$300 supplemental payments begin

LANSING — The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has started issuing $300 weekly Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) payments, according to a release.

The PUC payments are to “an estimated 365,000 claimants on regular state unemployment insurance and Extended Benefit programs,” according to the release. The PUC supplement is payable from Dec. 27, 2020 through March 13, 2021 and “provides an additional $300 per week to all eligible unemployment recipients who receive at least $1 for the week.”

No action is needed by claimants to receive this additional weekly benefit. The PUC is funded “from an extension of the federal COVID-19 relief package passed in December.”

Workers on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) “will not be able to complete certifications and payments will not be issued for weeks after Dec. 26 until the technical updates to the UI system are completed,” the release added.

“These workers should rest assured that they will not miss out on any benefits and will receive every dollar they are entitled to once the programs are fully implemented,” Liza Estlund Olson, acting director of UIA, said in the release.

PEUC provides 11 additional weeks of benefits for those who have exhausted regular state unemployment benefits. More information is available at www.Michigan.gov/uia.

Imperial Beverage marks milestone

KALAMAZOO — Imperial Beverage celebrated 20 years of supplying “retailers throughout the state with beer, wine and spirits made right here in Michigan, across the country and around the world,” according to a release.

Imperial Beverage supplies to retailers in the region and also carries several brands made in the area.

Prior to its statewide launch in 2001, Imperial Beverage serviced seven counties in southwest Michigan. Still headquartered in Kalamazoo, the company has warehouses in Livonia, Traverse City and Ishpeming. Imperial Beverage employs more than 300 people at its four locations.

According to the release, Joe Cekola Sr. and the Cekola family acquired Imperial Beverage in 1984, “and the distributor has been a family run business ever since.” Joe Cekola Jr. took the reins in 1994 from his father and runs the company with his brother, Larry.

No in-person Detroit Boat Show in 2021

COMMERCE TOWNSHIP — The 63rd annual Progressive Detroit Boat Show has been canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a release.

But the Michigan Boating Industries Association, producers of the Detroit Boat Show, are offering special online sales and promotions Jan. 16-24 to replace in-person shopping. Log in to www.boatmichigan.org on Jan. 16 for more details.

According to a release, there will be a special event listing and details on dealer/manufacturer discounts. Admission is free and hours will vary from business to business.

According to the National Marine Manufactures Association, the sales of new powerboats in the United States increased 12 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year. Sales of personal watercraft (8 percent increase), wake boats (20 percent) and freshwater fishing and pontoon boats (12 percent) saw gains in 2020.

Priority launches new web presence

GRAND RAPIDS — Priority Health launched a new web presence focused “on social determinants of health and health inequities,” according to a release from the company.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, social detriments of health “are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of-life risks and outcomes.”

The new landing page — priorityhealth.com/sdoh — is available to the public and is designed to be central location for content related to social determinants of health. The site has educational information and links to articles and programs related to the topic.

Independent Bank launches program

GRAND RAPIDS — Independent Bank announced the launch of its new My Home Reward Program.

According to a release, “eligible home purchase or refinance applicants in low-income neighborhoods could pay zero closing costs” with My Home Reward Program.

For more information or to check on qualifications, visit www.IndependentBank.com/zeroclosingcosts.

AAA: State gas prices down 5 cents

DEARBORN — Michigan gas prices declined 5 cents compared to a week ago, according to a report from AAA.

The release said Michigan drivers pay an average of $2.17 a gallon for regular unleaded. This average price is 18 cents more than this time last month, but 46 cents less than this time in 2020.

The least expensive average gas prices in Michigan are in Traverse City ($2.07), followed by Saginaw ($2.09) and Lansing ($2.12). The most expensive gas price averages were in Marquette ($2.28), metro Detroit ($2.21) and Ann Arbor ($2.20).

Daily national and state gas price averages are available at www.gasprices.aaa.com.

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