Traverse Connect Bulletin
Top Talk
February 18, 2015

More than 200 SBC Nominations!

Thanks to all who submitted nominations for the Chamber's Small Business Celebration. More than 200 nominations were received for this year's SBC - now the real excitement begins!

Nominated companies have until March 13 to apply. Those that qualify will be featured in the Small Business Celebration Candidate Showcase on March 25.  From there the SBC participants are narrowed to the 10 finalists celebrated at the Meet the Top Breakfast on May 6. The 2015 Hagerty Small Business of the Year Award will be presented at the SBC Awards Celebration on May 28. All events are held at NMC's Hagerty Center.


See who's been nominated for this year's Small Business Celebration, and get registered for the upcoming events.


The Small Business Celebration is sponsored by:






CONNECT | Economic Development
Join Us Tonight for BAH

Beat those late-winter blues with the area's original after-work networking event - the Chamber's Business After Hours.


Join us this evening from 5 - 7 p.m. at Image360 at 1702 Barlow St. in Traverse City, where Andrew and Amy Kohlmann will open their business to fellow Chamber members. It will feature food supplied by Blue Heron 2 Café, refreshments from Short's Brewing Co. and plenty of fun created by everyone there. Image360 will also offer a special grand prize of a $500 sign or media display!


Business After Hours is sponsored by:





Weekly Entrepreneur Focus Rolls On

The Chamber's Weekly Entrepreneur Focus is back on the air. Join Ron Jolly of NewsTalk 580 WTCM and Chamber Chief Operating Officer Laura Oblinger each Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. for an inspiring story from a local business owner to learn about how they started, where they've gone and how they continue to grow their company. If you missed a show, click here or visit the Chamber website for an archive of past episodes.


The Weekly Entrepreneur Focus is sponsored by:







Homestead Wins Free Energy Audit

Congratulations to the Homestead resort in Glen Arbor which will receive a free energy audit worth up to $1,000 from Consumers Energy. The utility recently invited Chamber members to apply for a comprehensive energy review of their operations. The resort is in line for several energy saving upgrades including programmable thermostats, LED lighting and exit signs and faucet aerators, plus other energy-saving measures and rebates.


The Chamber also offers low-interest financing up to $50,000 to help pay for energy savings upgrades for its member businesses. Learn more...



INSPIRE | Leadership Growth
Leadership @ The Movies Opens to Rave Reviews

The Chamber lifted the curtain last week on another 5-star leadership program with Leadership at the Movies held at the Bijou by the Bay theatre. Nathan Havey of Thrive Consulting led an insightful discussion and analysis of leadership styles through the lens of the film Other People's Money.


Participants called it an "outstanding program" and "exactly what I love about being part of our community."  If you missed it, no worries - the sequel is set for April 22 from 7:30 - 9 a.m. at the Bijou followed by two more presentations later this year.


Don't wait - sign up now for this free event open to Chamber members.


Chamber leadership Programming is supported by:



Register for Mini MBA

Looking for a compact, close-to-home program to hone the business skills of your company's managers and executives? Turn to the Chamber's Mini MBA program through Ferris State University which returns in April. It offers a comprehensive nine-week course providing hands-on business experience through a team of seasoned FSU business instructors.  Participants must be Chamber members and hold a bachelor's degree. Learn more and get registered for this dynamic program.



100 Years at the Chamber


The Chamber's recent Annual Celebration included a stirring video created by Petersen Productions highlighting the Chamber's 100 years of service to the Grand Traverse region, including a heart-felt tribute from former Michigan Governor William G. Milliken.  Here's the video if you missed the event or would like to watch it again. It can also be viewed on the Chamber's website at


IMPACT | Advocacy for Business
Alliance on the Move

There's been a whirlwind of legislative activity during the past few weeks for the Chamber and its partners at the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. The Traverse City Area Chamber and its members hosted Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette for a luncheon in Traverse City last week. Learn more about what's going on at the Chamber Alliance.



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March 18, 2015 - Business After Hours; 5 - 7 p.m. at the Park Place Hotel
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