Graphic design workshop Jan. 7

TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse City SCORE chapter will hold a virtual workshop on graphic design Jan. 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“DIY Graphic Design” is a free workshop. The workshop will help participants understand why good graphic design matters, and provide specific tips, tools, tricks and resources to get started.

For more information or to register for a workshop, go to

PTAC webinars set for January

TRAVERSE CITY — The Northwest Michigan Procurement Technical Assistance Center is offering three training webinars in January. All three webinars are from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

January webinars include:

  • Jan. 12 An Update on Department of Defense Cybersecurity Requirements for Defense Contractors
  • Jan. 20 Beta.SAM 101
  • Jan. 29 Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development Program

There is no cost for the PTAC webinars, but advance registration is required.

Visit for additional information and links to register. Registration assistance is available by calling (231) 929-5060 or by sending an email to

CPR, first-aid certification class

TRAVERSE CITY — The Builders Exchange of Northwest Michigan is offering a CPR and first-aid certification class Jan. 20, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The class will be held at Builders Exchange, 1373 Barlow St. According to a release, law requires that contractors ensure at least one person with a valid certificate in first-aid training is present at each work site. Those successfully completing the class will receive the American Heart Association CPR/First Aid Certificate.

Steve Ball of Michigan Gutters will be the class instructor. Cost is $85 for Builders Exchange of Northwest Michigan members and $100 for non-members. Lunch is included.

The class is limited to 10 participants. RSVP no later than Jan. 15 be sending an email

Cherryland awards $17K to nonprofits

GRAWN — Cherryland Cares awarded $17,700 in December to four area st non-profit organizations.

Receiving grants were Benzie Area Christian Neighbors, Crystal Community Ski Club, TART Trails and Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center.

Cherryland Cares is funded by members electing to round up their monthly electric bill to the nearest dollar. A group of five volunteer Cherryland members review grant applications and allocate money to organizations seeking assistance.

In 2020, Cherryland Cares awarded a total of $43,300 in grants to nonprofit organizations.

SBDC online training offered

TRAVERSE CITY — The Small Business Development Center Northwest Region offers online training webinars in January.

Starting a Business is offered on Jan. 6 (2-3:30 p.m.) and Jan. 12 (9-10 a.m.). Forming an LLC or DBA is offered Jan. 11 (2-3:30 p.m.) and Writing a Business Plan is available on Jan. 13 (2-3:30 p.m.).

Additional and registration information is available at and clicking on ‘Register for a Workshop.’

MedCenter joins McLaren Medical

PETOSKEY — Northern Michigan MedCenter, the practices of Dr. Gustav Lo, has joined McLaren Medical Group.

According to a release from McLaren, the new practice will be under the new name of McLaren Northern Michigan MedCenter. The new MedCenter will encompass the two practices located in Petoskey and one in Boyne City. It will continue to offer both urgent care and primary care services.

According to a release, McLaren Northern Michigan MedCenter “will continue to ensure the community has access to the latest in medical advances, resources and technology.” Patients will also now “have expanded access to ambulatory surgery, imaging, commercial and Medicaid HMO’s, home health and hospice providers, and a clinical laboratory network.”

State recovers nearly $2M

LANSING — The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Wage and Hour Division returned nearly $2 million in unpaid wages in 2020, according to a release.

The release added the Wage and Hour Division processed nearly 3,500 complaints “covering minimum wage violations and unpaid wages or fringe benefits.”

The Wage and Hour Division enforced protections for the Minimum Wage law, fringe benefits, deductions and Paid Medical Leave Act.

To file a complaint and for additional information on the Wage and Hour Division, visit

Builders FirstSource merges with BMC

DALLAS — Builders FirstSource, Inc. and BMC Stock Holdings, Inc. announced the completion of their all-stock merger transaction, according to a release.

According to the release, the “merger creates the nation’s premier supplier of building materials and services, with combined sales of approximately $11.7 billion as of the twelve months ended Sept. 30, 2020.” The combined company will operate “approximately 550 distribution and manufacturing locations, with a presence in 40 states, including 44 of the top 50 metropolitan statistical areas ...”

BMC shareholders received a fixed exchange ratio of 1.3125 shares of Builders FirstSource common stock for each share of BMC common stock, the release added.

As previously announced, former BMC CEO Dave Flitman will become Chief Executive Officer of Builders FirstSource on April 1. Former Builders FirstSource CEO Chad Crow will retire and remain available on a consulting basis to support the integration and to ensure an orderly transition.

Foundation makes COVID-19 grants

JACKSON — The Consumers Energy Foundation made more than $480,000 in grants to help Michigan nonprofits provide COVID-19 pandemic assistance. The Foundation has $5.4 million since March, according to a release.

The recent grants include $200,000 for the Food Bank Council of Michigan, $100,000 to Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, $50,000 to Greater Lansing Food Bank’s Building Hope Campaign, $30,000 to Start Garden (Grand Rapids), $25,000 to Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team, $15,000 to Community Homeworks (Kalamazoo), $15,000 to Nonprofit Network (Jackson), $10,000 to Degage Ministries (Grand Rapids), $10,000 to Devereaux Memorial Library (Grayling), $10,000 to Trauma Recovery Associates (Kalamazoo), $5,000 to Disability Services Resource Center (Bay City), $5,000 to Motherly Intercession (Flint), $5,000 to Urban Roots (Grand Rapids) and $2,500 to Open Door Outreach Center (Oakland County).

SBA launching 20 WBC centers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Small Business Administration announced grant funding and the launch of 20 new Women’s Business Centers.

According to a release, these new centers are “the largest single expansion of WBCs across America in its 30-year tenure, and these centers will be pivotal to the success of women-owned businesses as they continue to recover during this time.”

The WBCs will be in rural and underserved markets and are part of partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The WBCs are a national network of 136 centers. According to the release, these centers offer “one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops, technical assistance and mentoring to women entrepreneurs on numerous business development topics, including business startup, financial management, marketing and procurement.”

SBA will also launch Ascent, a free digital e-learning platform. A live webinar is scheduled for Jan. 7 at 1 p.m. Participants can register for the webinar at

The 20 new WBCs began opening Jan. 1, 2021 in these states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

More information about SBA programs and services for women entrepreneurs is available at or

Dickey’s arrives in Singapore

DALLAS — Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will open its their first location in Singapore in February.

Dickey’s will open in the city’s Central Business District. The location will open as a ghost kitchen outpost.

According to a release, this is the fifth international franchise expansion deal inked by Dickey’s. Development agreements in Australia, Japan, Myanmar and the Philippines were announced earlier.

AAA: Michigan gas prices decrease

DEARBORN — Michigan gas prices in Michigan dropped 5 cents compared to last week, according to AAA.

Drivers in Michigan are paying an average of $2.22 per gallon for regular unleaded. This price is 16 cents more than this time last month, but 33 cents less than this time last year.

Motorists are paying an average of $33 for a full 15-gallon tank of gasoline; a decrease of $11 from peak prices in July of 2019.

According to the release, the state’s least expensive gas prices were in Traverse City ($2.07), Benton Harbor ($2.16) and Saginaw ($2.18). The most expensive average prices were in Marquette ($2.29), Jackson ($2.24) and Lansing ($2.23).

Daily national, state and metro gas price averages are available at

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