Sept. 3, 2020
Here's how local businesses are coping

We asked our members how they are doing these days, when many of us have had to change how we conduct business.

If you’d like to be featured in our Member Spotlight and share some of your ideas and coping strategies, please take this short survey. Then we will share them with our newsletter readers and social media followers.

We've received some great answers! Here are 25 in the past six weeks and two more this week (below):
Connie Fisher, Spice Harbor: 

"I realized that I had to slow down a bit, so I made the decision to move Spice Harbor to its new location. I love it here!"

What have you had to do differently since the pandemic began?  
I realized that I had to slow down a bit, so I made the decision to move Spice Harbor to its new location. I love it here! I basically have everything that I had in my downtown store but on a much smaller scale.

What has worked?  
  • Closing every Sunday and Monday.
  • Making the store more manageable for me.
  • Plenty of parking for my customers.
  • The support of the locals.

What has NOT worked?
A few companies that I work with are not able to ship as quickly as before the pandemic and I’m seeing more back orders than before. For the most part it’s business as usual with no effect on shipping merchandise as quickly as before.

What is the most important thing you have learned?
As the saying goes “Take the time to smell the roses” (and yes, I know it’s hard to do with a mask on).

Is there anything else you would like to share?
I want to thank everyone for all of their love and support. Please come and visit me. I’m having an End of Summer Season sale, up to 50% off store wide on Friday, September 4th, from 10-5 and Saturday, September 5th, from 10-1. Regular hours are Tuesday-Friday 10-5 and Saturday 10-1.

> Spice Harbor, 690 State Street (Corner of State and Lake), Harbor Springs, 231-622-9383.
Laura Shepherd, Bella Regalo Gift Shop:

"I'm thankful for the Chamber and all they do to help keep retailers and all its members a tight-knit community that helps support one another."
What have you had to do differently since the pandemic began?  
I made the decision early on in the SARS2/Covid 19 outbreak to not open Bella Regalo this year. Being a high health risk individual, there really was no other choice. We have investigated many of the required and recommended ways to deal with keeping our environment, customers and products safe and Covid free. As time progresses and we all learn more about the virus, we will be able to determine our reopening date. We miss seeing our customers very much, but also know they understand that we are doing what is necessary to keep everyone healthy and eradicate this virus.
What has worked?  
We have invested in and are continuing to research different methods of UV light sterilization for our products and indoor air filtration. We have also invested in a disinfectant hand-wipe station that will probably remain in place even after Covid has phased out - we think it is a healthy practice to encourage at any time. In addition, all other precautions will be in place as required.

What has NOT worked?
Because of the modest size of our display rooms, we have been considering how to control the amount of customers in and attempting to enter the store at one time and still maintain safe distancing. Fortunately, we do have a doorbell, which may come in handy in helping us resolve the issue.

What is the most important thing you have learned?
Without good health there is really not much you can enjoy in life. There is nothing any retail store on the planet can offer you that is more valuable than your health. Even though Bella Regalo has many beautiful, unique and wonderful items to offer our customers, nothing is more important than helping eradicate this virus invasion, keeping our customers safe, and getting life back to normal.

Anything else you would like to share?  
I'm thankful for the Harbor Springs Chamber and all they do to help keep HS retailers and all its members a tight-knit community that help support one another. It is a good feeling to know the Chamber is there for us.
As bad and crazy as things are in the world today, I remind myself that it could always be worse. I refuse to accept Covid as "a new normal." Don't be discouraged because SARS2/Covid 19 will pass. The USA has some of the smartest and brightest and I believe they will figure it out. Do all you can to be safe, have faith, stay well, and hang on to your business because, in time, life will return to normal.

> Bella Regalo Gift Shop, 397 East Main St., Harbor Springs.

The Member Spotlight features above were included in our September 3rd Harbor Happenings newsletter.

Here is the rest of our newsletter from that day:
Join us to welcome new member Admired on Sept. 14th
Monday, Sept. 14th, we welcome new member Admired in Harbor with a ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. at 930 State Street in Fairview Plaza, Harbor Springs.

Everyone is invited to support local businesses by attending chamber ribbon cuttings, especially if you know the business owner or if you're a neighbor. Please wear your mask. And when you open your business or join the chamber, we'll be glad to plan a ribbon cutting for you too!
Welcome to new member and new business TOPOnexus!
Chamber staff and ambassadors welcomed TOPOnexus to the Harbor Springs Chamber with a ribbon cutting last week. Along with the team of TOPOnexus facilitators, two students of the program joined us - Colin in front on the right and Lily holding the globe. It's a great program for "kids" of all ages. Stop by 141 State Street in downtown Harbor Springs and get a tour.
> TOPOnexus offers Learn Local Academy for students - Harbor Light story
26th Annual Taste of Harbor postponed until 2021
It is with deep regret that the Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce and event organizers Mary Ellen Hughes and Jenny Brower have decided to postpone the Taste of Harbor Springs until 2021.

“We waited as long as possible to call it off in the hopes that our community would have flattened the covid 19 pandemic curve to a degree that would have made it safe to proceed, but unfortunately, that just hasn’t happened yet,” Brower said. The event is held on the third Saturday in
September each year at the waterfront in charming downtown Harbor Springs,
typically with more than 25 local restaurants and food establishments

The Taste raises funds for culinary scholarships for area students and also supports the Harbor Springs Chamber, which hosts and assists with the event. “It’s

a real bummer,” Mary Ellen Hughes commented, “and I really wanted to still find a way to make it happen, but we’ll just have to look forward to next year – so save this date, Sept. 18, 2020, for the 26th Annual Taste of Harbor Springs. Until then – everyone stay safe and please support our local restaurants.”
Safe Harbor masks & shirts on sale through Friday
Safe Harbor face masks are on sale at a reduced price from now until this Friday, Sept. 4th, at the Harbor Springs Chamber office, 368 E. Main Street. The office is open from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

During the sale, the $10 masks are available 2 for $18, 4 for $32, or 10 for $70.

Safe Harbor window clings are $3, including sales tax.

HARBOR SPRINGS T-SHIRTS ON SALE! - A few of our popular shirts designed by local artist Mary Hramiec Hoffman of Hramiec Hoffman Gallery are available for $10 (regular price $25). We have 2 Women's Large shirts and 3 Men's Medium shirts remaining. T-shirt illustration.
Chamber Gazebo open Thursday through Sunday

The Chamber’s Visitor Information Gazebo on the Waterfront near Stafford’s Pier restaurant has reopened and is staffed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Thursday through Sunday. Our crew of “Gazebo Guys” - Fred Tabor, Dave McSherry and Larry Richey - are there to answer questions and give out brochures, maps and information to visitors.

Chamber members who have updated brochures and fliers are encouraged to drop them off for use at the Gazebo and at the Chamber office, 368 Main Street.

The Chamber office at 368 Main Street is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We ask that you wear a mask if you come visit us, and we'll be following social distancing guidelines. You're also welcome to call us at 231-526-7999.

> The Chamber office will be closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.
Campaign underway to ensure Northwest Michigan communities are counted in last month of Census
A new advertising campaign is underway in Northwest Lower Michigan in response to a new Census response deadline slated for September 30. Getting an accurate count is challenging under usual circumstances but it is even more difficult during all the disruptions related to COVID-19. The Northwest Counts campaign will focus on boosting responses in the parts of the region with the lowest Census response rates.
The ads will drive traffic to a new web page,, that will help make responding to the Census easy. The campaign is being coordinated by Networks Northwest, which is serving as the regional Census Hub Administrator for the statewide Be Counted Census 2020 Campaign.

A complete and accurate count is vital for communities and it is important for everyone to fill out the Census including permanent and seasonal residents, renters, college students, and immigrants. Census data is used to distribute funding for road repairs, school improvements, and social programs. Michigan stands to lose $1,800 per person per year of federal funding to support programs that use Census data. Without an accurate Census count of our entire community, the potential for leaving much needed resources on the table for our 10-county region is at risk. The nine question Census takes less than10 minutes to fill out and will help ensure that our region will receive its share of resources for the next 10 years.

Group will continue to push for transit authority - Story

New attendance procedures for schools sports - Story

Home sales are back on the upswing after Covid slowdown - Story

Emmet County Covid cases more than doubled in August - Story

Health Dept. update: 342 Covid tests with 9 positives | COVID-19 Test Finder 
The City of Harbor Springs has installed shade sails to make it easier to stay out of the sun (or rain) and enjoy a take-out meal at Marina Park on the waterfront in downtown Harbor Springs.
City of Harbor Springs news

> City Master Plan Survey #1: Natural Character of Harbor Springs
A primary goal of the City of Harbor Springs elected and appointed officials is to incorporate the values and priorities of City residents in the administration of City government. The Master Plan is an important tool toward that end. It is the document that guides all future land use decisions for the next twenty years, or more. To that end, the City has created a series of surveys that gauges the community’s thoughts on several Master Plan goals. Your input is greatly appreciated.

Survey #1 is related to the current Master Plan’s Goal #1: “The City of Harbor Springs will retain its distinctive natural character defined by its waterfront setting, substantial bluffs and hillsides, and views of Little Traverse Bay.”

Additional surveys will be conducted on other aspects of the Master Plan in the future.

> High school juniors, seniors sought for 3 city commissions

If you are a junior or senior in high school and attend Harbor Springs High School or live within the city limits of Harbor Springs, then you have an opportunity to serve on one of the City’s boards or commissions as a non-voting member. This is an excellent opportunity to experience local government and serve your community by being involved in the decision-making process.

The City is making one position available on each of the following three boards: Downtown Development Authority; Planning Commission; and Tree Advisory Board. You may apply for all three positions, but no student will be allowed to serve on more than one board. Terms last from September 2020 through June 2021. Staff and board chairs will review the applications and make a recommendation to the Mayor for appointment.

> Applications are due Sept. 11th. More information and application forms.

Upcoming city meetings on Youtube:
City Council, 7 p.m. Sept. 21.
Downtown Development Agency (DDA), 8 a.m. Sept. 10 and Oct. 1.
Planning Commission, 5:30 p.m. Sept. 17.

City website has details, calendar and more information
Business resources and COVID-19 updates

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at and

Covid-19 Resources from the NW Michigan Health Department

Template for a Preparedness and Response Plan for a lower risk business (MS Word)


Promote yourself... send us your news.
Take a demo ride on the new Tiara Sport at Walstrom

Walstrom Marine invites you to join them this Labor Day weekend for the world premier of the new Tiara Sport 43LE and take one of the very first demo rides outside of the factory. Here are details on the demos:

  • Saturday, Sept. 5 - 1 to 3 p.m. in Harbor Springs and 9 a.m. to 12 noon in Traverse City
  • Sunday, Sept. 6 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Harbor Springs
  • Monday, Sept. 7 - 10 a.m. to 12 noon in Harbor Springs 

The Harbor Springs demos will be held at 501 E. Bay Street. For further information, call 231-526-2141.
Stay & Shop fundraiser for humane society starts today
From Sept. 3-9, mention Little Traverse Bay Humane Society when you make a purchase at one of four downtown Harbor Springs stores and 10 percent of the sale will benefit the homeless animals at the shelter.

Participating stores in the “Stay & Shop” fundraiser are:
  • Jennifer Tyler, 246 E. Main Street
  • Craig Ryan, 228 E. Main Street
  • A Cool Breeze, 139 E. Bay Street
  • Gattle’s, 236 E. Main Street

To learn more about the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society, call 231-347-2396 or visit
Free webinar will help businesses sell to the government
Tip of the Mitt SCORE and NCMC Corporate and Community Education are partnering to bring a free webinar to the business community on the basics of selling to the Federal Government and the State of Michigan.
The webinar will be held on Tuesday, September 22, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Register in advance for this meeting by going to the SCORE website, and click on Take a Workshop. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Presenter Coury Carland is a procurement counselor at the Northwest Michigan Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).
Blue Cross CEO: It is always okay to ask for help
The challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, health disparities and racial injustice are staggering personally and as a community, but not insurmountable. Our lives have changed in many ways. The current environment makes it important now more than ever that mental health is part of our conversation; that includes awareness of the risk factors and warning signs of suicide — which, upsettingly, is a growing trend. Read more.
TOPOnexus launches Learn Local Academy
Kids in the Little Traverse Bay area have an exciting opportunity to take their learning to the next level with a new and innovative program from TOPOnexus–Learn Local Academy. Families opting for full online schooling this fall can learn more at two “Get Oriented!” sessions. Learners get to go on a complimentary mini walking quest in Harbor Springs and return to Basecamp to discuss their findings and learn more about Learn Local Academy. To attend the Get Oriented! session, email with a preferred time slot between 3 and 7 pm on Thursday, September 10 or Monday, September 14.
Back Safety and Covid Best Practices classes offered

North Central Michigan College is offering free Ergonomic and Back Safety Training for area construction and accommodations industries. We have been offering this training for over five years, and we are able to offer it for free as it is funded and approved through a grant from MIOSHA. The training takes about 45-50 minutes and fits in well with regular staff meetings. Helping your employees stay safe and appreciated is the goal of the training. The training is interactive, as we want participants to start practicing new techniques right away. For those who have had it in the past, a refresher course helps to remind them of the importance of good practices. We will schedule training at your convenience and will come on-site to your location. We follow all Covid protocols. Details.

We also are offering a training on Covid and Best Practices for Small Businesses. This training is open to all industries. And we would be happy to train Chamber of Commerce staff as well. We have four free trainings left for Covid. Details.

If you have any questions or would like to register, please contact Martje Nolan at 231-348-6705 or

> LIFELONG LEARNING CLUB - The Corporate and Community Education Department at NCMC is launching its Lifelong Learning Club with a diverse schedule of online classes from qualified instructors from across the country. NCMC is partnering with the University of Utah to offer over 100 classes over the next 3 months. Sample classes include: History of the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression and Live Free of Clutter and Get Organized at Last! In 2021, we will be expanding this program with in-person classes, events, and expos. We hope you will take advantage of this unique opportunity to participate in this stellar online learning program from the comfort of your own home. Registration is now open. See the full class list here
Arts center presents limited capacity concerts
The Great Lakes Center for the Arts is thrilled to be open and presenting limited capacity, socially distanced, live events. Attend with confidence and your mask. The Center has worked hard to create a responsible space for staff, volunteers, artists, and patrons. Each show will be socially distanced and limited to 132 patrons.

  • ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL rolls into town on September 6. This evening of “western swing” country features twin fiddles and boogie piano and promises to have you dancing in your seat.
  • THOMPSON SQUARE, Sept. 12 - Husband and wife team Keifer and Shawna Thompson are known for their country chart toppers “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,”“If I Didn’t Have You,” and “I Got You."
  • B.B. KING BLUES BAND, Oct. 10 with Claudette King and Michael Lee. In remembrance of B.B. King, original band members and seasoned blues musicians celebrate the legend and the music that defined blues for the world.

> Tickets and details at
This weekend at the Lyric Theatre
TENET tickets on sale now. Last chance for Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, & Fatima. David Copperfield continues. Jazz on a Summer's Day opens.
Shay House and ferry exhibits continue all summer
It’s a beautiful day to tour our new exhibit History Matters at the Shay House, pictured above! This community art display is open Fridays and Saturdays from 11am-3pm all summer, sponsored by the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society. The Historical Society also invites the public to step back in time to an era of steam whistles and fluttering flags at the group’s newest exhibit, “Don’t Miss the Boat.” It highlights the historic ferries of Little Traverse Bay and features original watercolors and giclees by local artist William Talmadge Hall. Exhibit hours are Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11am - 3pm. Appointments for private tours are encouraged.
Admission to the Harbor Springs History Museum is by donation. The Historical Society’s Museum Store will also be carrying limited edition ferry posters and postcards to celebrate the exhibit. For more information, or to inquire about group tours, contact the Historical Society at (231) 526-9771 or email

> Aha boat restoration continues - News-Review Story
Manna golf outing set for September 10th

Manna Food Project’s September fundraiser, the “Golf Fore Manna” charity outing, is still planned to take place, with several significant modifications. While in the past participants have been invited inside the club for a post-event reception and sit-down dinner, this year’s event will be held entirely outdoors. Instead of a standard meal service, a “strolling dinner” will be provided, with chef stations and a cash bar on a tented patio. Additionally, the number of teams has been limited to 27, and there will be no silent or live auctions.

The outing takes place on Thursday, September 10, at the Country Club of Boyne’s Moor course. Tickets are $150 per golfer, or $600 per team, and includes a boxed lunch, 18 holes of golf, holes prizes, and awards. Sponsorships are available for anyone interested in supporting the event. Registration and details.
Our Restaurant Guide is updated online

Harbor Happenings is moving our Restaurant Guide online. We will continue to update it and provide any restaurant news here in our newsletter with a link to the online guide. It includes info on 24 restaurants offering both dine-in and take-out service.

Newly added updates include:

TRUE NORTH GOLF CLUB & Compass Room invites the public for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays in September from 5-9pm with Chef specialties including Walleye Almondine, Smoked Ribs, Ribeye Steaks and Chicken Milano. Breakfast and Lunch are served 7 days a week 8:30am-3pm. We offer outside dining with an amazing view. Please call for a reservation: Melanie Pinkham, 231-526-3300 x-1. Menu.

> Restaurant managers are asked to send updates to
Chamber members: help us promote you!

Let us know about your business news, promotions and events - it’s a free benefit of membership.

> REACH 750+ WITH YOUR AD or press release in Harbor Happenings. You’ll get great local exposure - our newsletter goes out to nearly 1,800 people and is opened by more than 750 each week. Here are your advertising options:
  • Display ad and web link at the top of the newsletter - $60.
  • Display ad and web link after the third story in the newsletter - $35.
  • Exclusive e-blast featuring your business - $125

We can create your ad or give you the specs to have your people do it. We invoice you after your ad runs. To send us your news, reserve your ad or ask questions, contact
HIRING EVENT - Jarvis Property Restoration is holding a hiring event from 3-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, at 5975 Charlevoix Road, Petoskey. Positions available include:
  • Construction project managers
  • Experienced sales
  • Estimators
  • Water/mold techs
  • Carpenters
  • Painters/drywallers
  • Laborers
We will be conducting interviews at the event.

PERRY FARM VILLAGE - Resident Assistant Positions - We currently have 2 Full Time positions open. Twelve hour shifts, one Midnight ( 6:30pm – 7am ) Position and one Daytime position ( 6:30am – 7pm ). We will also consider Part-Time employees. I worked part-time at Perry when I was a Nursing Student at NCMC. It was a wonderful learning experience working in an Senior Independent Community and segued nicely with my class schedules. People can apply directly online at by clicking on careers and then search for Harbor Springs.

HARBOR WEAR of Petoskey and Harbor Springs is seeking enthusiastic part-time sales associates for our casual family clothing stores. Experience is not necessary but we are looking for friendly people who will enjoy working with customers. Please apply in person at Harbor Wear at 161 State St, Harbor Springs (231-526-6922, contact Candace) or 319 E Lake St, Petoskey (347-2664 contact :Judith or Katie).

PINEVIEW COTTAGE Assisted Living and Memory Care is looking to hire full and part-time caregivers - second and third shift. $500 sign-on bonus for full-time, $250 bonus for part-time. Our luxury assisted living/memory care community is looking for caring, compassionate, detail-oriented and dependable caregivers. Position includes assisting our residents with bathing, dressing, grooming, medications, activities and meal service in our fine dining room. Premium wages, and comprehensive benefits, paid time off & paid holidays. Call Dean at 810-516-8928.

PIERSON’S GRILLE & SPIRITS is hiring year-round staff. Looking for positive, high-energy, outgoing, friendly professionals to join our team! Call 231-526-2967 or fill out an application online at

TURKEY'S RESTAURANT is now hiring for all positions. Come in to 250 E. Main Street and pick up an application or call Jeff or Sara at 231-526-6041.

BC PIZZA of Harbor Springs is now hiring delivery drivers. Please call 231-526-2424 or email to inquire. 930 State Street, 231-526-2424.

> Chamber members are invited to post their job openings on our Jobs Page. Log in to post, or email for assistance. NEW... send us your job posting and North Central Michigan College will automatically post it on their jobs board!
Thank you, new Chamber members!

These local businesses and organizations have joined the Harbor Springs Chamber in recent weeks. We'd love to have you join them - and us!

  • Admired in Harbor
  • Emmet Brick & Block
  • Thomas & Milliken Millwork
  • Highland Hideaway Bed & Breakfast
  • Pleasantview Winery
  • Bar Harbor
  • Zen Business
  • Two Glass Gents
  • TOPOnexus, LLC

Chamber member benefits |  Member application |  Call 231-526-7999 or email us.  
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Disclaimer: Information presented in the HSACC Newsletter does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Harbor Springs Area Chamber of Commerce or its membership. It is provided here as information only, as provided by member businesses & local organizations.