November 2021
Arcadia * Benzonia * Beulah * Copemish * Elberta * Empire * Frankfort * Honor
Interlochen * Lake Ann * Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore * Thompsonville
Chamber Newsletter
Public Comments are now open on Legislative District Map proposals. Let your voice be heard and review all of the proposals and comment. Major changes are proposed to BOTH our State House and Senate districts...your opinion MATTERS!
Remember those who served Thursday, November 11th!
Your Benzie Area Chamber of Commerce was recently presented with an Award of Distinction at the 2021 Annual MACP Conference held at Crystal Mountain.
Chamber of Commerce and Community
Your Benzie Area Chamber of Commerce always has a full agenda. Economic development initiatives, legislative advocacy, workforce strategies, broadband and infrastructure, housing developments and more keeps your Chamber working for your business and the community.
Chamber Ambassadors
We would like to give a special shout-out to our Ambassador and Member, Carol Dye for assisting with check-in at our October Off-The-Clock.

We are always looking for more volunteers to help the Chamber make a difference in the Benzie area.

1st Quarter 2022
Committee Meeting - February 14th
Governmental Relations Initiatives
The Benzie Chamber hosted Coffee Hour with Senator Curt VanderWall on 11/8. We had a great group of community members that provided feedback and ideas for the Senator to take back to Lansing.

The Chamber Governmental Affairs Committee met on 11/8. Community leaders were onhand to give updates on local legislation and initiative, as well as recap the recent election and ballot proposals.
* * * * Directories, Maps, & Visitor's Guides * * * *
We are happy to deliver Chamber literature to your business or organization.
Please let us know if you need any Chamber Directories or Chamber Maps
Email Michelle - or stop by the Chamber Office!!
Business Enrichment Programming
The Benzie Area Chamber of Commerce is preparing great Business Enrichment programs under the Making Benzie Better moniker. These will be quarterly programs designed for business owners and community leaders on topics that affect our area.

The Benzie Chamber knows it is important to get Business Owners and Community Leaders together to have an open dialogue about needs in our community. We look forward to bringing more leaders together to Make Benzie Better.
Unfortunately, the Housing Initiatives Workshop scheduled for November 4th has been postponed until February. Stay tuned for updates.

We are currently working on an event in January speaking to how to attract talent and develop your workforce. Stay tuned for a date.

Also, if you would like to host this or another "Making Benzie Better" event for about 30 attendees, please email Michelle at
Save the Date!!
Thursday, December 9 - 5p-7p
@ The Garden Theater w/ Sponsor State Savings Bank
(Holiday theme)
Small Business Saturday, November 27th!
Supporting our local small businesses is vital to the economy in the Benzie Area! We encourage you to Shop Local all year round
MI New Economy
MI New Economy builds on Michigan's economic momentum by setting aggressive goals for state government and outlining the transformative proposals that take advantage of the once-in-a-generation opportunity to remake Michigan's future and grow the middle class, support small businesses, and invest in our communities. This plan will result in better jobs, better skills, more people re-entering the labor force and more people staying in Michigan and moving to Michigan. It will result in a new economy, a better economy, one that expands economic opportunity and prosperity for all.
Going PRO Talent Fund
Applications close October 28th!
The Going PRO Talent Fund (Talent Fund) makes awards to employers to assist in training, developing and retaining current and newly hired employees. Training funded by the Talent Fund must be short-term and fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer. Training must lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable and recognized by industry.
Northwest Michigan Works is now utilizing the Chamber Conference room on Fridays for Path Advisor Programming until their regular room at the library is ready.

We have some great ideas for furthering Workforce Development opportunities using the Chamber building...stay tuned.
Job Seeker Services
Networks Northwest and Northwest Michigan Works have great programming for those re-entering the workforce or even changing careers. Most programs are available via Zoom. Check out their websites for programs available.
USDA Rural Development Business Loans and Grants
Business Programs provide financial backing and technical assistance to stimulate business creation and growth. The programs work through partnerships with public and private community based organizations and financial institutions to provide financial assistance, business development, and technical assistance to rural businesses. These programs help to provide capital, equipment, space, job training, and entrepreneurial skills that can help to start and/or grow a business. Business Programs also support the creation and preservation of quality jobs in rural areas.

Michigan was recently awarded a part of a $7.5M grant for the 2022 TEFAP Farm to Food Bank Program
There is still time to apply for a COVID-19 EIDL!

Applications deadline is December 31, 2021!
All eligible applicants should file their applications as soon as possible.

Do you qualify for PPP Forgiveness?
On September 9, 2021, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced the following major enhancements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
  • Increasing the COVID EIDL Cap. The SBA will lift the COVID EIDL cap from $500,000 to $2 million. Loan funds can be used for any normal operating expenses and working capital, including payroll, purchasing equipment, and paying debt.
  • Implementation of a Deferred Payment Period. The SBA will ensure small business owners will not have to begin COVID EIDL repayment until two years after loan origination so that they can get through the pandemic without having to worry about making ends meet.
  • Establishment of a 30-Day Exclusivity Window. To ensure main street businesses have additional time to access these funds, the SBA will implement a 30-day exclusivity window of approving and disbursing funds for loans of $500,000 or less. Approval and disbursement of loans over $500,000 will begin after the 30-day period.
  • Expansion of Eligible Use of Funds. COVID EIDL funds will now be eligible to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.
  • Simplification of affiliation requirements. To ease the COVID EIDL application process for small businesses, the SBA has established more simplified affiliation requirements to model those of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
Applications are now open for the Michigan Department of Education Childcare Stabilization Grant.

The Child Care Stabilization Grant is a $700 million investment in child care providers across Michigan. The Stabilization Grant is a non-competitive grant for child care providers to help stabilize operations and support the health and safety of children and staff.
With our partnership with the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance representing 16 Chambers across Northern Michigan gives us a fair and equal voice in Lansing and Washington DC.

For example, measures were taken last summer to ease COVID restrictions in our Region ahead of the remainder of the State. The combined resources help us monitor State and Federal legislation that would affect our Northern Michigan economy and lifestyle.

Michigan's 35th District
PO Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
(517) 373-1725


Michigan's 101st District
PO Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-1825
HB 4052 & SB 0231- Daylight Savings Time Participation

HB 4060 - Microenterprise Development

HB 4081/4641/4646 & SB 0198/ 0364/ 0459- Neighborhood Enterprise Zoning

HB 4136 /4137/ 4139 & SB 0210/ 0211 - Snowmobile, Watercraft & ORV Safety requirements

HB 4162/ 4544 - Michigan Strategic Fund designations

HB 4289 & SB 0145/ 0146- First-time homebuyers savings account program

HB 4413 - Minimum Wage update

HB 4722 & SB 0446- Land Use - Short-Term Rental Zoning

HB 4835/4836 & SB 0433/0434- Drivers License / State ID allowance for undocumented individuals

HB 4842 & SB 0444- Spirit Tax & Reform

SB 0432 - Rural Workforce Housing Project compensation amended

SB 0501 - Individuals collecting unemployment benefits will be required to seek work
Autumn Activities in Benzie
As the days get shorter and the nights become cooler, nature begins to change into a spectacular show of color. Benzie County is a great place to enjoy the stunning gold and oranges cast against the gorgeous blue Lake Michigan background. Whether you live here or are just visiting for a time, there are plenty of Autumn Activities for you to enjoy.
New Workplace Took Kit
The Benzie-Leelanau Distric Health Department has put together a new COVID-19 Workplace Toolkit. As always, you are within your rights to require additional safety and health measures at your discretion to protect your staff.

Vaccines are now available for ages 5-11. Check out the Chamber Resource page for info.
Premier Investor Sponsors
Benzie Area Chamber of Commerce - 826 Michigan Ave. / PO Box 204, Benzonia, MI 49616
(231) 882-5801 /