Traverse Chamber Bulletin
Top Talk
February 17, 2016
SBC Application Clock Ticking
Just over a week remains for nominated companies to apply for this year's Small Business Celebration. More than 170 area companies were nominated, and those who apply will be featured in the SBC Candidate Showcase coming up March 16 at Northwestern Michigan College's Hagerty Center.

Chamber Executive Director Laura Oblinger talks with former participants about the benefits of participating in the Small Business Celebration in this news column in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

See which  companies have been nominated for this year's SBC. Businesses have until Friday, February 26, to apply. Click here  for additional information and follow the application instructions from Chamber Event Coordinator Andi Wagenschutz.

Also mark your calendars for these upcoming SBC events at Hagerty Center:
  • Meet the Top 10 Breakfast - April 19
  • SBC Awards Ceremony - May 4
The 2016 Small Business Celebration is sponsored by:
IMPACT |  Advocacy for Business
Syrup Flows Better with House Bill
The maple syrup harvest is just around the corner, and Northern Michigan's syrup producers will benefit from proposed legislation encouraged by the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is working with its members in maple syrup production on a bill that adds maple sap to the list of agricultural commodities that are exempt from seasonal vehicle weight limits.

"Maple sap is one of the only commodities that's harvested during the winter months, and state laws on vehicle weight limits during those months have limited the number of acres that maple sap farmers could tap into for their product," Government Relations Director Kent Wood said. "Michigan is thought to have enough product to be able to compete with other maple syrup rich regions including Vermont and Québec."

House Bill 4418 passed the state House this week and is headed to the Senate for review.
State Budget Overview
It's budget season in Lansing, as Gov. Rick Snyder released his proposed budget last week to start the process in setting Michigan's 2016-17 spending plan. If you missed last week's Chamber Alert from Government Relations Director Kent Wood on Snyder's budget, click here f or his report that includes a budget analysis from Acuitas, which provides legislative services to the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance.

CONNECT |  Events and Programs
2016 YP Chair Lauren Harris
Chamber YPs Raising the Bar
The Chamber's Young Professionals organization is off to a fast start in 2016. The YPs have an infusion of new members, exciting new programming and partnerships and a burst of energy and ideas from 2016 YP Chair Lauren Harris and her YP team. Are you a young professional looking to get more involved in the community and the Chamber, or does your business have employees who could benefit from joining the YPs? Click here for a message from Harris on the new YP initiatives and how you can get involved.

See You Tonight at Business After Hours
Chase those late-winter blues away by joining us tonight from 5 - 7 p.m. at Business After Hours at Visions at CenterPointe, offering  a scenic, relaxing venue overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay.  It's a chance to meet new Chamber associates and catch up with old friends. Our newest Chamber members will have special name tags, so don't be shy about introducing yourself and welcoming them to the Chamber family. Dockside Market is the co-host.

Business After Hours is presented by:

Prime Time Coming March 1
There's still time to register for Prime Time, the Chamber's special event coming up March 1 open to businesses that came on board during our Membership Event in December. Registration is needed by this Friday, February 19, so don't wait to reserve a space. Click here  to view the businesses eligible to take part.

Prime Time is from 5 - 7 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College's Hagerty Center, and attendance is free for Chamber members and the public. Enjoy this expo-style event and welcome some of our newest members to the organization.

INSPIRE |  Leadership Development
Anne Bonney
Leadership on the Big Screen
If you haven't experienced Leadership at the Movies, it's time to see what the buzz is all about.  This unique pre-work program that's free to Chamber members taps some of the region's top leadership experts, who utilize block-buster films to highlight leadership lessons and techniques that you can apply to your professional and personal lives. Hosted by the Bijou by the Bay theater, it's a great way to start your work day and features fresh coffee and amazing edibles from our co-sponsors at Morsels.

Our next session is set for Thursday, March 10 featuring guest presenter Anne Bonney and the film " The Princess Bride."  Her program is entitled "The Importance of Creating a Genuine, Honest Connection in Leadership" that will help develop your leadership skills. Register today!

Chamber Leadership programming is supported by:


Co-hosts Laura Oblinger and Ron Jolly
A Focus on Entrepreneurs
Northern Michigan is teeming with inspiring stories of entrepreneurial drive and ingenuity.  The Chamber's Weekly Entrepreneur Focus on NewsTalk 580 shares these stories each Wednesday starting at 8:30 a.m. Co-hosts Ron Jolly and Chamber Executive Director Laura Oblinger sit down each week with one of the region's outstanding professionals to share his or her story of how they've created a business niche here in Northern Michigan.

If you can't listen to the show live, here's an archive of past episodes.

The Weekly Entrepreneur Focus is presented by:

Partner News
Consumers Energy Foundation Boosts 5toONE
Early childhood development efforts in the region received a significant boost this week from the Consumers Energy Foundation. A $60,000 foundation grant will assist in the expansion of the Great Start Collaborative Traverse Bay 5toONE project, creating additional Neighborhood Centers in the region where children and families can access critical early childhood programs and services. Learn more. 
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In Case you
Missed it...
Get connected to more Chamber program info: www.tcchamber.org

Suggestions for topics you would like to read here? Email: info@tcchamber.org