initiatives helps small businesses acquire PPP loans

87 business received federal assistance through the financial institution.
Northern Initiatives helps U.P. businesses get PPP loans
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 4:18 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Many business owners were eager to apply for the second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. This year, financial institution Northern Initiatives helped 87 businesses get that federal help. Of those businesses, 36 were located in the Upper Peninsula.

“We realized that some of the smallest businesses were being left behind in that process,” said Northern Initiatives president Elissa Sangalli. “These are loans that, if done right, can become a grant. We really wanted to make sure that our sole proprietors and small businesses were able to survive the pandemic.”

Sangalli says because locally owned businesses are the heart of the economy, Northern Initiatives wanted to ensure they were able to stay in operation.

“What we consider microbusinesses-businesses with less than fewer employees—are actually the largest employers throughout the state,” Sangalli said. “They range from restaurants to farms, pharmacies, and entertainment businesses.”

One entertainment business Northern Initiatives helped is Sombrero Sound Company, which provides audio services for events like HarborFest and the Marquette Area Blues Fest.

“Last year’s sound season was completely canceled,” said Jim Supanich, owner and operator of Sombrero Sound Company. “I didn’t have one gig in 2020, which is what I rely on to make a living.”

Supanich says he went about a year without income. He jumped into action when he heard Northern Initiatives was offering loans.

“Within three or four days, I was approved and had the money from the PPP loan,” he said.

Supanich says he and others in the entertainment industry are excited to get back to work this summer. He also expects a great turnout from the community.

“People can’t wait to get out,” Supanich said. “I think every live event that happens this summer will be bigger and better than they were in the past.”

While the Paycheck Protection Program has ended, Northern Initiatives offers other resources for small businesses in need. Visit for more information.

Click here to learn more about Sombrero Sound Company.

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