Traverse Connect Bulletin
Top Talk

January 28, 2015

2015 Small Business Celebration - Off and Running

The flag is dropped on Chamber 100 - the 2015 Small Business Celebration for the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce!  This Grand Prix of Small Business is the original small business honor to spotlight this vibrant and diverse sector across the region.


Who can participate? Any for-profit business in the 5-county region with up to 150 employees in business for at least three years.  SBC nominations will be accepted through March 13. The SBC Candidates Showcase on March 25 kicks off a series of exciting events that culminates with the Awards Celebration on May 28.


Nominations opened this week and you can click here for application information and a complete schedule of events. Don't wait to nominate your favorite small business for this prestigious and educational program. Buckle up - it's going to be a great ride!


The Small Business Celebration is supported by:








Leading and Learning through Film

Efforts to develop leadership skills never stop at the Chamber. Our new Leadership at the Movies series in 2015 is a new approach to leadership development using movies to conduct professionally facilitated discussions on business and leadership topics. The Bijou by the Bay Theatre across from the Chamber office provides an intimate setting to help generate thoughtful, enlightening leadership discussion.

Join us for the series opening on February 11 from 7:30 - 9 a.m. It features the film Other People's Money on the topic of "The False Choice Between Purpose and Profit." Nathan Harvey, CEO at Thrive Consulting Group, will lead the program.

Leadership at the Movies is free to Chamber members and includes a continental breakfast.  Learn more and get registered for this exciting new initiative.


Leadership programming at the Chamber is supported by:




CONNECT | Economic Development

WTCM/Chamber Entrepreneur Focus

It's back - the return of the Chamber's Weekly Entrepreneur Focus is off to a great start with an inspiring success story each Wednesday morning featuring a Chamber member. The popular half-hour program, which airs Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. on Newstalk 580 WTCM, is hosted by Ron Jolly, who's joined by Chamber Chief Operating Officer Laura Oblinger. They visit with a Chamber member who shares their business experiences and background for unique and personal stories of local people who've achieved business success.


Listen in to these segments from January and check the weekly Chamber Bulletin and website for links to the program. Thanks to program sponsors FIM Group and Precision Plumbing & Heating.



See Where Your Power Goes

Business energy costs can soar during the winter months. Here's something you can do about it: Apply for a free comprehensive energy audit through Consumers Energy. Consumers is giving away a free energy audit valued at up to $1,000.

  • Eligible companies must be a Consumers Energy small business customer with a facility up to 20,000 square feet.
  • The audit will include energy and cost-saving estimates and estimated rebates.
  • Direct installation measures include programmable thermostats, LED lighting and exit signs, and faucet aerators.

There's still time to apply by the January 31 deadline. The application form includes contest rules and registration information. Completed applications should be submitted to the Chamber office in care of Chief Operating Officer Laura Oblinger.


INSPIRE | Leadership Growth

Last Call for Spring LGT

This Friday, January 30, is the application deadline for the Spring 2015 Class of Leadership Grand Traverse. There are just a few slots remaining in the upcoming semester of the Chamber's signature leadership development program that's helped create community leaders for more than 30 years. Build your community and your career through Leadership Grand Traverse -  learn more!


Chamber Leadership programming is supported by:



IMPACT | Advocacy for Business

Chamber Mulls Road Proposal

The Traverse City Area Chamber will conduct a thorough review over the next several weeks of the state's road funding proposal that will go before Michigan voters in May - and we want input from our membership! 


The proposal would add a 1-cent sales tax increase and make other changes to raise $1.34 billion a year for transportation, transit, schools, local governments and low-income tax credits. The Chamber's Government Relations Committee will discuss the road funding plan at its meeting in February. The committee's recommended action will go to the Chamber board in March.


The Chamber will also update members on details and impacts of the proposal. Here's an analysis from the House Fiscal Agency.  Also follow the Chamber Bulletin for future updates.

We encourage our members to give us feedback on this proposal. You can use the comment box below or contact Government Relations Director Kent Wood at



File Your PPT Exemption

The Chamber is reminding its members of looming deadlines to file their required Personal Property Tax Exemption forms with their local assessors. The deadline is February 10 and this week's Northern Michigan Business Blog from Kent Wood explains what you need to.


Get connected to more
Chamber program info:

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Upcoming Events
Click Event to Register

January 30 - Application deadline for Spring 2015 Leadership Grand Traverse.

February 18 - Business After Hours; 5 - 7 p.m. at Image 360

February 24 - YPs Volunteering at the State Theatre 5:15 - 7:15 p.m.

Advertise Now
Click for Info


Hosted by Holy Angels Elementary School, February 7 from 9-Noon



February 12 at 6 pm


Dennis, Gartland & Niergarth

Ferris State University

Welcome to Ferris @ NMC Quality education

Convenient Location. Endless possibilities.


In Case you
Missed it...
Visit the Chamber's website at for images of the Annual Celebration