August News Articles
Entrepreneurial Toolkit has been Launched!
Download this great resource to walk you through the startup process!
Jump start your Startup with the Entrepreneurial Toolkit

Andy Atkinson and Isabel Hess, NLEA Summer Interns
We are excited to be able to share with you, an Entrepreneurial Toolkit for Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet County. This toolkit organizes resources available in our four county region that help entrepreneurs create and maintain a viable business. It was developed through the hard work of the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance summer internship program, graciously funded by the DTE Energy Foundation.
East Jordan Looks to Update Downtown
Amanda Baker, Downtown Development Coordinator
Don’t just invite people downtown, give them options on how to get there!

Gosling Czubak renderings give the East Jordan DDA ideas on ways to improve pedestrian access and multimodal traffic in town.

Although the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix is not wide at the end, the disconnect between the east and west sides of East Jordan that it separates has often been remarked upon, and the East Jordan DDA is making plans to lessen the gap. The DDA hired on Gosling Czubak Engineering Firm to design an updated streetscape and connectivity plan based on public input gathered over the winter. Focusing on three traffic nodes (the intersection of Main Street and M32, the M32 Bridge, and Tourist Park) the DDA and engineers are determining the best ways for people to move from one location to the next.
Going Pro...A Fresh Name for Training your Workforce!
Buck Love, Business Retention & Growth
To better reflect the importance of a well-trained workforce and to promote a new attitude of greater training options for more than just industrial manufacturing, the training grant program, known as STTF (Skilled Trades Training Fund), has a fresh new name!

Last year 18 companies in the NLEA region were awarded grants ranging from $1500 to over $68,000 that trained 493 total workers in a variety of industry skills.

The Going PRO Talent Fund (Talent Fund) awards employers to assist in training, developing and retaining current and newly hired employees.
5 Ways to Boost your Online Presence
Carly Bortz, Administrative/
Communications Assistant

Forget the hand shake and cut the small talk—people form a first impression of online content in a mere 50 milliseconds , ( Medium/Marketing and Entrepreneurship ). That’s a short amount of time to grip your reader.

Even more startling is that 81% of people skim online content and read at most 20 to 28% of words during the average visit. There are two problems you’re faced with on the short end of this straw: getting more viewers and, most importantly, engaging viewers so they choose your business every time.

But how do you keep viewers engaged in 50 milliseconds with 28% of your content?
Making the Vision Happen!
Janet Koch, Community Development

It’s here. Your community has done the homework by holding  meetings, conversations and discussions , and the community’s Vision is now in front of you. People are energized and excited and you’re already getting questions about when the Vision will become reality. Only…how do you make it happen?

1) Put the Vision front and center.  This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to dedicate every possible resource to the vision, but it does mean the board/council/commission needs to find ways to show the community how seriously they’re taking what you’ve created. There are probably as many ways to do this as there are organizations, but here are some ideas: put it on every agenda for an update; frame an image that represents the vision and hang it prominently in a public space; send out press releases every time a step toward the vision is made.

Small Town Conference. For Small Towns. In a Small Town.
Embrace Entrepreneurship in your Community!

Andy Hayes, NLEA President

The MSU Extension state-wide “Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities” Conference is coming to Charlevoix in October. In its 10th year, this popular conference offers excellent keynote speakers and 28 breakout sessions all geared towards helping communities learn of tools and resources they can access and implement back home to help entrepreneurs. 
The CEC conference moves around each year, and in 2018 it will be held Oct 3-4 in Charlevoix.  Attendees typically are business, government, education and community leaders…all with an interest to help entrepreneurs succeed in their town. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn, network and share best practices from communities all over the state.
Click here for conference information and registration details.
Submit your Application to a Pitch Night near you
Hannah Sanderson, Business Attraction & Growth

Do you have an itch to start a new business? Would you like to open your new business somewhere in northern Michigan? And finally, would you like to win money for your new business? Then we have a DEAL for you!

Northern Michigan Pitch Night is a business competition for a new business idea or a business that is less than two years old. Entrepreneurs submit their application for a chance to be selected to compete for a slice of $15,000 in seed funding within their County- Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan or Emmet. The applications will go through preliminary judging and the top ten candidates will be selected to pitch their business or idea at their respective county competition. One week prior to each county event, the entrepreneurs will have their four-minute business pitch and slide presentation critiqued by business coaches in order to make sure that they will be putting their best and strongest foot forward on the night of the event.