Traverse Chamber Bulletin
Top Talk
February 24, 2016
Last Call for SBC Applications
Time is running out to apply for the 2016 Small Business Celebration.  More than 170 area businesses were nominated for this year's Chamber SBC, and the deadline for submitting your application is this Friday, February 26.

There are many reasons to participate in the Small Business Celebration. The most immediate is the opportunity to highlight your company at the SBC Candidates Showcase on March 16 from 5 - 7 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College's Hagerty Center.   Click here  for more information on the SBC application process including a video featuring Kevin Schlueter of Kalkaska Screw Products, a former Small Business of the Year.

Taking part in the Small Business Celebration can be a rallying point for your company and staff, help create new evaluation tools for your operation and help you gain valuable insight from our knowledgeable team of SBC judges. Dozens of past participants have told us they've bolstered their business practices through their involvement in the SBC. If you need assistance with application, contact Chamber Event Coordinator Andi Wagenschutz at

Mark your calendars for these other Small Business Celebration events coming up at Hagerty Center:
  • Meet the Top 10 Breakfast - April 19
  • SBC Awards Ceremony - May 4
The 2016 Small Business Celebration is sponsored by:

See You at 'Prime Time'
A big month of March activity at the Chamber kicks off this Tuesday, March 1, with our special " Prime Time" event. Join us at NMC's Hagerty Center from 5 - 7 p.m. as we welcome dozens of members who joined the Chamber  in December. This Expo-style event will features displays from our new members, and you can meet some of the volunteers who made the Membership Event such a fun and successful event. Attendance is free and open to Chamber members and the public.

IMPACT |  Advocacy for Business
State Economic Development Fund Helps S. Airport Rd.
One of the region's busiest commercial corridors will be upgraded through a state transportation economic development grant to resurface South Airport Road between LaFranier and Garfield roads in Grand Traverse County.

A Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category F grant of $375,000 to the Grand Traverse County Road Commission will complete the funding needed to upgrade a portion of South Airport Road between LaFranier and Garfield, of a major route linking US-31 to the west and US-31/M-72 to the east. The road commission is providing $93,750 in local matching funds for a total of $468,750.

The road commission sought the grant to repave this heavily used east-west all-season route in 2017. The project also will include upgrading sidewalk ramps at the South Airport/LaFranier intersection to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, pavement striping, restoration, and sign upgrades. The TEDF helps finance highway, road and street projects that are critical to the movement of people and products, and getting workers to their jobs, materials to growers and manufacturers, and finished goods to consumers. Learn more. 

Source: MDOT
City Needs Business Voices
Business people offer extensive expertise in areas like personnel, budgeting, construction and other fields that can be a tremendous asset to a community. The City of Traverse City needs talented individuals to serve on its city advisory bodies, and your knowledge base may be a perfect fit for one of its openings. The city is seeking applicants for its various boards and commissions, and applications are needed by this Monday, February 29. Click here for more information.
Alliance Tracks Budget Discussions
Michigan's state budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year will be crafted in the coming weeks and months. The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance will be monitoring those discussions for their impact on the Alliance's legislative priorities for the coming year.

Click here for an overview of the Alliance's legislative priorities for 2016-17. You can also click here for an analysis of Gov. Rick Snyder's proposed budget from the Alliance partners at Acuitas. Questions can be directed to Government Relations Director Kent Wood at
CONNECT |  Events and Programs
Leadership: Act Two, Scene One
The Chamber launched its Leadership at the Movies series in 2015 to create a unique venue and method for sharing valuable leadership lessons for its members through classic movie scenes. The program returns for its 2016 debut on March 10 starting at 7:30 a.m. at the Bijou by the Bay theatre, featuring certified leadership expert Anne Bonney and the film The Princess Bride.

Her program, entitled "The Importance of Creating a Genuine, Honest Connection in Leadership" will help you gain trust and buy-in from the people you want to lead. Check out this insightful and entertaining leadership development program that's free to Chamber members and includes continental breakfast. Register now!

Chamber Leadership programming is supported by:

With additional support from:

INSPIRE |  Leadership Development
Welcome Leadership Grand Traverse Class
Another great collection of would-be leaders has been assembled for the Spring 2016 Leadership Grand Traverse class. These 18 individuals will begin their journey with an orientation session this week followed by their Opening Retreat March 4 - 5. LGT day sessions continue through March and April and the semester concludes with the LGT Closing Retreat and Graduation Ceremony on April 28 at Kirkbride Hall.

Meet the members of the Spring 2016 Leadership Grand Traverse class and wish them well in the endeavors.

Chamber Leadership programming is sponsored by:
Partner News
'Know Your Numbers' Workshop
Proper analysis of financial information can be a make or break detail for many companies. A workshop from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) sponsored by Fifth Third Bank coming up Tuesday, March 15 from 9 a.m. - noon at Crystal Mountain Resort can help identify opportunities and challenges with your balance sheet and income statement, increase your company's cash flow and to understand and plan for working capital to help you grow. Click here for more information and to register.
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