The Sault Area Chamber of Commerce serves to promote, advance and contribute to the economic well-being of the business community and visitor experience, while preserving the character, history, and traditions of the greater Sault Ste. Marie area. Its mission is to exhibit positive community leadership by supporting activities to improve the education and economic development of the business community and serving members with valuable support to improve business activity and collaboration in the community.
Calendar of Events...
Historic Churches Program
Music in the Soo Locks Park
Bruce Lynn of GLSHS speaks at Soo Locks
Soo Theatre presents Rogers & Hammerstein's Carousel
Bud Cooper Memorial Golf Classic at Wild Bluff
Dwight Yoakam in Concert at Kewadin Casino
Superior Children's Book Festival
Sugar Island Traditional Pow Wow
Pickford Hay Days
Sault Ships & Sailabration
All of the following events are part of SSS:
Sault Downtown Days
History Fest 2012
U.S. Navy Band Great Lakes in Soo Locks Park
Vocal Gala at the
for more details
Board of Directors
President, The White-Thomas Law Firm, PLLC
President-Elect, Superior Insurance
Past-President, U.P. Engineers & Architects
Treasurer, Northern Life Yoga/Studio
Director, War Memorial Hospital
Director, Allstar Graphics
Director, Lake Superior State University
Director, Sovereign Communications
Director, Kewadin Casino
Director, Bay Mills Resort & Casino
Director, The Antlers Restaurant
Al Case, Executive Director
Joann Bartunek, Office Manager
|Fourth of July Parade|
The 2012 Fourth of July Parade was a great success, featuring a record number of participants, fantastic crowds, and remarkable weather.
Back after a one-year hiatus, this year's parade once again featured awards for parade participants, including categories for Best Float, Best Walking Unit, and Best in Show. A special thanks to the Downtown Development Authority for rejuvenating the awards program for 2012.
In addition, a Family Fun Night featuring bounce houses, a bungee run, face painting, music, and more was well-received on the lawn of City Hall. A special thanks to Simply Unforgettable Events and Wedding Services for their efforts to host this wonderful addition to our community Fourth of July activities.
Finally, thank you to all of the parade participants, City of Sault Ste Marie employees, local businesses, and volunteers that helped to coordinate this year's parade. Your time, efforts, and contributions are greatly appreciated and represent an integral component to the success of this annual event. The Chamber is grateful for your support of this wonderful celebration of our nation and community. Best Float: Animal Kingdom
Best in Show: Academy of Performing Arts
Best Walking Unit: Sault High Poms (Photo from 2011)
"Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change" ~ Confucius
The year 2012 has seen many changes for the Chamber. Some small, some large, with most being subtle, yet still substantial. The past month's activities are indicative of such changes as reflected in the events in our community for which the Chamber is associated. The Great Race brought to Sault Ste Marie an entirely new event that proved quite entertaining and financially beneficial to some of our local restaurants. The International Bridge Walk included several new elements, with a brand new Bicycle Parade serving as the primary highlight. The Fourth of July once again included the annual parade, but the start time and route were altered and the activities continued afterwards with a Family Fun Night on the lawn of City Hall. More changes are in store for the remainder of the summer as well, including a new Children's Book Festival and the first Sault, Ships, & Sailabration.
One of the most substantial changes, for which we are now moving forward in earnest, is our new partnership with the Small Business Association of Michigan, otherwise known as SBAM. Our partnership brings to our membership several value-added benefits and services, ranging from Human Resources and Operations assistance to Sales, Marketing, and Finance support. This partnership should benefit most of our qualifying members (less than 499 employees, no previous SBAM affiliation) and if you are the primary contact for your organization, or the owner of a small business like many in our membership, you should have received a welcome letter from SBAM co-signed by myself and Mr. Rob Fowler, SBAM CEO. If you have not, please do not hesitate to contact the Chamber Office for more information.
One does not need, however, to await the welcome letter to begin taking advantage of SBAM benefits. To do so, simply visit the Sault Area Chamber of Commerce homepage and click on the icon below, which is placed on the right side of our homepage:
This will take you to the co-branded SBAM/Sault Chamber page where you can click on the link "Need Help Logging In." Once you have done so, you will be prompted for your e-mail address. This is the e-mail address of record at the Chamber. Enter the address to establish your account and you can begin to take full advantage for your benefits from SBAM.
Change is inevitable. When purposeful, it can be advantageous and beneficial to many involved. The changes we have experienced thus far in 2012 have been done with deliberate purpose: to benefit the members of our organization and our community. I hope that you have enjoyed the enhancements to our community events and have the opportunity to participate in the many activities remaining over the summer. If you are a small business owner, I hope that you will take advantages of the SBAM benefits available to you so that you can more effectively operate your business or organization. Most importantly, if you have suggestions or questions about any of these changes, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We want you to be involved.
|Chamber News |
Sault Area Chamber of Commerce hours: Monday-Friday 9 am to 5 pm or by appointment.
Ambassador's meet on the 1st Tuesday at noon at the Sault Chamber of Commerce. Learn more about Ambassadors or "Red Coats" by visiting our website.
Board of Director's meet at 7:30 a.m. on the 2nd Friday of each Month at the Sault Area Chamber of Commerce. The next scheduled meeting is Friday, August 10. All Chamber members are welcome to attend.
Welcome New Members!
St. Ignace Convention & Visitors Bureau
Mindy Sands, Executive Director
6 Spring Street, Suite 100
St. Ignace, MI 49781
Second Childhood & Adults Too!
Misti Collia, Owner
221 West Portage Ave
Sault Ste Marie, MI 49783
Find them on Facebook!
The Great Race Revs Up Sault Ste Marie! The Great Race, an event like no other, made its appearance in Sault Ste Marie on Saturday, June 23. The Great Race is a cross-country rally that pits driver/navigator teams against the clock and against each other. This year's event was around the Great Lakes and covered 19 cities, 2 countries and 4 states. Entrants participated in a timed, controlled-speed, endurance competition over scenic public highways and roads. The scores for each team are the result of a team's ability to follow all designated course instructions precisely.
A panoramic shot of Great Race vehicles as they line up in Brady Park. Click here for more photos on Facebook. Photo Courtesy of Tom Ewing.
A special thanks to all of the volunteers and vendors that made this great event happen, including the Chamber Ambassadors whom served as Race Team Greeters. Beer tent operated courtesy of the Chamber Young Professionals and the Soo Eagles Hockey Club, with trailer and coolers donated courtesy of Marchetti Distributing Company and Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Newberry.
With Generous Sponsorship from:
The 26th International Bridge Walk Sets Record Attendance, High Turnout for New Bicycle Parade
Walkers depart the Norris Center parking lot for the International Bridge. See more photos at the Chamber Facebook page or by visiting the International Bridge Photo Gallery. Photo Courtesy of Tom Ewing.
Courtesy of Sault Star, written by Bryan Kelly
Plenty of well-wishers poured on to the International Bridge to wish the crossing a very happy 50th anniversary as part of the 26th Annual International Bridge Walk on Saturday, June 30. The event, coordinated by the Sault, MI and Sault, ON Chambers of Commerce featured traditional walkers as well as a new group of participants in the form of bicyclists for a first-ever Bicycle Parade.
Turnout for the 26th annual bridge walk, pegged by organizers at about 5,000, is the largest the general manager of Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Authority has welcomed since starting his job in 2001.
"This is the biggest crowd I've ever seen," said Phil Becker as the event neared its end Saturday morning.
"The bridge was half full of walkers. The front of the walk was at the flags (near the border). The back was just going on the bridge." Read more...
Business After Five for July Held at Kuhl's Koffee House
This month's BA5 was moved up one week and provided some much needed relief from the heat with a friendly gathering of Chamber Members inside the air conditioned confines of Kuhl's Koffee House
on Portage Avenue. Complimentary small beverages, including cool treats such as iced coffees and lattes, were in store for all in attendance as well as wonderful prizes donated by the hosts and the Sault Country Club and Golf Course
Business After Five or BA5 is a great opportunity to network with fellow Chamber members while supporting a local Chamber business in the process. BA5 takes place the third Thursday of each month and includes fun, food, and prizes. The August BA5 will be hosted by The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society
with a specific location to be announced soon. Visit our calendar
for a list of all the BA5 locations in 2012.
The Chamber Ambassadors or "Red Coats" Enjoy a Busy Summer Schedule The Chamber Ambassadors kept up a busy schedule this past month, participating in various community events, including serving as Race Team Greeters at The Great Race, Bicycle Parade Chamber Young Professionals Volunteer at Great Race, Plan Future Community Events The Young Professionals, the Chamber's newest group, has also been very active this summer with recent participation as volunteers at The Great Race and planning and organization for future community events. The Young Professionals, or
Greeters, and participants in Ribbon Cuttings and BA5 Events. There's still plenty more to come as the Chamber will be co-coordinating three Grand Openings and Ribbon Cuttings in the next two weeks for Hospice of the EUP
, Second Childhood & Adults Too!
, and State Farm Insurance - Leisa Mansfield Agency
. Check out details on these events by visiting our Ribbon Cutting homepage
The Chamber Ambassadors take a break from their duties as Race Team Greeters at The Great Race to pose for a picture. Photo Courtesy of Tom Ewing.
YP, is a group created to engage working professionals between the ages of 21 - 40 and introduce them to the area's business community and help them expand their networking opportunities.
Whether your goal is to develop your professional network, increase your social circle, better connect to civic and philanthropic activities in the community or just have fun, they have several goals in store for Young Professionals in the Sault area.
The YP seeks to address the three main priorities young professionals have identified as most important to them when choosing a place to live and work:
- Social and recreational opportunities
- Personal and professional development
- Connection and engagement with the community
Know of someone that fits the description of a YP that might be interested in learning more? Please refer them to Al Case, Executive Director, for more information.
The Young Professionals celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the International Bridge by hosting a Roof Top BBQ to view the Bridge Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks on June 28th. Music, tents, and the wonderful cake pictured above were all provided courtesy of Simply Unforgettable Wedding & Events.
2012 Calendar of Events - Interested in being on our events calendar? Contact our office at 906-632-3301 or e-mail email@example.com
|Chamber Member News|
The Soo Theatre Project is proud to present yet another fantastic Broadway Musical to you this summer! Rogers and Hammerstein's Carousel will be playing on their historic stage this week, July 19-21 at 7:30pm and July 22 at 2pm. Under the direction of Lisa Dunn, the all star cast is led by local talent Karen Hughes Beacom, Maureen Delaney-Lehman, Mark SanAngelo, Lizz Jacobus, Matt Gilbertson, Dianna George, and guest artist Thomas Gunther. This classic musical, which was awarded "Best Musical of the 20th Century," tells the unique love story of Billy Bigelow, the handsome carousel barker, and Julie Jordan, the shy local mill girl. Included in the show are such classic songs as "You'll Never Walk Alone", "If I Loved You", and Billy's ever powerful "Soliloquy." Tickets are available in advance at the Soo Theatre office located at 534 Ashmun Street or at the door. Call 632-1930 for more information or to order tickets. You won't want to miss this powerful musical theatre experience! www.sootheatre.org
Bayliss Public Library On July 19, from 7-9 p.m., Bayliss Library will host two authors, co-sponsored by the River of History Museum. At 7 pm the Superior Poetry Café featured poet will be Mark D. Dunn, from Sault, Ontario. At 8 p.m., Danielle Sosin, from Duluth, Minnesota, will speak about and read from her new novel The Long-Shining Waters. It features three women living on the shores of Lake Superior in three different centuries: an Ojibwe woman in 1622, a Norwegian couple in 1902, and a contemporary woman. Her book will be available for purchase and signing.
Michigan Museums Association Presents
Collection Care Workshop at the Bayliss Public Library
The Michigan Museums Association (MMA) is hosting its collections care workshop, The ABC's of Collections Management, at the Bayliss Public Library in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on Saturday, August 11, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The workshop, one of several MMA workshops held annually throughout Michigan, is geared to staff and volunteers who are responsible for the acquisition, storage, maintenance and display of collections. This workshop will apply to collections staff at every type of cultural organization -- including art, history, science, military and maritime, and youth museums, as well as aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens, arboretums, historic sites, and science and technology centers. Read more...
The United Way of the EUP would really appreciate input to help them increase their impact in the community. It is critical that they be as careful and strategic as possible in the investments they make and the work they do. They believe they are making positive changes to better meet their mission to improve the lives of people in Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac Counties.
They would like feedback from you, their supporters, volunteers, partners, and neighbors on how they are doing and where you think they should concentrate their efforts. Please take a few minutes to complete the following survey. The survey will be open until October 31, 2012. You do not need to make a donation to participate in this survey.
The International Bridge Authority Celebrates 50th Bridge Anniversary with Lighting, Fireworks
The twin Sault's joined together in friendship and celebration as the International Bridge lit the bridge for the 50th Anniversary on Thursday, June 28th, 2012!
Fireworks cascaded over the St. Mary's River between the cities, after the Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Authority counted down and flipped the switch for the new anniversary bridge lights. Read more...
Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge 50th Celebration
The Summer Sault Ste. Marie Farmers' Market is back once again at their old location under the canopy at the corner of Ashmun St. and Easterday Ave, and they're excited about another summer of helping local farmers and crafters share the fruits of their labor with the public. There will be one change this year - to help ensure customer safety. Although vendors will begin setting up around 3 pm, there will be NO CUSTOMER SALES until 4 pm.
League of Michigan Bicyclists to Visit Sault Ste Marie, EUP Communities
This week the League of Michigan Bicyclists' will be hosting its 11th Annual MUP (Michigan's Upper Peninsula) Bicycle Tour. This year the tour will have 175 riders and volunteers. The tour is a week long event that starts in St. Ignace on July 16th. After stops in De Tour Village, Sault Ste. Marie, Paradise and Newberry, it returns to St. Ignace on Saturday, July 21st. The tour itinerary is as follows: July 14th Rider Check In at Little Bear East Arena in St. Ignace; July 15th St. Ignace and Mackinac Island; July 16th Arrive De Tour Village; July 17th Arrive Sault Ste. Marie - Lake Superior State, starting at noon July 18th Lay over day in Sault Ste Marie; July 19th Arrive Paradise - School, starting at noon July 20th Arrive Newberry High School; July 21st Arrive back in St. Ignace. Group organizers have indicated that they are once again looking forward to the wonderful UP hospitality.
A new festival will be held in Sault Sainte Marie this summer and will offer free activities and family fun for children of all ages. The Superior Children's Book Festival will take place on Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the atrium at Avery Square with special afternoon activities being hosted at Bayliss Public Library and Island Books & Crafts. Read more...
Sault Ste. Marie will be buzzing with activity during the first annual "Sault Ships & Sailabration" event, a combination of traditional "Downtown Days" and "History Fest," among other annual happenings. The most exciting happening to take place during the two-day Sailabration include multiple performances by the U.S. Navy Band Great Lakes, and excursions on the "Inland Seas," a tall sailing ship. Read more...
Members of the Bill Dowd Memorial Playground Committee, lead by Nikki Dowd, along with the Chamber Ambassadors, public officials, and local children, cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the new playground on Wednesday, June 20. Photo Courtesy of Brenda Austin.
The Bill Dowd Memorial Park Playground was recently completed thanks to several volunteers that participated in a "Community Build" on Saturday, June 16. The Bill Dowd Memorial Park is the culmination of over three years of efforts by the Bill Dowd Memorial Playground Committee, lead by Nikki Dowd.
The project raised more than $9,000 to go towards the park before securing additional money from two big donors. The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians stepped up with $69,000 in 2 percent funding for the renovation, while the Seal Fund kicked in another $29,000. In total, about $108,000 in donations was secured to renovate the playground.
Interested in having your community news or event published in the Chamber Newsletter? Please send prepared and edited releases to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The playground's design is one-of-a-kind and was developed with the city's historical waterfront in mind.
The play area includes a miniature replica of the Valley Camp - a museum ship on the St. Marys River - and a climbing structure representing the Tower of History. One of the more original aspects of the new playground will be the blue mulch made from recycled tires that will help protect children from falls while visually representing a small body of water.
Twin Saults Summer Arts Calendar is now available and provides a full listing of various events, festivals, and activities for everyone to enjoy in both Michigan and Ontario. Click here for a pdf of the promotional calendar.
Michigan Nature Association Seeks Talented Photographers for Annual Photo Contest
WILLIAMSTON - Michigan Nature Association (MNA) invites the public to enter photos in its second annual Sanctuary Photo Contest. The deadline for the contest is August 1.
MNA is looking to showcase the talents of nature photographers of all skill levels from across the state. Winners' work will be featured in an upcoming organization magazine and will appear in a special gallery on the MNA website. Prizes include a weekend stay at a beautiful cottage located near Boyne City, tickets to shows at the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea, Mich. and Opera Grand Rapids and gift certificates for several Michigan restaurants. Read more...
Chippewa County Tobacco-Free Living Coalition Works to Highlight Tobacco-Free Parks Policies during July - Park andRecreation Month
Sault Ste. Marie, MI- July is Park and Recreation Month and the Chippewa County Health Department, Sault Tribe Community Transformation Grant Project, and Sault Tribe Community Health Program, partners of the Chippewa County Tobacco-Free Living are highlighting the health, safety, and environmental benefits of Tobacco-Free Parks and Recreation Areas policies. Read more...
Reminder: No Fireworks Allowed on Hiawatha National Forest
Hiawatha National Forest Supervisor Jo Reyer is reminding visitors and campers that the use of all fireworks is prohibited on all national forests and national grasslands.
Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are prohibited on national grassland and national forest lands year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Read More...
Michigan National Forests and National Wild Turkey Federation Join Forces
The National Forests of Michigan (the Huron-Manistee, Hiawatha and Ottawa) are excited to announce the signing of an agreement with the NWTF, which is aimed at increasing coordination in achieving wildlife habitat restoration and enhancement. Read More...
Any additional items must be provided in a pdf format. The Sault Area Chamber of Commerce reserves final right of publication with all submissions for Community Notes.
|Economic & State News|
Federal Grant Announced for Chippewa County International Airport
WASHINGTON - Chippewa County International Airport near Sault Ste. Marie will receive a $1.3 million federal grant to help pay for new snow-removal equipment and runway and taxiway improvements, Michigan Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow announced.
"Airports are a vital link to an increasingly global economy, and we have to make the right investments to maintain that important link," Levin said. "Today's grant announcement is good news for travelers, business and workers in Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding communities."
"Making air travel more efficient will provide a boost to the region's economy and will support our local businesses," Stabenow said. "These improvements will help Chippewa County International keep our families and visitors safe and reduce flight delays."
The Federal Aviation Administration grant will help pay for acquisition of new snow-removal equipment; rehabilitation of existing runway pavement to ensure safe airport operations; and taxiway improvements to maintain the structural integrity of pavement and prevent aircraft damage from debris.
Engage National Venture Investors and Move your Company to the Next Level
The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is an international business competition designed to bring together later stage entrepreneurial companies with local, national and international investors.
It showcases the best and brightest new business concepts to investment capital to help foster their growth within Michigan. Targeting entrepreneurs with mid-to-late seed-entrepreneurial businesses - the competition has an immediate and positive impact on Michigan's economy.
Expose your business to top local and national VC firms. More than one million dollars in prize money. Top prize $500,000 for companies,
$25,000 for students. Applications are now open for the competition.
Company Competitors, Apply Here (August 1 Deadline)
Student Competitors, Apply Here (September 27 Deadline)
MSU Extension Hosts Michigan Citizen Planner Classroom Series Sault Ste Marie program to take place in September and October, with emphasis on Fundamentals of Planning and Zoning Course. Learn more...
Want to become a government contractor? If your company has been considering the field of government contracting, consider a free class to give you the skills and knowledge you need to have success. Learn more...
Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency is hosting a series of free educational seminars for Michigan businesses from April 12th thru October 16th of 2012 to answer questions regarding the state's unemployment insurance program (UI). If you are interested in dates and locations, please read more...
It was a quiet month in Lansing...
LSSU to host Bud Cooper Memorial Golf Classic at Wild Bluff this Friday, July 20 The event will feature a four-person scramble, shotgun start at 1:00pm with a fee of $125 per golfer which includes shared golf cart, and special events (50/50 and forward tees). There will be three divisions by handicap, with the top three teams in each division winning prizes. We will have door prizes, special events, and refreshments on the course, as well as a post event dinner. Download Registration Form (pdf). Learn more...
Lakerpalooza! Celebrating 10 years on Friday, August 24 from 12:30 - 3 p.m.
Lakerpalooza is LSSU's annual celebration to welcome new and returning students to the campus and community!
It's a fair with a carnival atmosphere for area businesses, non-profit groups, campus departments, student clubs/organizations and more!
- Need to recruit volunteers?
- Are you an organization looking for members?
- Are you looking for employees?
- Do you have a service to offer?
Tech Camps Turn Young Women into Future Engineers
CIRCUITRY FROM SCRATCH - Lake Superior State University engineering student Brian Parkham checks up on Chelsea Chai as she puts the finishing touches on a circuit board she created from scratch. Choi, who hails from East Lansing, Mich., joined 15 other junior high-age campers last week from all over the US for LSSU's 22nd-annual Women in Technology camp. The intensive weeklong session offered projects in electronics, computer engineering, CAD design, and robotics. Two sessions a summer are underwritten by federal, state, and private-sector grants in an attempt to bring more women into technology careers. Parkham, a junior in electrical engineering from Spruce, Mich., works as a camp counselor. Run a Web search on "LSSU engineering camps" for full information. (LSSU photo by Emily Jones)
1992 Laker hockey team inducted into Athletic Hall of Fame
CACOPHANY IN ALBANY - The 1992 LSSU Laker hockey team raises the Knickerbocker Arena roof in Albany, New York, after landing the NCAA Division I championship title. Twenty years later, the '92 squad reunites on July 13 for a Blueliner charity golf tournament, alumni squad hockey game, and team induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame. (LSSU/John Shibley)
The 1992 Lake Superior State hockey team, one of the most-storied teams in Laker hockey history, will be inducted into the Lake Superior State Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, July 13.
Several members of the 1992 team, coaching staff and support staff will return to Sault Ste. Marie to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Lakers' second of three NCAA hockey championships. The festivities will start with an alumni hockey game at 6 p.m. Friday, July 13, at Taffy Abel Arena, followed by the hall of fame induction at 8 p.m. in the Norris Center Gymnasium. Read more...
coaches Steve Hettinga (Mens Coach) and Justin Rees (Womens Coach) wish to speak to community groups this summer regarding Lake Superior State Basketball Programs
. They have a lot of exciting things going on in their programs, from camps and clinics to community service projects. The coaches are looking to tell you about their quality student athletes and the hard work they are putting in at Lake State and throughout the Sault Ste. Marie community. They are trying to create a relationship between their players and more people in the community to support them in their Student/Athlete lives. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Men's Assistant Coach, Tim Kisner at 635-2607.
Lakers Roar with the Tigers August 5! Join LSSU at Comerica Park August 5! Your Alumni Association has reserved the Wetherell Lounge in Comerica Park when the Detroit Tigers take on the Cleveland Indians on Sunday afternoon, August 5 at 1:05pm.Gather your family and friends for this great event! Reserve your tickets online. Tickets are $70 each, $65 for dues-paying members of the Alumni Association, and include your admission into the Wetherell Lounge, a buffet lunch served prior to and during the game in the Lounge and a chance to win LSSU door prizes. This event is open to the public.