Venture News
Top Talk
September 2, 2016
From the Director's Desk
Our partners continue stepping up to support Venture North Funding & Development in a big way! We recently secured a significant loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand our Intermediary Relending Program, and received grants from the Consumers Energy Foundation and the DTE Energy Foundation to assist with operations. More information is provided below.

We also conducted a successful Annual Meeting that welcomed keynote speaker Doug Rothwell, CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. New business loans have also been issued and there are several other projects in the Venture North pipeline.

Here's more on our recent activity. Thank you for your continued support of Venture North.

Laura Galbraith, Executive Director
Aaron Garms' Bounce Town in Petoskey
Keeping Kids' Bodies Busy
When Aaron Garms moved his family back to his home of Northern Michigan, he noted there wasn't much for them to do with their then-toddler son. So he opened Busy Bodies Bounce Town in Petoskey almost three years ago. With the help of Venture North, Garms will open a second location of his family-friendly business in Traverse City this fall.

Busy Bodies Bounce Town is a spacious indoor play area for children in age from toddlers into elementary school that's filled with inflatable "bouncers" where kids can jump, climb, bounce, run - a variety of activities providing exercise, social interaction and an energy outlet that children and families need.

Garms will open his second Bounce Town location in the Cherryland Center mall next to Kmart, with an anticipated opening date around Oct. 1. Garms tapped Venture North for a $60,000 loan from Venture North's U.S. Department of Agriculture's Intermediary Relending Program to help with the start-up costs at Busy Bodies Bounce Town's Traverse City location.

"There's so little for this age group to do and be active," Garms said. "This is like an outdoor park."

Learn more about this unique local business.

Dave Mengebier (top) of Consumers Energy
and Barbara Rykwalder of DTE with Sara
Harding and Laura Galbraith of Venture North

Consumers, DTE Bolster Venture North
Two Michigan utilities stepped up in a big way to support the economic development and business financing efforts of Venture North Funding & Development.

Venture North's recent Annual Meeting was highlighted by the presentation of two major grants to help fund operations: a $90,000 three-year commitment from the Consumers Energy Foundation and a $30,000 grant from the DTE Energy Foundation.

"Support for Venture North from partners like the Consumers Energy Foundation and the DTE Energy Foundation is critical to our success," Venture North Executive Director Laura Galbraith said. "It helps us leverage our local dollars with other private, state and federal funding sources to provide local businesses with expansion capital to grow their operations and the regional economy."

Click here to learn more.
USDA Michigan Director James Turner with 
Venture North's Laura Galbraith

USDA Expands Venture North Support
A major funding commitment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help expand the regional business financing efforts of Venture North Funding & Development.

The USDA recently approved a low-interest $279,595 loan to Venture North to expand its Intermediary Relending Program (IRP). Venture North will re-lend the funds to provide businesses across the 10-county region with financing for working capital, product line expansion, market diversification, machinery and equipment financing and related needs.
"One of the reasons (USDA) Rural Development is so effective with our investments in the state is our ability to create partnerships, and we're very proud to have this partnership with Venture North." said James Turner, the Michigan Director of the USDA who recently presented the loan to Venture North at an event hosted by Cherry Capital Foods in Traverse City. Here's more.
  Jack Burns and Pat Perry of Country
 Inn & Suites

Local Resort Reduces Energy Costs
Venture North is helping another local business reduce its energy costs through its Energy Efficiency Loan Fund created in conjunction with Traverse City Light & Power Co.
Country Inn & Suites, located at 420 Munson Avenue, recently secured a $50,000 loan from the zero percent Energy Efficiency Loan Fund. The funding is being used to retrofit the business with high-efficiency LED lighting, saving the operation thousands of dollars a year on its utility costs.
Learn more about the Energy Efficiency Loan Fund from Venture North and TCLP.
Laura Galbraith with Dakota Porter
of 45th Parallel Lighting

45th Parallel Lighting Heads for Phase Two
Two entrepreneurial brothers are ready to take their lighting accessory business to the next level with the help of Venture North. Dakota and Garrett Porter of 45th Parallel Lighting secured a $3,000 loan from the Sub-Micro Loan Fund of Venture North and Fifth Third Bank for their Actionglow 2 product line that's under development. It's the second generation of their LED lighting accessories designed for bikes, skateboard and longboards, snowboards and other recreational equipment.

Click here to learn more.

Register for the Michigan CEO Summit
The top movers and shakers from Michigan's business sector will be part of the Michigan CEO Summit coming up November 10 in Detroit - and members of Northern Michigan's business community are invited.

This is the fifth annual CEO Summit sponsored by Business Leaders for Michigan. This year's event features a group of dynamic speakers on how industries are being disrupted here and around the globe, and how to stay ahead of the curve in the changing world marketplace. Featured speakers include Patrick Doyle, president and CEO of Domino's, and best-selling business author William Taylor.

The event takes place from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Westin Book Cadillac Detroit. Past CEO Summits have sold out, so register today
Learn more about our financing options at

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Total Funded

58 loans totaling 


as of 9/01/2016