Native American media business to expand in Sault Ste. Marie with state aid

LANSING—tipping Point Solutions Inc., a Sault Tribe business member and defense industry supplier, is expanding its operations in Sault Ste. Marie with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.

Tipping Point Solutions, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is a Native American Disadvantaged 8(a) and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business that develops instructional design and other technologies, along with film and media production. The company has recently been awarded two large military contracts and needs to hire additional employees. Tipping Point plans to expand its operations in downtown Sault Ste. Marie and will lease additional space, invest in new equipment and make improvements to the space.

The project is expected to generate a private investment of $157,500 and create nine new, high- paying tech jobs. The company plans to provide training and skills development to the new employees and anticipates providing mentorship and training to other organizations in the area.

The Michigan Strategic Fund awarded the company a $75,000 Michigan Micro Business Development Program performance-based grant in support of the project. The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has offered talent recruitment assistance to the company to help find candidates for the newly created positions.

Michigan was chosen for the project over competing sites in several other states.

“Tipping Point Solutions’ decision to establish a production facility in Sault Saint Marie was based on our strong belief that sourcing and developing talent in Northern Michigan will provide quality career opportunities for residents in the area while also supporting the company’s anticipated growth in the coming years,” said Tipping Point Solutions President and CEO Rick Schmidt. “Based on our experience operating in areas of the country such as Colorado, Virginia and Arizona, we believe our presence in Northern Michigan has the ability create measurable professional and economic impact on the local workforce and the surrounding community. We are greatly appreciative to the Sault Tribe and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for their ongoing support and interest in our success in the Sault.”

Individuals interested in careers with Tipping Point Solutions should visit https://tp- solutions.com/careers/.

The expansion is taking place in the Tamarack Business Center, a redevelopment project of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. In July 2018, the MEDC awarded a $250,000 grant from the Tribal Business Development Program to the Tribe to redevelop the vacant building at 531 Ashmun St. in downtown Sault Ste. Marie. The project involved $417,000 in additional investment and included the redevelopment of a vacant restaurant property owned by the Sault Tribe into the Tamarack Business Center, a multi-tenant business facility. The project created 10 new jobs with average wages of $25 per hour.

The Tipping Point Solutions expansion project was supported through the Micro MBDP tool, adopted by the Michigan Strategic Fund in 2019. The Micro MBDP is designed to promote business growth especially in rural areas or areas with high unemployment as well as target industries. The Micro MBDP provides grants, loans, or other economic assistance to businesses for highly competitive projects in Michigan that have fewer job creation numbers than required by the original MBDP guidelines.

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