Business Resources

AES brings talent, fosters ideas, and creates community.

What does it take for a community to attract or support entrepreneurs in starting a new business? Perhaps part of the equation is a willing investor who sees value in your community, offers of community and State incentives, and availability of capital?

The Vogue Theatre, Iron Fish Distillery, and Blue Fish Restaurant are all ones that AES helped in all three ways. AES assisted Springdale Township, home of the Iron Fish Distillery, in creating a special assessment district and creating tax abatements to support the opening of this innovative agribusiness. Iron Fish now employs 11 or so employees and is becoming known far and wide as a place to experience their unique product. The Vogue Theatre is the poster business for rehabilitating an old beloved community theatre. Without an interested investor, the community was at a loss on how to proceed to save this historic gem. AES helped raise $1.2 million dollars and helped in the organizational development of the non-profit that now manages the theatre. Obviously, the theatre is a key component in creating and supporting a vibrant downtown City of Manistee. The Blue Fish Restaurant had enthusiastic investors but needed the capital. AES worked with MEDC to create a package of funding sources available from the State to help get this project up and running.


AES works with businesses to secure their future by offering tailored services with high impact results.

Here are a few highlights;
-relocation services
-assist with connecting funding sources
-helping to identify zoning ordinances that pertain to each business in their desired location
-provide knowledge of infrastructure on proposed site/s
-assist by supporting in a multitude of ways to identify needs and goals

Incubator office space can be provided to help startup companies transition from plan to implementation.

The Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides free resources to help plan your business. One fantastic resource is the “Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business.” This information is general and applicable to starting a business anywhere in Michigan. Please download the Starting a Business Guide.


Manistee County prides itself on a strong relationship between public, non-profit, volunteer-led and private business. Your future or existing business in Manistee County is part of the business fabric that you call home even if none of your products or services are distributed locally. You and your family are part of the community and therefore, networking among area stakeholders is a vital part of business growth and development.


Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce
Manistee County Visitors Bureau
Manistee County Human Services Collaborative Body

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