From the Economic Development Desk of the
June 17, 2020
You are receiving this email because your organization is at one of the economic development tiers  with the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce. As always, we encourage your comments and questions.
It's hard to believe I am already half-way through my first year in this role. While there have been many changes around the office the commitment to support economic development remains unchanged. In that spirit, I have been busy. There is a mixed bag of items to report on this month. Some good and some not so good. Let’s start with the positive:

  • All in for Alpena was created in early/mid May to support a fundraising program created to help small businesses throughout Alpena in the form of Grants. While the priority was to help food and retail oriented businesses, other small businesses were also be considered. Target administered the funding and provided the grant awards to the recipients. Over $45,000 was raised from mostly local donors (150 donations) and 32 grant applications were received. All 32 were awarded funds through this grassroots effort. The 32 recipients represent 243 jobs within our community. Special thanks are in order for Jennifer Calery as the champion behind this effort, her volunteer committee made up of non-profit organizations, the Community Foundation for NE Michigan Team for establishing and tracking the donations to the fund and the many donors to this worthy cause. The funds are expected to be fully disbursed this week.  

  • Target is involved in coordinating two proposals for consideration in a new federal program through the Department of Defense. This new program seeks to fund construction of infrastructure improvements that enhance quality of life for active duty military personnel. With the outstanding support from CRTC leadership led by Colonel John Miner, we are hopeful our two Alpena projects will make the cut. The formal proposals are due for submission by June 26th. One project involves the City and the other involves NOAA. This has been a significant focus of time for me recently as details of this program were just released in mid-May with a deadline for submission in late June. More to follow.

  • We are delighted to see the groundbreaking take place for the new patient tower for MidMichigan Health. That investment in our community is priceless in terms of quality of life and promoting economic development within the region. Thank you to Chuck Sherwin and his leadership team for keeping this project on track despite the obstacles Covid-19 has placed in front of them.

  • Anecdotally many businesses owners I have spoken with have told me very encouraging stories on how things have gone since the reopening of the economy began. We can only hope this continues to be the case. My own windshield assessment leads me to believe that things appear to be fairly normal in terms of traffic counts and cars in parking lots around town.  

On the downside:
  • We learned this week of the planned closure of the JC Penney store in the Alpena Mall. I have spoken with the owner of the Mall and am working to get someone from Corporate JC Penney to respond to my request to talk. I would like to get both parties in contact with one another. 

  • In late May, the DDA submitted a “Match on Main” grant application seeking $50,000 through the MEDC to support several DDA businesses. Unfortunately, we just learned that application was denied. Great effort was put forth in the submission. Of course, we wish the outcome had been different.

In Other Matters: The MEDC business support team is very interested in arranging 30 minutes virtual calls for any business that is having issues they would like help in solving. Anything from staffing and training to supply chain challenges, to finding funding sources and anything in between. The MEDC is a great resource. They are aware of many programs and have relationships across the state that might be helpful for you. Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like me to arrange one of these calls. Business retention and expansion are key elements of Target’s mission.

In the meantime, be well!
Mike Mahler
We here at the chamber and economic development are still focused on our missions and continue to work for you.
Chairman Level ($3,201+)
Alpena Agency, Inc.
Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union
Alpena Community College
Alpena County
Alpena Power Company
Bannan Funeral Home
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Charter Township of Alpena
City of Alpena
Edward Jones – Andrew Kowalski
Edward Jones – Bryan Strong
Edward Jones – Charles R. Ingle
Edward Jones – Eric M. Ferguson
Edward Jones – Marc K. Ferguson
Edward Jones – Pamela Kirchoff
H.P.C. Credit Union
Huntington Bank
Lappan Agency
MidMichigan Health
Presque Isle County
Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-Op
Wolverine State Credit Union

Leader Level ($3,200)    
Partner Level ($1,500) 
Alpena Community Credit Union
Alpena Public Schools
Bedrock Contracting and Excavating
Besser Company
Builders First Source
Chemical Bank
Clearview Car Wash
Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan
Downtown Development Authority
Decorative Panels International (DPI)
DTE Energy
Employment Services Inc. (ESI)
ITC Holdings, Corp.
Keystone Rental Equipment
LeFave Pharmacy and Compounding
MI Stop Citgo/MI Stop Deli
Northland Area Federal Credit Union
Pennzoil Ten Minute Oil Change Center of Alpena
PNC Bank
Propane Plus Inc.
Star Staffing Alpena
State Street Auto Wash
Tier4 Technical Support
Timm Construction Company, LLC
Sponsor Level ($475)
Alcona Health Center 
Alpena Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Alpena Beverage Company
Alpena Biorefinery
Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library
Alpena Events Complex
Alpena Glass Company, Inc.
Alpena News Publishing Company
Alpena Supply Company
Austin Brothers' Beer Company
Ball Tire
Banner Realty
Besser Foundation
Besser Senior Living Community, Inc.
Boldrey, Senchuk, Rouleau & Williams, CPA's, PC
Bolenz Jewelry
Building Express Inc.
Capital One Spark Business
Cardell and Sons Landscaping
Century 21 Crow Realty
Clark Construction Company
Cliff Anschuetz Chevrolet Inc.
Cocoa Capital Corp
Compassus Hospice
Consumers Energy
Control Solutions Inc
Cutting Edge Construction
Dean Arbour Ford Lincoln
Devere Industrial, LLC
Downtown Union 76 LLC
Everett Goodrich, Inc.
Fiber Char
H&R Block
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
Huron Engineering & Surveying
Industrial Image, Inc.
Lewis & Lewis Professional Surveying, Inc.
McDonald's Restaurant
Meridian Contracting Services, LLC
Michigan Works Center
Neiman's Family Market
Northern Abstract & Title Agency
Northern Eye
Omega Electric & Sign Company Inc.
Ossineke Industries
Plowman's Collision Service
Pompeyos Mexican Grill
Presque Isle Township
R.A. Townsend Company
R.S. Scott Associates, Inc.
Ramada Alpena
RE/MAX New Horizons
Real Estate One of Alpena
ServiceMaster Home & Office
Sherwin Williams
Sixty Minutes to Freedom
Skiba Insurance Service
SkyWest Airlines
Specification Stone Products
Straley Lamp & Kraenzlein P.C.
Stratford Group Ltd.
Sunrise Behavioral Health Clinic
Switzer Veterinary Clinic
Tarkington Family Dentistry
Team Elmer's
The Drug Store/Northern Exposure Framing & Matting
The Home Depot
Thunder Bay Accounting
Thunder Bay Electric, Inc.
Thunder Bay Eye Care
Thunder Bay Family Dentistry
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Thunder Bay Therapy & Sports Medicine
Thunder Bay Tree Services, LLC
Time to Shine Carwash
True North Radio Network
W.G. Benjey Inc./S&A Company
Weinkauf Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
Werth Development, LLC
White, Wojda and Curtis
Wolf Family Dentistry
Wolgast Corporation
Young Appliance, Electronics, Furniture & Mattresses
Zen 24 Hour Fitness Center