JMG program debuts at NMC

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College became the first college in the state and fifth in the nation to offer the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates program. The program is a partnership with Northwest Michigan Works! and Networks Northwest.

NMC students ages 16-24 are eligible to connect with Employment Readiness Specialist Lisa Baldyga. The program matches students with mentors in their field to “get paid work experience or job shadowing opportunities and internships and other beneficial career opportunities,” according to the release. Financial assistance with job equipment or transportation to work is also available.

In addition to the program at NMC, Northwest Michigan Works! coordinates JMG programs at Cadillac’s Mackinaw Trail Middle School, Cadillac Public and Innovation High Schools, CASMAN Academy in Manistee, Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District, Northwest Education Services Career-Tech Center and the Wexford-Missaukee Career-Tech Center. JMG is also available at drop-out recovery programs in Traverse City, Cadillac, Kalkaska and Manistee.

Mingle & Jingle set for Nov. 27

EAST JORDAN — The East Jordan Area Chamber of Commerce will hold Mingle & Jingle Nov. 27 starting at 4 p.m.

Mayor Mark Penzien and Citizen of the Year Luanne Reed will light the community tree at the corner of Spring and Hammond Streets followed by East Jordan’s largest Christmas Caroling event. The first Jubilee of Trees for 501-C3’s will follow at The Boathouse on Lake Charlevoix.

Other events include a concert from The Jordan Valley Community Band from 4:30-5:30 p.m. and the East Jordan Co-Op Nursery’s Holiday Bake Sale from 4:30-8 p.m.

The Chamber will have a shopping passport card, which must be turned in to the Chamber Office by Dec. 3. The drawing to win a community business basket is scheduled for Dec. 6.

For more information, contact the East Jordan Area Chamber at (231) 536-7351, by sending an email to or by visiting

SBA administrator backs Shop Small

WASINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman is encouraging consumers to Shop Small on Small Business Saturday Nov. 27.

The 12th annual Small Business Saturday is scheduled for the first Saturday after Thanksgiving and is “designed to support local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and enliven neighborhoods,” according to a release.

There are more than 32.5 million small business in the country, according to the release. The 2020 total projected spending among consumers “who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reached an estimated $19.8 billion,” according to the release.

More information about Small Business Saturday is available at

‘At Dark’ tickets available

PETOSKEY — Tickets are available for the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 30th annual Breakfast for Champions “At Dark” Dec. 7 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Great Lakes Center For the Arts.

Breakfast for Champions is a community-focused event honoring Petoskey-area businesses and individuals making an impact in the community. The event begins with a cocktail hour from 6-7 p.m. with a cash bar and a variety of breakfast-themed hors d’oeuvres from Parkside Deli, Maple + Batter, Tillies Tafel and Wineguys.

The awards program is scheduled from 7-8:30 p.m. There are three types of ticket options: Cocktail hour and awards program for $35, awards-only program for $20 and streaming-only for $10. Tickets can be purchased at

Awards presented include Chairman’s Award, Athena Award, Thriving Petoskey Award, Service Excellence Award, Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Ambassador of the Year Award, Community Enthusiast and the Architectural Award. Breakfast for Champions’ event sponsor is PMP Personnel Services. Supporting sponsors are Accident Fund, North Central Community College, and Rasmussen, Teller & Caron PC.

All persons are advised to wear a face mask, regardless of their vaccination status.

BBB issues shopping forecast

GRAND RAPIDS — The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan is reminded shoppers to expect shipping delays, crowded stores and reduced stock in the days after Thanksgiving.

The BBB issued the release so shoppers are aware of “changes having an affect on the shopping experience” with Black Friday Nov. 26, Small Business Saturday Nov. 27 and Cyber Monday Nov. 29.

“Understand that stores and websites may not have as much product in stock as normal, or may be sold out sooner,” Lisa Frohnapfel, President & CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan, said in the release. “With the struggle to fill retail positions, expect longer lines in person, along with shipping delays for online shoppers. Having some patience and compassion this season will go a long way.”

The BBB is also advising shopper to do research in advance of making purchases in stores or online. Any scams should be reported to the BBB Scam Tracker.

Tipped workers lawsuit dismissed

LANSING —Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and eight other state and District of Columbia AGs dismissed their federal lawsuit about tipped workers.

Nessel was among those praising the Department of Labor’s new Tip Regulation and “for correcting this harmful rule and as a result, protecting workers nationwide,” according to a release. The coalition of AGs led a legal challenge to a U.S. Department of Labor rule enacted during President Donald Trump’s administration “that unlawfully sought to remove the (20 percent) limit on non-tipped work a tipped worker may complete and still receive only the tipped minimum wage, $2.13 per hour federally and $3.67 per hour in Michigan,” according to the release.

“The fight over the Tip Regulation has gone on for more than two years in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic ...” according to the release.

Service award nominations open

LANSING — The Michigan Community Service Commission is encouraging state residents to make nominations for the 2021 Governor’s Service Awards.

The awards for people who made a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic are due by Dec. 3. Nominations should be submitted through the Michigan Heroes website,

The Governor’s Service Awards will hold a virtual ceremony on Jan. 12.

SBA calls for NSBW Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nominations are being accepted for the 2022 National Small Business Week Awards.

Nominations should be submitted electronically by Jan. 11 at 3 p.m. Awards will be presented during the NSBW Awards ceremony in May.

Nominations will be accepted for Small Business Person of the Year; Small Business Exporter of the Year; Phoenix Awards for Disaster Recovery (Small Business, Contributions to Disaster Recovery — Public Official and Volunteer); Federal Procurement Awards (Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year, Small Business Subcontractor of the Year, Dwight D. Eisenhower Awards for Excellence, 8(a) Graduate of the Year), Awards to SBA Resource Partners (Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Center Award, Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award, Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Year); and Small Business Investment Company of the Year.

To nominate a small business owner or download related forms, criteria, and guidelines, visit For contact or other information, visit

Consumers announces solar projects

JACKSON — Consumers Energy announced agreements with three solar projects in southern Michigan that will add nearly 400 megawatts of energy.

The 400 megawatts is enough to power nearly 190,000 homes, according to a release.

The solar developments are part of the company’s Clean Energy Plan. Pending approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission, Consumers Energy would own and operate one facility, and purchase power from the other two.

The new solar projects would come online in 2023 and include the Washtenaw Solar Energy Project near Ann Arbor, Jackson Solar and Cereal City Solar near Marshall.

USDA invests $982K in Michigan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $982,000 in funding 20 projects in Michigan “to improve equitable access to jobs, business opportunities, education, housing and health care for people who live and work in rural areas,” according to a release.

The funding will benefit 88,000 rural residents in Michigan. The funding is part of an $86 million federal investment.

The funding includes a $25,000 grant to the City of Cheboygan to purchase a patrol vehicle. The USDA also awarded $361,704 in Housing Preservation Grants to Ogemaw County, Oscoda County, the Alcona County Housing Commission, Northwest Michigan Habitat for Humanity, Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency and the Bay Mills Indian Community.

Nessel reissues consumer alerts

LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel reissued the Home Lending and Foreclosure Rescue and Rental Listing Scams consumer alerts related to ‘fake landlord’ housing scams in Detroit.

The scams include people who are no longer a landlord collecting rent from tenants or people breaking into vacant homes, changing the locks and listing them for sale or rent, sometimes by filing false deeds.

Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Michigan AG’s website or by calling 877-765-8388.

Achievement certificate for MFA

LANSING — The Michigan Finance Authority received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for a sixth consecutive year.

The certificate was for the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2020. The certificate “is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management,” according to a release.

“MFA provides effective, low-cost options to finance the acquisition, construction, improvement, or alteration of land, facilities, equipment, the payment of project costs, or to refinance existing debt,” according to a release. More information on MFA is available at

SBA updates applicant deadlines

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Small Business Administration released updated guidance for COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan program applicants.

EIDL loan and Targeted Advance applications will be accepted until Dec. 31 and will be processed after until funds are exhausted.

Supplemental Targeted Advance applications will also be accepted until Dec. 31. But the SBA announced it may be unable to process some Supplemental Targeted Advance applications submitted near the Dec. 31 deadline “due to legal requirements,” according to a release. Small businesses eligible to apply for the Supplemental Targeted Advance are encouraged to do so by Dec. 10.

“Borrowers can request increases up to their maximum eligible loan amount for up to two years after their loan origination date, or until the funds are exhausted, whichever is soonest,” according to the release.

For eligibility and application requirements, visit For more information on EIDL and other programs, visit

Additional assistance for small business owners is available by phone (1-833-853-5638) or email (

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