Business Start-Up & Business Planning

Going into business or need help with your existing small business? Just looking for some help or some answers? Progress Lakeshore staff and our partners are committed to providing the best economic development assistance to you. Let us know what you need and we can point you in the right direction or guide you through a solution that works for your business.


Have a request for serivce from Progress Lakeshore? Click HERE to download the form. Please click HERE or email the form to info@progresslakeshore.org when completed and a member of our staff will contact you to arrange a meeting.


10 Steps to Start your Business

Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities. Scroll down to learn about each step. Check out “10 Steps to Start your Business” from Small Business Administration (SBA).


Small Business Resource Guide

Going into business? Expanding your business? Relocating your business? Just looking for some help or some answers? Many different programs and resources are available that may be unknown to you. The Small Business Resource Guide will provide you with basic information to guide you through programs and resources that are available at the local, state, and federal levels. Download the guide by clicking HERE.


Small Business Advisory Guide

The Advisory Guide provides a listing of local resources in Manitowoc County for starting and maintaining your small business. Download the guide by clicking HERE.


Business Plan Template

The business plan consists several planning and financial worksheets. It contains more than 150 questions divided into several sections. You can download the template HERE.


Existing Business Plan Template – Download the template HERE.


3-Year Financial Projections

These 3-year financial projection worksheets will help you (and your business) better understand where your company may be headed. Download the forms by clicking HERE.


SBDC (Small Business Development Center) at UW-Green Bay

The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UW-Green Bay is part of a statewide network supporting entrepreneurs and business owners through no-cost, confidential consulting and targeted educational programs.

For more information about SBDC at UW-Green Bay visit the website HERE.

SBDC meets at the Progress Lakeshore office in Manitowoc once monthly (typically on the 4th Wednesday of the month.) If you would like to inquire about a meeting with SBDC please email us by clicking HERE or send an email to Lorinda@progresslakeshore.org

The SBDC asks you to fill out some paperwork prior to your meeting with them, these documents can be filled out online, by clicking HERE.  Alternatively, these documents can be downloaded and filled out (and brought with you) by clicking HERE.


SCORE – Counselors to America’s Small Business

SCORE was founded in 1964, it is a non-profit organization dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth, and success of small businesses. 

In addition to many other things, SCORE provides local workshops and events throughout the country to connect small business owners with the people and information they need to start, grow, and maintain their businesses, as well as online workshops available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

SCORE provides resources, templates and tools to assist entrepreneurs in developing tools and plans they need to navigate their way to small business success.

For business plans and templates provided by SCORE, click HERE

For more information about SCORE visit the website HERE.


Northeast Wisconsin International Business Development Program

Progress Lakeshore is proud announce a partnership with the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Partnership (NEWREP) to offer free export counseling for businesses to  assist businesses in all the steps to export products. The International Business Consultant, Greg Miller, has 17+ years working in both international trade and economic development. Miller will thoroughly prepare and assist businesses with all the steps necessary, from exporting basics to getting businesses in front of foreign buyers who want to purchase products or services from NE WI businesses. To set up a meeting, please call Progress Lakeshore at 920-482-0540 or email  Peter Wills at Peter@progresslakeshore.org