Marketing class pays dividends

TRAVERSE CITY — Great Lakes Gift Co., a student-operated company from a Traverse City Central High School marketing class, officially wrapped up its season.

The business created, planned and sold gift bundles for $28.95 that included items from Traverse City companies. Great Lakes Gift Co. worked with Junior Achievement volunteers to create a profitable business that would meet sales goals while providing a real world experience.

The business reported revenues of more than $8,000, which along with individual student commission checks, resulted in an 80 percent return to all stockholders. In addition, 3.5 percent of the revenue was donated to the Cherryland Humane Society.

Independent Bank offers shutdown help

GRAND RAPIDS — Independent Bank is offering assistance to federal employees who are not receiving paychecks during the government shutdown.

According to a release from Independent Bank, the borrower assistance team “will work with loan customers to avoid the negative consequences of missing a payment.” The release further states that “payments will be suspended for federal employees who are impacted” if a request is made.

Customers can contact the borrow assistance team at (844) 279-2748 or Federal employees who are not receiving a paycheck during the shutdown can contact their local banking office or call 1-800-355-0641 for assistance.

Bellaire Chamber event set for Jan. 24

BELLAIRE — The Bellaire Chamber of Commerce will hold a Busibness After Hours event on Jan. 24 from 5:30-7 p.m.

The event will be held at the real estate office of The Julie Pietrowicz Team at 107 N. Bridge St. Admission is $3 a person.

Cocktails from Mammoth Distilling will be featured along with appetizers from Market M88 and desserts from Ruthann’s Gourmet Bakery.

More information is available at

Homebuyer education class is Jan. 26

TRAVERSE CITY — The Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency hosts a Homebuyer Education class on Jan. 26 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The class will be held at the NMCAA’s Traverse City office at 3963 Three Mile Road. The workshop will provide education on all aspects of home ownership and feature a panel presentation from NMCAA Home Ownership Coach Carol Cenci, Colleen Mageau of Union Home Mortgage, Camille Campbell of Coldwell Banker Real Estate and William Hindle of North Coast Home Inspection.

A certificate of completion is issued following the workshop and is required for Rural Development, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Habitat for Humanity or Homestretch loan products, according to a release. Complimentary appointments are also available to those seeking an evaluation of mortgage readiness.

To register or for more information, visit or call Whitney at (231) 947-3780.

Business writer