Traverse Connect Bulletin
Top Talk
April 29, 2015
Vote YES for Safe Roads on Tuesday

Next Tuesday is an important day in Michigan - an opportunity to start fixing Michigan's crumbling road system by passing Proposal 1 at a statewide election.


Don't buy in to all the negativity - the only way to raise Michigan's sales tax is by a public vote. Proposal 1 would raise more than $1.2 billion a year for Michigan's transportation system through a 1-cent sales tax increase and other pending changes. The state can't delay on needed road repairs, or siphon current funding from education, health care, public safety, local communities and other critical services to pay for roads.


Learn more about the facts of Proposal 1 from the Safe Roads Yes! Coalition. You can also click here for a series of videos from the Small Business Association of Michigan that further explain Proposal 1.

Don't forget to vote on Tuesday. Polls are open from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.




CONNECT | Economic Development
Venture North Funds Business Growth

Get ready to hear a lot about Venture North, the Chamber's sister economic development division under TraverseCONNECT. Venture North was created through the recent merger of the Chamber Foundation and the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corp. with $5 million in business lending resources. Led by Executive Director Laura Galbraith, Venture North is administering close to $2 million in business loans to more than 30 local businesses, with some major new transactions to be announced shortly.


Venture North will be launching its own monthly newsletter in the coming weeks. It will provide updates on financing available to the region's business community through Venture North, along with news on the latest loan deals, business development programs and seminars and related topics. Watch for more information.

Build Your Business Through SCORE

Traverse City's SCORE Chapter just ranked among the top 25 in the nation in client satisfaction for the third consecutive year! This outstanding team of SCORE mentors works here in the Chamber building to help local entrepreneurs with business start-ups or fledgling businesses get to the next level.


SCORE also offers free monthly workshops at the Traverse Area District Library from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. on a variety of business topics. Sign up for these upcoming programs:


INSPIRE | Leadership Growth
2014 Meet the Top 10 Breakfast
What Makes Our SBC Top 10 Special?

How do our region's top small businesses stay innovative, build strong employee relations and get involved with the community? Find out at the Small Business Celebration Meet the Top 10 Breakfast on Tuesday, May 5 starting at 7:30 a.m. at NMC's Hagerty Center.


Our Top 10 SBC finalists discuss what's led to their business success and talk about their plans for the future. It's a great chance to learn what makes other companies thrive and how to apply some of their best practices in your workplace. Sign up today.

Congratulations to these Top 10 finalists and we look forward to honoring you at this special event with your fellow Chamber members:

Brickyard Towing                        Pine Hill Nursery

Cash n Carry Flooring                Studio 415 Salon

Hallmark Construction Inc.        TentCraft, Inc.

High Five Threads                       Waara Technologies

NeXt IT                                          Williams & Bay Pumping Service


You can also reserve a seat for the big SBC event - the Small Business Celebration Awards Ceremony on May 28.


The Small Business Celebration is supported by:






New Opportunities for LGT Fellows

The Chamber is ramping up new leadership programming for LGT Fellows. This alumni group for the Chamber's landmark Leadership Grand Traverse program launched in 2014 to give past LGT graduates a chance to reconnect with the program and engage with current LGT classes.


Now our LGT Fellows are invited to a series of "deep dive" discussions to build on their LGT experience. Starting in May, these 90-120 minute programs will offer the latest information on our region's natural resources, local economy, state and local government and other topics.


If you're an LGT Fellow you can click here for a list of programs and how to register. If you're an LGT alum interested in joining the Fellows program, click here for more information.

Chamber leadership programming is supported by:




IMPACT | Advocacy for Business
Michigan Budget Director John Roberts
Alliance Speaker Series Kicks Off Friday
The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance launches its 2015 Speaker Series this Friday, May 1, featuring state Budget Director John Roberts. Join the Alliance from 3:30 - 5 p.m.  at NMC's Hagerty Center for an update on the state's financial picture and what it means for Northern Michigan. It's a free program but registration is necessary. Sign up today.

You can also register for the second installment on June 12 featuring Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan. It's a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa and is sponsored by Consumers Energy.

Chamber Opposes No-Fault Changes, School Opening Bills

Government Relations Director Kent Wood is busy tracking a number of legislative proposals in Lansing. The Traverse City Area Chamber renewed its objections to proposed changes in the state's No Fault auto insurance law because of its potential impact on Michigan's health care providers. The Chamber and the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance also oppose efforts to repeal the post Labor Day school start for Michigan school districts. The Alliance backed the post-Labor Day school start when it was implemented state-wide in 2005.


The Alliance is also monitoring state budget discussions and has opposed proposed cuts to rural health care services impacting Northern Michigan. Follow the Chamber Bulletin for updates or contact Wood


Also, check out the latest Northern Michigan Business Blog for an update on transportation discussions at the federal level.


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Chamber program info:

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Upcoming Events
Click Event to Register
Friday - Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance Speaker Series; 3:30 - 5 p.m. at NMC's Hagerty Center.
May 7 - Young Professionals Lunch & Learn; 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Great Wolf Lodge.

May 20  - Business After Hours; 5 - 7 p.m. at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center hosted by Bay Area Senior Advocates

May 28 - Small Business Celebration Awards Ceremony4:30 - 6:30 p.m. at NMC's Hagerty Center
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