Northern Initiatives Grant

A federal grant coming to the U.P. should help small businesses expand and hire some new workers.

Northern Initiatives is a private nonprofit group in Marquette.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has just given it more than $780,000.

Northern Initiatives president Dennis West says the money will be used for low–interest loans as an aid to businesses that want to add jobs on their way out of the recession.

The loans will go to up to 15 businesses, allowing the businesses to add at least 60 new jobs.

Any business that goes through a Northern Initiatives training workshop can get a loan.

Northern Initiatives business consultant Scott Byrnes says the workshop is a comprehensive training session for businesses of any kind.

This particular program is only available for u–p businesses right now.

But Byrnes says it should expand to the lower peninsula soon.