Traverse Chamber Bulletin
Top Talk
February 3, 2016
Get Ready for Prime Time
It's time - time to welcome dozens of new members to the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce with special thanks for joining during our highly successful Membership Event in December.

Prime Time is a special Expo-style program that's free to our Membership Event joiners to show off their goods and services to fellow Chamber businesses and the public. First launched following our membership push in 2013, Prime Time is a great way for our new members to introduce themselves to the local business community, and for our long-time members to get acquainted with their new Chamber associates.

Prime Time is set for Tuesday, March 1, from 5 - 7 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College's Hagerty Center. Click here for registration information.

Apply for the Small Business Celebration
More than 200 area businesses were nominated for the Chamber's 2016 Small Business Celebration! Thanks to everyone who submitted nominations - and now the real fun begins.

If your business is among this year's SBC nominees, you'll be contacted by Chamber staff in the near future to encourage your participation. Why should your business take part in the Small Business Celebration? Click here for a video that explains more.

Businesses that take part in the Small Business Celebration are also featured in the SBC Candidates Showcase, set this year for March 16 from 5 - 7 p.m. The Candidates Showcase is attended by hundreds of Chamber members and the general public and is a great opportunity to highlight the products and services of your company to a large audience. Click hereto learn more about the application process.

Following the SBC Candidates Showcase, the momentum builds toward the Meet the Top 10 Breakfast on April 19 where we honor this year's SBC finalists, followed by the SBC Awards Ceremony on May 4 where we crown the 2016 Hagerty Small Business of the Year.  All SBC events are held at NMC's Hagerty Center.

The Chamber's Small Business Celebration is sponsored by:

IMPACT |  Advocacy for Business
CICE Hosts Program on Clean Energy Investment
The past year generated many advances in the development of clean energy investments, with big businesses like Amazon, Google and Facebook leading the charge. How will these and other trends develop in 2016, and what roles do local chambers have to play in attracting growth?

Join Chamber colleagues and clean energy investment experts from across the country for Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy's Fifth Annual Clean Energy Investment Forecast Call. It's coming up next Wednesday, February 10, starting at 1 p.m. Click here t o learn more and get registered.
TraverseCONNECT CEO Doug Luciani

Invest in Northern Michigan
Northwest Michigan's economic gains in the post-recession era are impressive. Investors would be wise to look at our region as they look for places on an upward trend. TraverseCONNECT Chief Executive Officer Doug Luciani explains in a column in this month's Traverse City Business News. 
CONNECT |  Events and Programs
Welcome New January Members
The momentum from the Chamber membership surge in late 2015 continued into the new year as we welcomed another 20 local businesses to the Chamber family in January. Welcome to these Chamber members and introduce yourself to them at upcoming Chamber events, and remember to patronize their businesses whenever possible.

Our new January members include:

Higher Self Book Store                                    American Work Adventures (AWA)         

Grass River Natural Area                                 Goshawk Behavioral Health Services

North Harbor Solutions                                    Bethany C. Warner & Associates

Parallel Solutions LLC                                      Price & Keir, LLC

Erica Moon Mohr                                               Crabtree Art Studio

La Margarita Complex                                       LeeAnn Tyus Maritime Services

BP Electronics                                                   Ruthann's Gourmet Bakery

Cherry Capital Mobile Pet Hospital                 Grover Law Firm

Mainstream Marketing Logo Products            Scrap TC              

R & K Cleaning and Event Planning Services      

Jamie Grace - Realtor Century 21 Northland

Next "Get to Know..." Session February 18
With scores of new businesses joining the Chamber family in recent weeks, it's important for our both our new and long-time members to understand and utilize all the benefits of their Chamber membership.

"Get to Know Your Chamber" is a brown bag lunch program here at the Chamber where our Membership Sales Representative Sheila Peek, Membership Assistant Julia Clark and our standout team of Chamber Ambassadors explain in detail how you can leverage your Chamber membership for maximum results. Learn about the features on the Chamber Business Directory, our meeting rooms, Chamber programs and events and all the benefits your Chamber membership entails.

Our next "Get to Know...." session is coming up Thursday, February 18, starting at noon. Register now.

BAH Heads to Leelanau
Business After Hours - the region's original after-work networking event - is off to a great start in 2016. Come join the fun in two weeks as we head to southern Leelanau County and the spectacular CenterPointe building in Greilickville.  Visions at CenterPointe and Dockside Market will co-host Business After Hours on February 17 from 5-7 p.m. for another relaxing and productive evening of socializing and building your business connections. It's a free event for Chamber members, so don't miss out.

Business After Hours is presented by:

INSPIRE |  Leadership Development
Keep Leading with LGT Fellows
Hundreds of area professionals have broadened their personal and professional leadership skills through Leadership Grand Traverse, the Chamber's flagship leadership development program. Now LGT graduates can bolster their involvement through LGT Fellows, an alumni program open exclusively to past Leadership Grand Traverse participants.

LGT Fellows will get the latest information on leadership and volunteer opportunities in the community, stay connected with current Leadership Grand Traverse participants and gain exclusive access to "deep dive" refresher courses on LGT topics including local education, the regional economy, arts and culture and more. The membership dues are just $50 per year and it's a great way to rekindle your LGT experience. Learn more.

Chamber Leadership programming is supported by:

WTCM's Ron Jolly & Laura Oblinger

Tune in to Weekly Entrepreneur Focus
The Grand Traverse region is filled with stories of entrepreneurial vision leading to business success. Each week the Chamber's Weekly Entrepreneur Focus on NewsTalk 580 highlights local business men and women who've mined success through their ideas and hard work. Join co-hosts Ron Jolly of WTCM and Chamber Executive Director Laura Oblinger each Wednesday starting at 8:30 a.m. to learn from these inspiring and informative business people. If you miss an episode,   click here   for a list of recent programs. 

The Weekly Entrepreneur Focus is sponsored by:

Partner News
Jobs for Vets Fair Coming March 22
Several Chamber members will participate in the Jobs for Vets Hiring Fair coming up March 22 from noon to 3 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College's Hagerty Center.  The event targets service men and women who've recently left the military, as well as veterans who are looking to find better jobs.  Northwest Michigan Works! staff will also be available to assist attendees.

Click here if you're from a business that would like to participate or if you're a veteran who would like to attend.
Crowdfunding is SCORE Topic
Traverse City's award-winning SCORE chapter's next free workshop for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs is Tuesday, February 9, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Traverse Area District Library.  Many of us have received solicitations for crowdfunding campaigns, or read about entrepreneurs who have raised money with this model.  Join industry experts to discover if it will work for your business. 
You'll learn:
  • Whether crowdfunding is right for your business or project.
  • What types of community-based investment might be the best fit for different businesses and stages of funding.
  • The legal basics and steps for investment and donation crowdfunding, including the new federal regulations.
  • How to structure a successful campaign and avoid common problems with this form of capital generation.
SCORE workshops fill up fast and space is limited!  Visit to reserve your seat.
Black Star Farms Transition Focus of Leadership Lunch Club
"Leadership in Transition" is the next program in the Leadership Lunch Club series coming up February 12, presented by the Center for Coaching and Leadership Development. The event will feature Don Coe, retiring co-managing partner of Black Star Farms and former chair of the Traverse Bay EDC, along with Michael Lahti, Black Star's CFO. They will discuss the recent leadership transition at Black Star Farms and talk about how businesses can prepare for both expected and unanticipated changes at the top of an organization. The luncheon event is from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Traverse City Golf & Country Club. You can get more information and register by clicking here.
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In Case you
Missed it...
  • Learn more about the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance's 2016 Legislative Priorities from Government Relations Director Kent Wood
Get connected to more Chamber program info:

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