Public-private partnership to help turn ideas into start-ups, jobs

New grant facilitates business counseling, access to microloan financing

Joined by community leaders and local entrepreneurs, JVS COO Paul Blatt and Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner today launched the “Financial Literacy Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs” to help equip area entrepreneurs with the necessary financial tools to gain access to more than $5 million in available micro-financing. The partnership is made possible by a grant from Huntington Bank.

“Oakland County is synonymous with business development and job creation and has built a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem with a powerhouse of resources for businesses of all sizes that is best in class. Today, it gets even better,” said Meisner. “Microloan financing is available for early phase businesses but we recognize that not every would-be entrepreneur is ready to take this important step. We’re pleased to announce that help to position Oakland County entrepreneurs for success is here.”

Boot Camp services are available to all Oakland County residents, with an emphasis on the City of Pontiac, and are free of charge. Participants will have access to an array of services provided by JVS including:

  • one-on-one financial literacy education and counseling personalized to the circumstances and goals specific to each individual, including strengthening individual and business budgeting and money management skills, developing profit and loss statements, understanding business cash flow and basic expense tracking for business.
  • help resolving credit collection or credit score issues to better position entrepreneurs for financing applications
  • assistance navigating the microloan application process and help small business owners gain access to capital backing in the form of microloans ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $250,000.

The announcement was made at 31 N. Saginaw Street in downtown Pontiac, a building which has long been a hub of entrepreneurial activity and currently houses LocalHop, an event management platform that connects communities with local organizations, as well as the AlleyCat Café.

“The public-private partnership between the Treasurer’s Office and JVS has already helped hundreds of Oakland County families overcome housing and financial challenges,” Blatt said. “Thanks to Huntington’s generosity, our Financial Empowerment Center will now add the ‘Financial Literacy Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs’ to our menu. Huntington’s investment will help would-be business owners become better prepared to overcome the financial challenges of starting and managing their businesses and applying for loans.”

For more information about the Oakland County Financial Empowerment Center and the Financial Literacy Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs, visit or call 248-233-4299. For more information about JVS financial education services, visit