Traverse Chamber Bulletin
Top Talk
January 20, 2016
The Small Business Celebration is Here!
It's time to kick off the Traverse City Area Chamber's five-star recognition event to highlight Northern Michigan's outstanding small business sector - the Small Business Celebration! Nominations are now open for the Chamber's 2016 Hagerty Small Business of the Year award.

The Small Business Celebration shines a spotlight on companies that have a track record of success, demonstrate innovative operational practices and have positioned themselves for further growth. Eligible companies are in the five-county area, have up to 150 employees and have been in business for at least three years. Individuals can nominate up to 10 companies.

Why should you nominate a business for the Small Business Celebration? Hear why from some of our past participants.

The Small Business Celebration, now in its eleventh year, is a four-month program that includes the Candidates Showcase on March 15, the Meet the Top Breakfast on April 19 and culminates with the SBC Award Ceremony on May 4. But the first step is to nominate your favorite small business for the SBC. Show your favorite company that its hard work and dedication to Northern Michigan is appreciated by nominating it for the Small Business Celebration. The nomination deadline is Friday, January 29. So don't delay.

The Small Business Celebration is presented by: 


Chuck Judson receives the 2015 DSA from Susie Janis

A Special Night of Celebration
Thanks to the nearly 800 Chamber members who came out for the Annual Celebration held Friday night at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. It was a special evening to enjoy the company of the best and brightest of Northern Michigan's business community, our local, state and federal officials, our Chamber Young Professionals and everyone who was able to share this amazing night.

We were also thrilled to be able to honor our 2015 Distinguished Service Award recipient Charles B. "Chuck" Judson, an attorney and shareholder with the Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge law office in Traverse City. Chuck has been an integral part of the Grand Traverse region through his service in a wide range of organizations from the National Cherry Festival to the Cherry Capital Airport to the Downtown Development Authority among a host of others. Learn more about his long record of community service in this DSA Video created by Petersen Productions.

You can also view this video from the Annual Celebration.

Click here to view more images of the Annual Celebration.

Thanks also to our Annual Celebration sponsors:

IMPACT | Advocacy for Business
Alliance Lays out 2016 Priorities
Members of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance laid out its 2016 legislative agenda to state lawmakers during their visit to Lansing this week to take in Gov. Rick Snyder's State of the State address. The Alliance has a diverse set of a legislative priorities for this year, including bolstering Northern Michigan's workforce through job training, incentivized housing development, effective energy policy and more. Kent Wood, Director of Government Relations for the Traverse City Area Chamber and the Alliance, explains more in this column in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

PPT Exemption Forms Due
Area businesses with less than $80,000 in personal property are reminded of the February 10 filing deadline for Form 5076, the eligible personal property exemption affidavit that must be filed annually with your local assessing office.

State law changes made two years ago exempt small businesses from up to $80,000 in personal property (equipment, furniture, computers, etc.). To receive the exemption, Form 5076 must be filed each year with your local assessor. Businesses that don't qualify for the exemption must file their Personal Property Tax Statement form with their local assessors by February 20. Failure to file the PPT statement or exemption affidavit will result in an estimated assessment.

Click here to access the Form 5076 exemption affidavit. Click here for the Personal Property Tax Statement form.

CONNECT | Events and Programs

See You Tonight at Business After Hours
We're excited for the return of Business After Hours this evening - and even more excited to bring the event to Traverse City's venerable Old Town Playhouse at the corner of Eighth and Cass streets downtown.

Join us from 5 - 7 p.m. tonight at this unique cultural venue, where prizes will include free tickets to OTP's current production of Twelve Angry Men. Refreshments will be served up by the Parlor while Opa's Paul Barbas will serve up his delicious appetizers that are always a hit. Help launch another outstanding season of Business After Hours, and you can park for free in the Old Town Parking Deck.

Also mark your calendars for February 17 when Business After Hours visits Visions at the CenterPointe building in Greilickville.
The Chamber's Business After Hours series is sponsored by:

INSPIRE | Leadership Development
Leadership at the Movies Returns March 10
Among the Chamber's highlights in 2015 was the launch of Leadership at the Movies, a unique leadership development program that highlights leadership traits and lessons through cinematic classics analyzed by expert presenters.

It played to rave reviews among Chamber members, so Leadership at the Movies returns for a sequel in 2016. Join us March 10 starting at 7:30 a.m. at the Bijou by the Bay theater where speaker/coach Anne Bonney presents "Lessons Creating Genuine Honest Connections" utilizing the 1987 film "The Princess Bride." This program is free to Chamber members and you can reserve a seat by clicking here.

LGT Application Deadline Nears
The February 5 application deadline is nearing for the Spring 2016 semester of Leadership Grand Traverse, the Chamber's flagship leadership development program. Hundreds of LGT participants over the past 30-plus years have gained a comprehensive understanding and working knowledge of the public and private institutions, resources and services that drive the Grand Traverse region.

The Spring 2016 LGT session kicks off with an orientation session in late February and continues through April. Scholarship opportunities are available. Click here for information.

Chamber Leadership programming is supported by:

Partner News
Fulfillament Series Returns January 28
Fulfillament debuted in 2015 as a vehicle to share inspiring stories from our region's business community. It returns this year on Thursday, January 28 at Inside Out Gallery featuring five storytellers from the local business sector, including Steve Nance of Oryana Natural Foods Market, the Chamber's 2014 Small Business of the Year. Click here to learn more.

Upcoming Events
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Dr. Craig Brakeman, DVM
New Mobile Pet Hospital Open House, 1/30/16, 9-5, at Tractor Supply US31

In Case you
Missed it...
Listen to the Chamber's Weekly Entrepreneur Focus on NewsTalk 580.

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