Venture News
Top Talk
January 28, 2016
Venture North Welcomes New Board
Venture North Funding and Development heads into 2016 with a new Board of Directors. Venture North is the economic development and business financing division of TraverseCONNECT, and a sister organization of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce. Venture North was created through the recent merger of the Traverse City Chamber Foundation and the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corp., and its 2016 board includes:
  • Chair: Sara Harding (FIM Group)
  • Vice-chair: Remos Lenio (Tillerman & Co.)
  • Director: Rick Schmitt (Stormcloud Brewing Co.)
  • Director: Mark Hepler (Munson Healthcare)
  • Director: Paul Britten (Britten Studios)
  • Director: Fred Turcotte (Hagerty)
  • Director: Bob Brick (RE/MAX Bayshore Properties)
  • Director: Doug Luciani (TraverseCONNECT)
Venture North, whose Executive Director is Laura Galbraith, also thanks its departing directors Doug Wolf (Chase Bank), Tim Smith (Smith & Johnson Attorneys) and Eddie Albert (Accountable Healthcare Staffing Inc.). Click here to learn more about Venture North's programs and services.

FUNDING | Access to Capital 
Venture North Makes First Missaukee Loan
A family-owned auto service garage near Lake City is up and running thanks to Venture North's first business development loan in Missaukee County.

Owners Dennis and Kristen Kenny at 1st Chance Garage secured a $30,000 loan from Venture North's Working Capital Fund to launch their new business in late November, located along S. LaChance Road south of Lake City. The Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) office based in Cadillac partnered on the loan.
Venture North expanded its business financing services across the 10-county region in 2015.

"We're fulfilling our goal of becoming a regional economic development and business growth resource across Northwest Lower Michigan," Venture North Executive Director Laura Galbraith said.
Learn more about 1st Chance Garage and the business development services available through Venture North.

Beverage Company Secures Energy Loan
Jeff and Paula Dobler need to keep things cool at The Beverage Company in Traverse City. But keeping their refreshing inventory at just the right temperature requires significant amounts of energy.
Fortunately, the Doblers were able to tap into Venture North's Energy Efficiency Loan Fund created in partnership with Traverse City Light & Power Co. for some major equipment upgrades. It will allow them to light up their shop and cool down the beverage storage areas, while reducing the business' energy costs and bolstering its bottom line.

Learn more about their project and how Venture North can help your business cool off its utility bills. You can also get more information on the Energy Efficiency Loan Fund.

Community Child Care Forum Coming to Northern Michigan
High-quality child care is critically important for young children and their families. The Michigan Department of Education's Office of Great Start is seeking input on ways to improve access to and availability of high-quality child care across the state, and is gathering input at a series of forums across the state to identify strategies for strengthening Michigan's childcare system.

On Wednesday, February 3, you are invited to offer your input and ideas. Public Sector Consultants, a public policy research firm based in Lansing, will be facilitating a community forum in Traverse City to gather insights from parents, providers, early childhood advocates, and community leaders.

Click here to learn more about this event and how to register.

Kalkaska Business Loans Available Through Venture North
Businesses across Kalkaska County can access financing for business upgrades and expansions through the Kalkaska County Economic Development Corporation Loan Fund in cooperation with Venture North Funding & Development. Loans up to $50,000 at attractive interest rates are available. Learn more about the Kalkaska EDC Loan and other business financing programs available through Venture North.

Building Business in Grand Traverse and Benzie
Venture North is encouraging businesses in Grand Traverse and Benzie counties to take advantage of $2 million in available funding through the Community Development Block Grant Loan Fund available in the two counties.

The CDBG Loan Fund, formerly known as the Regional Revolving Loan Fund, is available to businesses seeking money to finance real estate, inventory purchases, receivables, equipment and other working capital needs. The loan fund is specifically targeted to encourage economic growth in smaller communities, and job creation is among the necessary requirements.

Click here for more information on how to apply.

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Total Funded


as of January 1, 2016

Funding Available:

Approximately $3 million