Traverse Chamber Bulletin
Top Talk
July 13, 2016
Virtual Candidates Forum Launched
An online candidate forum featuring candidates in several races for state and federal office across the region is available through the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance.

The Chamber this week launched its latest version of its Virtual Candidates Forum in advance of the August 2 primary election.  The digital format highlights the candidates and includes their written responses to a series of questions on regional, state and federal issues.  They include candidates in the First and Fourth Congressional districts for the U.S. House of Representatives, and for the state House of Representatives in the 101st, 102nd, 103rd, 104th, 105th, 106th, 107th and 110th districts.

"The Virtual Candidates Forum provides an opportunity for people to hear directly from the candidates about who they are and their positions on key issues facing our region and its business community," said Kent Wood, Director of Government Relations for the Chamber Alliance and the Traverse City Area Chamber.

Click here to view the 2016 Virtual Candidates Forum.
Chamber Supports TADL Millage
An upcoming millage renewal for the Traverse Area District Library (TADL) is supported by the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber's Board of Directors recently endorsed the .9548-mills being sought over the next 10 years by TADL that goes before local voters at the August 2 primary election. It would replace a 20-year voter-approved millage levy that expired in 2015.

"The Traverse Area District Library is an incredible asset for our region," said Russ Knopp, chairman of the Chamber's Government Relations Committee. "It allows our citizens access to resources in many forms such as the latest hot novel, research, entertainment as well as wonderful gathering spaces. It is imperative that we support the upcoming millage renewal on August 2."
Click here to learn more.
IMPACT |  Advocacy for Business
State Infrastructure Commission Seeks Input
The 21st Century Michigan Infrastructure Commission appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to develop innovative, long-range solutions for Michigan's infrastructure needs gathered at the Traverse City Area Chamber this week to hear from business and community leaders in the Grand Traverse region. Members of the commission include Chamber Young Professional Ben LaCross and several Chamber board members were also part of the discussion.

"Improving Michigan's infrastructure today and for future generations is a responsibility all of us should take seriously," Gov. Snyder said. "I applaud the Commission for its efforts to gather public input. I encourage Michiganders to visit the website, attend the listening tour stops, and provide ideas for how we can better create safe and reliable infrastructure in our state."

The commission this week announced a new website designed to gather public input and provide updates on its work. Go to   www.miinfrastructurecommission.com  for opportunities to participate in online discussions and polls, learn about upcoming events, and find recent news stories about Michigan's infrastructure.
Conference Call Available on Overtime Pay Changes
New federal rules on overtime pay going into effect on December 1, 2016 will have a major impact on some employers. The new rules will raise the salary threshold for employees exempt from required overtime pay from $23,660 per year ($455 per week) to $50,440 per year ($970 per week).

Chamber Government Relations Director Kent Wood has organized a conference call with experts from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce next Wednesday, July 20, starting at 11 a.m. to discuss the impact of the new overtime rules and how to prepare for their implementation. The event is exclusively for Chamber members and businesses within the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. If you'd like to participate in the conference call, contact Kent Wood at kentw@tcchamber.org.
CONNECT |  Events and Programs
Crystal Mountain Resort
Time Running Out for Chamber Golf Outing
We're just over a month out from the Chamber's Annual Golf Outing. It happens August 17 starting at 10:30 a.m. at Crystal Mountain Resort in beautiful Benzie County.

Available tee times are dwindling so sign up today to make sure you don't miss out.  The event supports Chamber Leadership programming and is the primary source of funds for scholarships to the Leadership Grand Traverse program.  Registration includes 18 holes of golf, lunch and dinner, a registration prize, and drink and raffle tickets. It's a terrific way to spend a day in Northern Michigan's great outdoors while supporting the programs of the Traverse City Area Chamber.

The Chamber Golf Outing is presented by:

Join Us for Pints & Politics on July 28
The Aug. 2 primary election is fast approaching and it's important to know where your candidates stand. Several candidates seeking state and federal office will be part of the Chamber's next Pints & Politics event, coming up July 28 from 4 - 6 p.m. at Right Brain Brewery.

The Pints & Politics series gives Chamber members exclusive access to local, state and federal officials to share their concerns and ideas as business people in Northern Michigan. It's free to Chamber members but pre-registration is requested. Sign up today. 

Pints & Politics is presented by:

INSPIRE |  Leadership Development
Apply for Leadership Grand Traverse
Planning is underway for the Fall 2016 semester of Leadership Grand Traverse, the Chamber's flagship leadership development program now in its third decade of grooming potential leaders to serve the Grand Traverse area.

LGT teaches participants about the institutions that shape our region in areas including education, recreation, local and state government, arts and culture, health and human services and more. Members of LGT create enduring personal and professional connections while learning about the qualities and techniques of real community leaders. The Fall semester kicks off in September, and the deadline to apply is August 19. Scholarship opportunities are available. Click here to learn more.   

Chamber Leadership programming is supported by:

Check Out the Weekly Entrepreneur Focus
Northern Michigan is home to hundreds of business success stories. Each week on the Chamber's Weekly Entrepreneur Focus on NewsTalk 580, we sit down with local business owners to talk about their ideas, inspiration and the sweat equity to start, run and grow their operations. It's a fast-paced half-hour each Wednesday morning in the 8:30 time slot with WTCM-AM morning host Ron Jolly and Chamber Communication Manager Bill O'Brien, so be sure to tune in.

If you missed an episode or would like to hear one again, check out the WEF Archive on the Chamber's website.

The Chamber's Weekly Entrepreneur Focus is sponsored by:
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In Case you
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