Venture News
Top Talk
November 23, 2015
Daryl Lehn of Traverse Body & Paint Center

Body Shop Takes Root with Venture North 
Home is where the heart is. And with Daryl Lehn of Traverse Body & Paint Center, he started building a successful professional home five years ago at the Traverse Body & Paint Center automotive shop south of Traverse City.

Venture North recently helped Lehn secure his company's long-term future with a $82,384 bridge loan from its Development Fund to help him purchase the paint and body shop located at 940 West Blue Star Drive. It significantly reduced the company's overhead and established a long-term home for his growing business. Learn more about how Venture North and its partners at Northern Initiatives helped this small business chart its future.

Venture North Assists in Housing Project
Venture North helped facilitate a new housing project being developed by TraverseCONNECT to provide much-needed workforce housing within Traverse City. Learn more about how TraverseCONNECT worked with Chemical Bank to create this unique development that helps address the region's significant workforce housing shortage.

Check Out Venture North's Website
How can Venture North help grow your business? Learn how by checking out our new website. It includes information on Venture North's five different business lending funds that range from small micro loans up to major financing for expansions, capital projects or acquisitions. More than 40 businesses across Northern Michigan have reached out to Venture North to help grow their operations, and we can do the same for you.

Venture North was formed earlier this year through the merger of the Traverse City Area Chamber Foundation and the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corp. It holds approximately $5 million in lending assets and has a current loan portfolio of more than $2.4 million.

The Venture North website includes information on:
  • Venture North's five business financing funds and how to apply
  • The new Venture Up North professional talent portal
  • Contact information for Venture North staff
  • Other information including videos, funding partners and the Venture North board.
Click here to check out the Venture North website.

Consumers Energy Grant Boosts Venture North
More businesses are stepping up to support Venture North's economic development efforts in the region. A recent grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation is being used by Venture North to expand its business financing and support efforts across its 10-county service.

A portion of the Consumers grant was also used to upgrade the Van Sumeren Room conference space in the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce building. The third-floor conference room now features a large screen high-definition video screen equipped with Apple TV, a web cam for interactive video presentations and a new conference call system. Combined with upgrades earlier this year to the Chamber's first floor conference room, the building now offers two state-of-the-art meeting spaces with the latest video and digital technology for meetings, presentations, remote teleconferences and more.

Thanks Consumers Energy for your critical support of Venture North and Northern Michigan's business community.

FUNDING | Access to Capital 
Hurst Mechanical's Mike Steadman (right)

Reduce Your Winter Utility Bills
Traverse City Area Chamber member Hurst Mechanical recently upgraded a large manufacturing plant in Cadillac. The project, which received energy savings awards from the State of Michigan and Consumers Energy, helped Michigan Rubber Products generate an estimated $250,000 in savings and improved its cash flow by $68,000 with just a two-year ROI.

Venture North can help your business realize these kinds of major energy savings through a zero percent loan from the Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund created through a partnership between Venture North and Traverse City Light & Power. It's available to TCL&P commercial and industrial companies that are making their businesses more energy efficiency by investing in infrastructure upgrades.

Loan terms vary based on the type of project and the needs of the borrower. Loans of up to $50,000 are available with terms up to five years. Click here to learn more about the program.

SBA Disaster Loan Deadline Looms
Time is running short for area small businesses and nonprofit organizations to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration for damage created by excessive rain and cold weather that began on April 1, 2014. The loans are available in dozens of northern and central Michigan counties, including most of the 10-county service area of Venture North, and the application deadline is Wednesday, November 25.

The loans are for working capital of up to $2 million, with interest rates of 4 percent for eligible small businesses and 2.625 percent for non-profits, for terms up to 30 years. Business can apply online with the Electronic Loan Application or download the applications forms from the SBA website.
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Total Funded


as of November 1, 2015

Funding Available:

Approximately $3 million