Late fee forgiveness offered

GLENVIEW, Illinois — Family Video stores are offering to remove all late fees from customer accounts with the purchase of any rental movie or video game.

According to a release, the “Late Fee Amnesty” promotion began Oct. 20 and runs through Oct. 25 “at all 300-plus Family Video locations across the Midwest.”

The release stated the “one-time promotion also covers accounts with delinquent items that were never returned. If you still have the rented property, Family Video asks that you bring it without a penalty.”

Like many other businesses, the “last standing brick and mortar” rental store has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. More than 200 Family Video stores have closed this year, according to the release.

“This year has been very difficult for the movie and retail industry,” Family Video Regional Vice President Brent Conley said in the release. “We have been blown away by the support from the communities we serve. We don’t want a late fee to prevent our loyal customers from returning to our stores.”

Virtual Job Fair is Oct. 28

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwest Michigan Works! will hold another Virtual Job Fair on Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to noon.

According to a release, “hundreds of jobs in a variety of industries will be featured” at the free event.

Twenty-seven companies from the region are scheduled to participate and provide job seekers an opportunity to learn about current job openings and connect with employers.

Advance registration will give job seekers a chance to learn about openings and provide access to all the online booths.

To register or for more information, including a list of participating employers, visit

Cosmetic Center to open satellite

BEULAH — Traverse City’s Pure North Cosmetic Center by Dr. Laurel Leithauser and Dr. Anthony Van Vreede are opening a satellite location in Beulah.

The satellite location will see patients on the first Monday of every month beginning Nov. 2, according to a release.

The release added the practice is accepting new and established patients with insurance from Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Care Network (with referral), United Healthcare, Tricare, Medicare, Aetna, Cigna and Priority Health.

For more information or to make an appointment, call nurse practitioner Rachel Zenner at (231) 486-0230.

Independent Bank made a difference

TRAVERSE CITY — Independent Bank closed its offices Oct. 12 to participate in the fifth annual “Making A Difference Day,” an all-employee volunteer day.

Independent Bank employees volunteered in teams across Michigan and parts of Ohio.

For the third year, as part of its “Investing in Volunteering” initiative, Independent Bank donated $110,000 to the various organizations in which they volunteered. Funds were compiled from employee Jeans Day donations and other bank contributions.

In the Traverse City area, employees helped out at the Cherryland Humane Society, Peace Ranch and the Women’s Resource Center.

Photos from the event are on the bank’s Facebook page at

Diversity in the workplace webinar

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse Connect will hold its second event in its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion webinar series Nov. 4.

According to a release, the focus of the free webinar is to “untangle the meaning of diversity, equity, and inclusion; review the different approaches to diversity; and examine why diversity, equity, and inclusion matter to business.”

The webinar is designed for individuals and teams who are developing or expanding a workplace DEI initiative.

Sonya Hughes, principal of Inclusive Outcomes, LLC, is the webinar presenter.

The webinar is sponsored by Consumers Energy.

For more information or to register for the webinar, visit

Home Depot donates to Eastern

TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse City Home Depot donated 60 five-gallon buckets to Eastern Elementary School.

According to a a release from the Traverse City Area Public Schools, the buckets “will be used in the school’s music classroom to allow students in kindergarten through 5th grade to explore bucket drumming.

Students will use the buckets to learn about steady beat, composition, playing as an ensemble and rhythmic literacy.”

Manistee foundation awards grantMANISTEE — The Manistee County Community Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to Venture North for the Regional Resiliency Fund.

According to a release, the grant “will partially match a $50,000 challenge grant awarded by the Manistee Industrial Development Corporation to launch Manistee County’s participation in the regional effort.” Donations toward the match can be made by clicking the “Donate to the Fund” button at or by contacting Venture North at (231) 995-7110.

The organizations are encouraging others to contribute. The release noted there are more than 1,200 Manistee County businesses with nine or fewer employees.

The foundation grant was supported by Community Response Fund, a cooperative effort between the MCCF, United Way of Manistee County and the Manistee County Human Services Collaborative Body.

Venture North Funding & Development began the Regional Resiliency Fund in May 2020. More than 139 grants totaling $348,515 have been awarded. But more than 300 applications have been made seeking $1.3 million in funding.

More information about the Regional Resiliency Fund is available from Venture North at (231) 995-7110 or More information about the MCCF and the Community Response Fund is available at or (231) 723-7269.

Meijer announces free pickup

GRAND RAPIDS — Meijer recently announced there will no longer be a fee charged for Meijer Pickup service for orders of $50 or more. Previously, Meijer Home Delivery and Pickup were membership based, according to an email from the company.

The same in-store pricing and access to weekly sales items will also now be available, according to a release. The change is “part of an initiative to provide customers multiple ways to conveniently and safely shop its stores for the holidays,” the release said.

“Customers can order online Meijer Pickup, keep track of their total basket, use mPerks rewards and coupons, note any preferences and choose an available time for pickup,” the release said. Customers text when they arrive at the store for pick-up.

Meijer Home Delivery is still fulfilled by personal shoppers from Shipt.

Meijer Pickup service is available daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Clean Marina certifications named

COMMERCE TOWNSHIP — The Michigan Clean Marina Program designated three sites as Certified Clean Marinas and recertified four others, according to a release.

Klave’s Marina in Pinckney, Ryde Marine, Inc. in Alanson and South Shore Marine, LLC. in Whitehall have been certified for three-year terms through 2023. Recertified Michigan Clean Marinas for a five-year term through 2025 were G. Marsten Dame Marina/ Northport Harbor in Northport, City of Harbor Springs Municipal Marina, Mackinaw City Municipal Marina and Yacht Basin Marina in Holland.

Eighty-five Michigan marinas have obtained Certified Clean Marina status, the release said.

“The Clean Marina Program was initiated to preserve and protect, through voluntary efforts, Michigan’s greatest resource, the Great Lakes and its connecting waterways,” according to the release. Certification includes a pledge to participate in the program, a workshop or online class “to review the best management practices” and a self-evaluation checklist. Visits from a CMP certification specialist is also part of the process.

More information about the program is available at or

MBA advocates for pass swap

MACKINAW CITY — The Mackinac Bridge Authority is urging MacPass account holders to switch from toll cards to windshield-mounted stickers before the end of the year.

Introduced in September 2019, the stickers are automatically scanned when drivers pull up to Mackinac Bridge toll booth. The cards will no longer work after Dec. 31, according to a release.

MBA Executive Secretary Kim Nowack in the release that customers seem t enjoy “the convenience of not needing to stop and roll down their window to scan their MacPass card.” Nowack added feedback also shows that customers have “appreciated the quick MacPass transaction time and touch-free toll paying” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stickers cost $1 each and “can be linked to a single account for multiple vehicles.” Existing customers do not need to open a new account to add a sticker tag to the account.

Sticker tags are available in the MBA administration building at the north end of the bridge. License plate number, make, model, color, and year of each vehicle is needed, though new vehicles can be added later. New MacPass sticker tags can also be purchased online at

New passenger MacPass accounts require an initial deposit of $80 and commercial accounts a $200 deposit. A $7 one-time set-up fee is required for both.

MacPass passenger accounts can still qualify for the commuter discount toll if they make a return trip within 36 hours.

BCBSM announces changes for 2021

DETROIT — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced a series of changes for 2021.

According to a release, changes include lower rates for Medicare members in 2021, “new $0 premium HMO-POS and PPO options and a variety of no-cost benefits including medical and behavioral telehealth visits for the 2021 annual enrollment period.”

The company added premiums for many of BCBS Network’s “10 available Medicare Advantage plans will be maintained or reduced and feature expanded benefits to meet the needs of all eligible members.” Included is the Blue Essential PPO plan “offered at a $0 premium in most counties statewide and includes a $0 medical deductible and $0 in-network primary care doctor visits,” according to the release.

For more information on a BCBS Medicare Advantage plan, visit or call 1-888-563-3307 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.. Weekend hours are available Oct. 1 through March 31.

MSUFCU earns five MAC awards

EAST LANSING — MSU Federal Credit Union received five Marketing Association of Credit Unions awards.

MSUFCU earned awards in the following categories:

  • Product Development for the Visa Signature credit card
  • Business Development for its Good for Business Booklet
  • Direct Mail Single for Your Refund Plus Some
  • Image Enhancement for its Credit Score Handout
  • Newsletter for its Youth Newsletters

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