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Tickets on sale for the NLEA Showcase event

Northern Lakes Economic Alliance 2021 Annual Showcase tickets are on sale now.

Be part of the largest virtual gathering of local and state government officials, community and business leaders, area entrepreneurs, chamber members, educational leaders and everyone involved in the economic vitality of our region for networking and celebration. This year the event is Friday, May 21st virtually on the Remo platform from 11:00am-1:00pm. Tickets are $10 per person.

NLEA will presenting our infamous award “Project of the Year.” This year another great project will join the ranks of these exceptional companies. Past recipients include:
Pictured: The Community of East Jordan 2018 “Maniac of the Year” award winners.
Another award presented previously called “Maniac of the Year” is getting a revamp - you have to join us to find out. This award is presented to a group or individual that exemplifies positive and productive passion, energy, commitment, and results toward their goals. Past winners include:
  • Scott MacKenzie
  • Bill McDonough
  • The Manthei Family
  • The community of East Jordan (pictured)
  • John and Marcella Costin

So what are you waiting for? Reserve your tickets today by clicking below. Tickets are $10 per person.
How Business Leaders build resilience
Cheboygan Business Recognized
Stormy Kromer a Cap & Ale House is recognized as one of the 2021 awardees for the Michigan Small Business Development Center Best Small Business award. Stormy Kromer A Cap & Ale House will be honored at the 17th annual Michigan Celebrates Small Businesses gala event on Tuesday, July 20.

Stormy Kromer A Cap & Ale House is a retail establishment that sells the Michigan-made legendary brand of Stormy Kromer products in the very first exclusive “Stormy Kromer” store established by an authorized dealer with the permission of Stormy Kromer.

Marcella Costin, the visionary behind Stormy Kromer A Cap & Ale House, says, “We set out not only to create a unique and stylish atmosphere, but to support Michigan people and Michigan businesses, too. We are absolutely thrilled to be recognized for this award!”
Attend the Small Business Awards Gala
Along with Stormy Kromer a Cap and Ale House mentioned above other area businesses are honored as Michigan Celebrates Small Business awardees. The 2021 Michigan Celebrates Small Business Awards Gala will be held on July 20, 2021 in Lansing at the Breslin Center. Registration is open, tickets for a virtual experience are $39; in-person options are available.

Please be sure to congratulate the following small businesses in our three-county service area as well as a previous Entrepreneurial Challenge winner:

Details and a full list of winners is found on the link below.
Short Term Rentals and Housing
By Steve Schnell, Charlevoix County Housing Ready Program Director for Housing North
Short Term Rentals are important to the economy of northern Michigan, especially for many communities in Northwest Michigan. We have an abundance of natural beauty that attracts people to the area, yet many rural communities lack tourist lodging options. Converting homes to short term rentals for vacationers to use for a long weekend or a week at a time is a great way to bring visitors and the resulting economic development to our area. The visitors who come to our communities and stay in a vacation rental will spend money at local businesses and may even relocate to the area someday. It is also important to understand the balance that is needed between keeping houses available for family, students, and the local workforce.

Each short term rental that is created is one less home...
COVID Relief grants for Antrim County
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The Bellaire Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation is thrilled to announce the launch of the Regional Resiliency Program in Antrim County in partnership with Venture North.
The Regional Resiliency Program provides grants of $5,000 to businesses negatively impacted by Covid-19. In total, $45,000 will be deployed to small businesses (9 FTE or less) in Antrim County.
Online grant applications open on Monday, April 12 at 8 a.m. at Venture North. Applications are due by Friday, April 23 at 5 p.m.
Videos you will want to share
We like to motivate and educate with these videos, so good you'll pass them on! If you have one or see something inspirational, send it our way. We like to share!
Why Michigan? Ask Patti Poppe
See Marcella & John accept the NLEA Maniac of the Year award!
COVID-19 Helpful Resources
We encourage you to contact and visit the websites of your local Chambers of Commerce, Downtown Development Authorities (DDAs), and Main Street organizations for the most updated information pertaining to your community.

Click here for a short list of resources and information for businesses and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have questions please call our office at 231-582-6482 or email us at and we will direct you promptly. 
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