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Finlandia's Jutila Center to Dedicate New Incubator Suites

December 11, 2009

HANCOCK, MI - The dedication of 20 new business incubator suites at the Finlandia University Jutila Center for Global Design and Business will take place Friday, December 18, at 11:30 a.m. on the sixth floor of the Jutila Center campus.

Finlandia President Philip Johnson, Michigan Representative Michael Lahti, and Kim Stoker of the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region will take part in the dedication ceremony.

The ceremony will be followed at 12:00 p.m. by a holiday reception sponsored by Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA), MTEC SmartZone, and the Finlandia Jutila Center.

The public is invited to tour the renovated Jutila Center floors from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. the same day.

"It is our pleasure to gratefully acknowledge the support of the U.S. Economic Development Administration and Finlandia University friends and contributors," said Bonnie Holland, director of the Jutila Center. "It is their generosity and confidence that made possible these renovations to the sixth and seventh floors of the Jutila Center."

"It has been a pleasure to see the old hospital building become a vital resource in our community," said Representative Mike Lahti. "Not only has the building been saved, Finlandia University's work with the EDA, in cooperation with local, state, and federal agencies, has provided a good home for many start-up businesses in our community."

A distinction of the Jutila Center business incubator is the opportunity for collaboration among Finlandia's art and design students, the Michigan Tech School of Engineering, Jutila Center and Smart Zone businesses, and other Keweenaw-area businesses.

Bonnie Holland, director of the Jutila Center, said that in 2007 the combined value of design services provided by Finlandia students, such as product and graphic design, market research, and marketing and branding campaigns, if purchased, would have exceeded $60,000.

Kim Stoker, executive director of WUPPDR, gives much credit to the EDA for their foresight in recognizing the value of collaboration between Finlandia's art and design students and the Michigan Tech School of Engineering.

"I have to give credit to Finlandia President Philip Johnson, also," Stoker added. "When he came into the area and examined what was taking place, he sat down with the right people, had the right discussions, and came to the right conclusion: the Jutila Center was the right effort to help the area and the university."

"The Jutila Center is a step in the right direction for the 21st century," Stoker concluded. "It's a good positive note, and the space is needed."

Delta Business Solutions of Escanaba, Mich., is one of the small businesses that has pre-leased an office suite on the newly renovated seventh floor. Owner and president Jackie Miaso says she decided to open a second location in Hancock because of the positive and supportive small business atmosphere in the Houghton/Hancock area.

Delta Business Solutions provides small business bookkeeping and payroll services and Quick Books training. And starting in January, an offshoot company, Delta Tax, will prepare tax returns for individuals and small businesses.

"KEDA is very supportive, and Bonnie Holland has been really great to work with," Miaso said. "She helped us pick the office facilities that are right for us. It's a brand new, beautiful L-shaped office space with two windows overlooking the waterway. The rent is very reasonable, especially considering the services in the building including mail, internet, and the café downstairs. It's a really nice business environment. We're very excited about it."

The Finlandia University Jutila Center campus is located at 200 Michigan St., Hancock. For additional information, please contact Bonnie Holland at 906-487-7344.