Fifth Third Bank to close branch

TRAVERSE CITY — Fifth Third Bank’s Eastfield Banking Center, 1028 E. Eighth St., permanently will close at 4 p.m. on Jan. 26, according to a notice mailed to customers. Accounts maintained at that branch will be transferred automatically to the company’s U.S. 31 South Banking Center, 3535 South Airport Rd., the letter stated.

S&P Global reported in late October that Fifth Third Bancorp planned to close 37 branches in the Midwest in the first quarter of 2021, to help cut costs. The bank in September announced it aims to cut $200 million in expenses as part of a new efficiency program.

Furniture store opening set

TRAVERSE CITY — The Value City Furniture store has scheduled a Nov. 12 grand opening. The store is located at 1775 Oak Hollow Drive, the former home of Art Van Furniture.

According to its website, Value City Furniture has other Michigan locations in Clinton Township, Dearborn, Detroit, Flint, Kentwood, Lansing, New Baltimore, Novi, Sterling Heights, Taylor, Utica and Westland.

Nominations open for service award

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse Connect is accepting nominations for the Distinguished Service Award, one of the region’s most enduring civic honors. Awarded annually since 1929, the Distinguished Service Award recognizes a local resident for his or her efforts to improve the lives of people living and working in the Grand Traverse Region.

Nominations are being accepted through November 20 at:

Going PRO applications open

LANSING — Michigan employers can start applying for $27 million in training funds through the Going PRO Talent Fund program. The application period opened Nov. 2 and ends Nov. 30 at 5 p.m.

According to a release from the Michigan Department of Labor and Opportunity, the Going PRO Talent Fund “helps individuals secure employment, industry-recognized credentials and strong wages by providing training grants to Michigan businesses to support employees in high-demand, skilled trades industries.”

More than 3,000 businesses have received awards since the program launched in 2014. According to the release, “training must fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer and lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable and recognized by industry.” Recipients will be announced in early 2021.

Businesses should contact their local Michigan Works! Service Center to apply. More information about the program is available at

Short’s releases holiday pack

ELK RAPIDS — Short’s Brewing Company’s annual Super Hoppy Holiday pack will be available beginning in early November in Meijer stores in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. It also will be available in all of Short’s normal retail outlets, including in Colorado. The pack this year has 18 cans instead of last year’s 12.

This year’s pack includes three cans each of Juicy Tree, Double Psychedelic Cat Grass, Slurm Lord, Yoda’s Blend, The Liberator and Batch 10,000, according to a release.

An email from the company also said the weekend storm destroyed Short’s outdoor bar and tent in Elk Rapids.

Sam’s Club teams with DoorDash

BENTONVILLE, Arkansas — Sam’s Club announced it is partnering with DoorDash for same-day pharmaceutical delivery.

According to a release, the DoorDash service will be available at more than 500 Sam’s Club locations in 41 states.

Sam’s Club members receive free delivery on their first two pharmacy orders until Jan. 31, 2022, the release added. Subsequent delivery fee is $7.99.

Patients can schedule delivery by speaking to a Sam’s Club pharmacist. More information is available at

Money management workshops offered

TRAVERSE CITY —Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency will host virtual Money Management workshops via Zoom. The three-part workshop series that includes:

  • Part 1 – Mastering Money Management, Debt Reduction, & Consumer Protection (3 hrs)
  • Part 2 – Developing a Spending Plan, Student Loans, Fair Housing & Fair Lending (3 hrs)
  • Part 3 – Improving Credit Rations & Savings, Banking Basics, Insurance Workshop (3 hrs)

NMCAA also offers a “Money Management Marathon,” a 7-hour, one-stop shop that covers all sections of the course in one sitting.

Alternatively, the organization’s self-paced eMoney courses can be taken online at Visit to view a workshop calendar and to register.

DTE Energy to spin off business

DETROIT — DTE Energy announced a plan to spin-off the DTE Midstream business.

According to a release, DTE Midstream is the “company’s non-utility natural gas pipeline, storage and gathering business.” Midstream would become a publicly-traded independent company.

DTE Energy targets a completion of the spin-off company by mid-2021. The plan calls for stockholders to retain current DTE Energy shares and “a pro-rata dividend of shares of the new Midstream company stock in a transaction that is expected to be tax-free to DTE Energy and its shareholders,” according to the release.

Home construction up in September

LANSING — Construction permits for single-family homes increased in Michigan in September, according to a release from the Home Builders Association of Michigan. A total of 1,588 permits for new single-family homes were issued in September 2020, a slight increase from the 1,538 issued in September 2019. The first nine months of 2020 saw 10,537 single-family home permits issued in the state.

In 2019, HBAM reported new home construction contributed $4.25 billion to the state’s economy, $836.4 million in taxes and other revenue and 54,372 jobs.

Grant to support skills training

JACKSON — The Consumers Energy Foundation awarded a $250,000 grant to Youth Solutions.

The grant will offer skills development and expand the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates’ Postsecondary and Career Pathways Accelerator initiative to some 8,000 students in the Lower Peninsula, according to a release.

The $250,000 grant is one of two awarded by the Consumers Energy Foundation through its first People Awards. The Foundation awarded $250,000 to Youth Opportunities Unlimited last month to provide training for students and young adults in southwest Michigan. More information about Youth Solutions is available at More information on the charitable arm of Consumers Energy is available at

MSUFCU earns credit union 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

In another release, MSUFCU won four 2020 awards from the Michigan Credit Union League.

The credit union won first in the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award for its Savings Builder product. MSUFCU won three second-place awards, the Dora Maxwell Award for its Desk Drawer Fund and two Alphonse Desjardins Awards, one for its podcast Wallet Watch and second for its Financial Reality Fairs.

Crystal Mountain boosts snowmaking

THOMPSONVILLE — Crystal Mountain staff installed a 600-foot long, 12-inch diameter snow-making pipe that will allow the resort to make more snow and help build a more solid snow base.

“Snowmaking pipes are a crucial part of every mountain equation,” mountain manager Mike Cutler said.

The new pipe replaces a 10-inch diameter pipe underneath the Main Street slope. Crystal Mountain has 152 snowmaking machines that can make snow when temperatures are 28 degrees or less, according to the release. The larger pipe can carry about 1,500 more gallons of water per minute than the old pipe.

The resort started making snow in 2019 on Nov. 7. And for the 2019-2020 winter season, Crystal Mountain opened for skiing and riding on Nov. 15, the earliest opening in 23 years.

Mackinac Financial third quarter results

MANISTIQUE — Mackinac Financial Corporation, the bank holding company for mBank, reported a third quarter 2020 net income of $3.32 million or 32 cents per share.

The 2020 third quarter net income is down slightly from the third quarter 2019 net income of $3.72 million or 35 cents per share.

Net income for the first three quarters of 2020 was $9.83 million.

(93 cents per share) compared to $10.56 million (98 cents per share) for the first three quarters of 2019. Total assets on Sept. 30, 2020 were $1.52 billion and $1.36 billion on Sept. 30, 2019.

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