President & CEO's Message
Over the past several months, the BFI staff and I have been documenting our experiences with local business and industry leaders. We have held literally hundreds of in-depth and impactful discussions with manufacturers, small business, community leaders, and partners, from our virtual command centers led with professionalism and compassion. Through these conversations, innovation and ingenuity flowed, producing programs, resources, and tools we have administered in successful support of these institutions and industries. I have never been more proud to count myself a member of our team than I am today.

Concurrently, our staff has seen firsthand much of the pain and uncertainly being endured by local business leaders. It has given rise to a collective and urgent need to respond as an organization. 

In the sharing and collection of these experiences, through discussions with our Executive Committee and Board of Directors, we, collectively, felt compelled to address these concerns and devise a plan of action. A focus on quickly turning around that plan of action was critical and a working draft of an Appendix to the Bay Future: Drive. Forward. strategic action plan, that we announced in December of 2019, that addresses immediate concerns of economic recovery, developed.

This Strategic Action Plan Addendum is necessary for several reason. First, and most obvious, we cannot overlook and ignore the current economic plight among many of our businesses have and will continue to struggle with now and post-pandemic. Before we effectively address matters of longer-term economic development significance, as was outlined in our strategic plan, we must address the immediate needs of economic recovery in our business community. Secondly, we believe that our community and our investors would and should expect this of us. As stewards of those hard-earned dollars, those who invest in us for economic development results and return on investment for their organizations, and for the community, should have an expectation that BFI lead and engage in these types of activities, meeting the challenges they pose, head on. And lastly, on a very practical basis, economic development resources, specifically financial resources, are being allocated and are aimed toward the economic recovery of business so too must we be. In participation and coordination with our state-wide partners, including the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), it is our duty to assess and address these immediate needs and concerns and to secure the financial resources available and necessary to support economic vitality throughout Bay County. 

As a result, we have fast-tracked the composition and discussion of the Strategic Action Plan Addendum. Through an urgent and expedited process, we have worked diligently with the support of our BFI Board of Directors to complete this plan in a matter of weeks. This will become BFI’s roadmap for action and engagement for the next two years through post-pandemic recovery.

In just a few weeks, on September 23, 2020, we will be sharing that plan with you as a part of our re-scheduled Annual Meeting. We are looking forward to engaging with the community in a virtual and safe format to provide a wrap-up of economic development projects from the previous year and to update attendees on the activities BFI has industriously been working on through the pandemic. We truly believe this is the most opportune course of action our organization can take to lead the recovery efforts of the Bay County economy along with so many of our partners. I'm looking forward to sharing this update with you and to working together for an auspicious and prosperous future!

Happy reading and stay safe,

-Trevor Keyes, EDFP
President & CEO
Bay Future, Inc.

Featured Content
Bay Area Community Foundation Grant Opportunity!

Applications are now available to 501(c)(3) organizations in Bay County for a new granting opportunity. The Bay County Growth Alliance Fund, through Bay Area Community Foundation, will award to projects that focus on economic growth through community development and improved quality of life in Bay County.

The Bay County Growth Alliance began in 1974 as the Forward Bay County, Inc. and was one of the first county-wide economic development organizations in Michigan. Since then, the organization’s name has changed and is mission expanded to promote economic growth by offering financial assistance and support services to the business community and nonprofit sector. The Alliance established this new fund to continue their mission.

This fund will award $5,000 - $10,000 per project through the Community Foundation’s semiannual grant process.

To apply, organizations should contact Joni King at 989-893-4438 to discuss their project and receive a log-in for the online application. Application deadline is September 23, 2020.
Featured Event
Investor Spotlight
Fisher Companies
The Fisher Companies consist of ten separate companies, located throughout the state of Michigan and Kentucky. Combined, they specialize in heavy/highway civil contracting services, heavy-haul transportation services, asphalt paving and production, and ready mixed concrete production. They are also leading producers and suppliers of sand, gravel, bulk construction aggregates, and more. This variety of in-house resources and capabilities allows each of the companies’ strengths to be harnessed. From this, they are able to provide our customers with the best solution for their project needs.

Thank you Fisher Companies for your investment in Bay Future, Inc.!
Click to learn more about Fisher Companies!

Program Highlight
Buy BC

Through the generous donations of our sponsors and in partnership with the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, we created an incentive fund of over $30,000 to encourage the community to support Bay County small businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the incentive fund, for every $20 spent purchasing a gift card, customers receive an additional $5 free and at no additional charge to the business. The business receives the full amount of the gift card. The program benefits community members by providing a discount and benefits participating businesses by giving them an injection of cash.

To date, over $105,000 has been injected into the Bay County economy through the 70+ small businesses participating in the Buy BC Gift Card Stimulus Program!

On behalf of participating businesses, thank you for your support!

Buy BC Gift Cards can be purchased here.
Buy BC Program Sponsors
Thank you to our friends at SC Johnson for your generous contribution to the Buy BC program and Bay County small businesses by purchasing over 400 gift cards!
“We have been blessed beyond our imagination by the support we have received from our customers and the Buy BC Gift Card Program. We’re so grateful to the sponsors who made this program possible. It is awesome to see our community support the small businesses in our hometown!"

-Jean Begick
“The program has really benefited our community - giving them a discount to enjoy their favorite food!” 

-Clif Holland
“I am truly amazed at the overwhelming support of the clients and community supporting the Salon. The program has helped out tremendously and am grateful for the opportunity to be apart of it.”

-Cassidy Bouchard
Bay Future, Inc. Platinum Level Investors!