Northern Michigan Business Call For Higher Capacity Limits To Stay Open Through The Year

The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance sent a letter to Governor Gretchen Whitmer advocating for higher capacity limits for northern Michigan bars, restaurants, and meetings and banquet centers. The organization represents 16 chambers and economic development organizations and over 7,000 member businesses from all across northern Michigan. 

The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance’s letter to the Governor requested an Executive Order be issued that includes: 
  • Expanded indoor capacity of 75% in regions 6 & 8 at bars, restaurants, and meetings and banquet centers if the data reported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services falls below a three-percent positive test rate over an extended period 
  • The treatment of meetings and banquets centers in regions 6 & 8 the same as bars and restaurants
  • The ability for bars and restaurants to retain the expanded capacity they gained via patios and other outdoor solutions this summer by allowing them to safely winterize those spaces while extending their temporary alcohol service permits

Manistee Township Master Plan
The Economic Development Council is monitoring developments at the Manistee Township Planning Commission as they develop and deliberate a Township Master Plan.  This planning and zoning direction could set the rules for new developments, business opportunities, trails and sidewalks, and the viability of the Blacker Airport for a decade or more.  

In the next month, the public will have the opportunity to review and comment on this Master Plan draft.  If you are interested in being informed and promoting a pro-business and pro-community agenda with the planning commission, we will be developing a sign on letter to support a pro-business plan.  This will be an easy way to make your voice heard and impact future direction in Manistee Township.  Some elements we are watching for in the Master Plan are:

  • Recommendations that will allow for housing development along the US-31 corridor where water and sewer infrastructure can encourage viable housing projects; 
  • Requirements for sidewalk development along US-31 and business areas for walkability, safety and increased business visitation and convenience.  Walkability has a direct impact on available grants, funding, and attracting new development;
  • Zoning around the Blacker Airport that will allow new businesses and supportive conditions for a successful and viable airport; 
  • Linking to the Manistee Lake Non-Motorized Plan for the potential to transform and re-develop areas around the lake with trail development, realignment of the rail corridor for improvements to rail transportation, and potentially bringing in new developments on the waterfront; and,
  • Overlay districts and reasonable setbacks for wetlands, high erosion areas, critical dunes, and Lake Michigan bluff areas.  It is important to protect our natural assets, not only for conservation purposes, but to support our tourism industry, attract new developments to the Manistee area, and reduce taxpayer burdens for cleanup and maintenance.

If you are interested in these topics, please contact Marc Miller via email. The next Manistee Township Planning Commission meeting will be held at:
Manistee Township Hall, 410 Holden,
Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 7:00 pm. 

About the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance
The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance is a coalition of chambers and economic development organizations in Alpena, Benzie, Boyne City, Cadillac, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, East Jordan, Elk Rapids, Gaylord, Harbor Springs, Leelanau County, Manistee, Marquette, Petoskey, Sault Area, and Traverse City.

The Alliance exists to advocate for rural northern Michigan and move forward rural-centric business policy.

Find us on the web and like us on facebook
11 Cypress Street
Manistee, MI 49660