Traverse Connect Bulletin
Top Talk
February 25, 2015
Chamber's Laura Galbraith (l) with Amanda Rommell
Benzie Outfitter Hooks Chamber Loan

Benzie County is a recreational playground for Northwest Michigan, with an abundance of outdoor activities available throughout the four seasons. Big Bob's Up North Outfitters in Frankfort owned by David and Amanda Rommell is among the businesses helping Benzie residents and visitors enjoy the great outdoors. The company recently secured a $15,000 Chamber loan to help grow its operation. Learn more about the business and the Access to Capital opportunities available through the Chamber's Economic Development Corp.




Input Needed on Road Ballot Proposal

Business organizations across Michigan are reviewing the state road funding proposal going on the May 5 election ballot. It would generate $1.2 billion a year for state and local road agencies, plus funds for public transportation, additional revenue sharing for local governments and another $300 million for Michigan's school aid fund.


The Chamber's Government Relations Committee is scheduled to review the proposal at its meeting this Friday, February 27. If you've got input to share with the Chamber on this issue, submit it in the comment box below or email Government Relations Director Kent Wood at


Learn more about Proposal 1 in this analysis from the House Fiscal Agency. 



CONNECT | Economic Development
Apply for the SBC Today

Why should your business apply? Click here to learn how this can help your company. This year's Small Business Celebration - the Grand Prix of Small Business - is off to a fast start with more than 200 area small businesses nominated for this signature recognition program. Is your business among those nominated? If so, take the next step to participate in the SBC by filling out the application form by the March 13 deadline.


Businesses that apply will be featured in the SBC Candidates Showcase on March 25. From there the field is narrowed for the Meet the Top 10 Breakfast on May 5. The 2015 Hagerty Small Business of the Year will be unveiled at the SBC Awards Ceremony on May 28. All SBC events are held at NMC's Hagerty Center and you can register here. 


The Chamber's Small Business Celebration is supported by:



February Member Anniversaries

It's said that February is a month for love, and at the Chamber we love to recognize our loyal members and thank them for supporting the organization and community.


More than 60 Chamber businesses will celebrate their membership anniversaries this month, led by the 40-year anniversaries of McCardel Culligan, Fifth Third Bank and the Builders Exchange of Northwest Michigan Inc.


See who else is celebrating their Chamber birthday in February.                                                      

INSPIRE | Leadership Growth
Janet Sieting and Thomas Dewey of Dewey Insurance, 2014 Kalkaska Citizen and Business of the Year
Nominate Kalkaska Business & Citizen of the Year

The Kalkaska community has a 45-year tradition of honoring its business and civic leaders, dating back to 1970. Nominations are open through March 20 for the 2015 Kalkaska Citizen and Business of the Year awards, to be presented at the Kalkaska Chamber Annual Luncheon on April 21 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Kalkaska Church of Christ.  Click here to make nominations or register for the Chamber Luncheon.                                                                                                       


The Kalkaska Chamber Annual Luncheon is sponsored by:




IMPACT | Advocacy for Business
Get the Labor Lowdown

The arrival of spring and summer means ramping up the workforce for many Chamber members. Learn what you need to know about the Fair Labor Standards Act and the H-2B Nonimmigrant Visa Program in the return of the "Lowdown on Labor Law" seminar set for March 18 from 8 a.m. - noon at the Chamber office featuring Randy Whitmire of the U.S. Department of Labor.


Sign up now for this free, informative program that will help your business make good personnel decisions.



Treasury Update on Online Filings, Tax Payments

The state Department of Treasury is using a new online portal to allow for online filings by businesses for various payments including use, sales and withholding taxes. But some business owners are reporting problems with the new system and an inability to file by the February 20 deadline.


Chamber/Alliance Government Relations Director Kent Wood reports on the issue and what the state's doing about it in his latest Northern Michigan Business Blog.



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March 18, 2015  - Lowdown on Labor Law8 a.m. - noon at the Chamber office

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