‘Tow to Go’ program
DEARBORN — The AAA Auto Club Group offers the “Tow to Go” program from 6 p.m. Nov. 23 through 6 a.m. Nov. 28. The program provides free transportation for impaired drivers and their vehicles, both AAA members and others.
Michigan residents can call 855-286-9246 to get a ride during Thanksgiving weekend. The service may not be available in severe weather or rural areas.
Fischer’s Happy Hour to close
NORTHPORT — Fischer’s Happy Hour Tavern will be closing around Jan. 1, 2023 and not reopening again, according to its Facebook page.
Located at 7100 North Manitou Trail (M-22) between Leland and Northport, Fischer’s Happy Hour has been operated by Kristi Fischer and partner Brian Hafner. Fischer’s Happy Hour Tavern has been family-owned and operated since 1971 and is a third-generation restaurant, according to fischershappyhourtavern.com.
“After 51 years in business this is not a decision we came to lightly,” the Facebook post on Sunday said. “We love and appreciate all of our patrons and our staff, and those who know us know that this decision is based soley on what’s best for our family. We have poured our hearts and souls into our business and have come to the hard conclusion that we were both ready to take a step back.
“We hope that people can try to understand, because we certainly understand how much the Happy Hour means to our community. In our hearts Brian and I just know that it is time. Brian and I are also currently in recovery mode from covid so we aren’t at work to have these conversations in person right now but will be soon. Until then we won’t be engaging on social media.
“We are so grateful for the amazing memories. Even more grateful for our amazing staff. Thank you Leelanau.”
Ski season begins
HARBOR SPRINGS — The Highlands plans to start its winter 2022-23 season at 9 a.m. Nov. 24. Slopes are open for skiing and snowboarding from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. throughout the holiday weekend.
Equipment rental, food and beverage services and retail operations are also available. The resort will close briefly during the week after Thanksgiving and then operate on weekends until Dec. 9. After this, The Highlands remains open throughout the winter.
Candy store fundraises
TRAVERSE CITY — Rocket Fizz will donate 10 percent of all sales on Nov. 26 to Cherryland Humane Society. Cash donations for CHS are accepted through the holiday season.
The local candy store hosts this third annual fundraiser on Small Business Saturday.
Nominate a small business
GRAND RAPIDS — Michigan Celebrates Small Business accepts nominations for its 2023 awards gala until Nov. 27.
People can nominate minority- and veteran-owned small businesses in Michigan. Nominees are notified and then have until Dec. 2 to complete an application.
Learn more about the award categories and nominate a business at michigancelebrates.org/call-for-nominations.
Champions event tickets available
PETOSKEY — Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce offers tickets for its annual Celebration of Champions, set from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at Great Lakes Center for the Arts.
The evening includes appetizers and an awards program to recognize area businesses and individuals. Admission is $40 at petoskeychamber.com.
Google workshop Dec. 8
TRAVERSE CITY — Score Traverse City offers the “Reach Customers Online with Google in 2023” workshop at 9 a.m. Dec. 8.
Learn how customers find businesses and how to use search engine optimization (SEO) and smart campaigns in Google Ads to promote a business.
Sign up for the virtual workshop at https://bit.ly/3AqTsCu.
Employers can apply for training
LANSING — Michigan employers can apply for the first round of the Going PRO Talent Fund program until noon Dec. 12.
About $50 million in awards is available to assist employers with training and retaining current and new employees. Grants are provided through the Michigan Works! network.
Selected applicants are announced in January, and the second application cycle opens in late spring. More details can be found at Michigan.gov/TalentFund.
Leadership event set Dec. 13
TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse Connect Leadership Roundtable Event Series offers “The Psychology of Leadership: Are You Worth Following” at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Delamar.
Deviate Managing Partner Ryan Blanck leads this presentation for managers, directors and leaders of businesses in the Grand Traverse area.
Cost is $35 for Traverse Connect investors/members and $75 for future investors. Sign up through https://bit.ly/3tvuOwX.
USDA offers funding
EAST LANSING — The U.S. Department of Agriculture invites Michigan farmers and private forest owners to apply for a water and wildlife resource funding program by Dec. 16.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service administers the Conservation Incentives Contracts, which provides funds so producers can start conservation practices that target regional concerns. Producers may also obtain annual payments to continue management efforts, according to a release.
Current funds are available to farmers in Western Lake Erie Basin and Saginaw Bay watersheds that address water quality, in the St. Joseph Watershed for water quantity projects and in the Upper Peninsula for wildlife habitat programs.
Apply through Farmers.gov or a USDA Service Center.
Home delivery available
TRAVERSE CITY — Meijer offers free home delivery for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers through Dec. 31.
The retailer offers 10 percent off in-store fresh fruit and vegetable purchases. Free home delivery is available to SNAP customers who order online. The delivery fee is waived when SNAP benefits are used to pay for the order. Make an account at Meijer.com/ebt-snap and add an EBT card as the payment method.
Additionally, Meijer continues offering discounts on SNAP purchases of qualifying produce with help from a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
NMCAA offers grant program
TRAVERSE CITY — Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency announced the new grant program “Double Your Dollars.”
Individuals and households may be eligible to receive a grant for saving $100-500. To apply, call 231-947-3780, email email@example.com or visit nmcaa.net/MatchSavings.asp.
‘Taste Michigan’ launches
TRAVERSE CITY — The Michigan Wine Collaborative introduces the “Taste Michigan” brand name to represent the state’s wine industry.
The campaign was launched in advance of Michigan Wine Month in May 2023, according to a release. The brand was created by Factory Detroit Inc., an advertising agency in Royal Oak.
This marketing platform is supported with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
More details about the program are available at TasteMichigan.org.
Home repair, utility aid
TRAVERSE CITY — Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency offers emergency home repair and weatherization assistance for area residents with low to moderate incomes.
Many home improvements and repairs can be completed at no cost or through a no-interest loan because of support from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law along with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, Michigan’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Michigan State Housing Development MI-HOPE fund — according to a release.
Leelanau Energy and Cherryland Electric Cooperative’s low income community solar program can provide additional savings for NMCAA clients in Leelanau Township.
Community members may call NMCAA’s Housing and Energy Efficiency Services at 231-947-3780 or email HEESintake@NMCAA.net to get started. If they qualify for assistance, they will be scheduled for an appointment with an energy auditor.
Nonprofits awarded MIOSHA grants
LANSING — Nineteen nonprofit organizations received a total of $870,000 in training grants from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA).
The annual MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training grants are “for the development and implementation of safety and health training and services, specifically to help support small and medium-sized businesses,” according to a release.
Grant awardees included AFL-CIO of Michigan; Alpena Community College; Associated General Contractors of Michigan; Baker College; Bay de Noc Community College; Center for Workplace Violence Prevention, Inc.; Eastern Michigan University Organization for Risk Reduction; Emergency Services Rescue Training; Great Lakes Safety Training Center; Incompass Michigan; Lawrence Technological University; Michigan Association of Chiropractors; Michigan Green Industry Association; Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association; Michigan State University; Parents for Student Safety Employment Standards; Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union; United Auto Workers; and University of Michigan Center for Ergonomics.
Group named Blue Ribbon Coalition
CHARLEVOIX — Substance Abuse Free Environment (SAFE) in Northern Michigan was named a Blue Ribbon Coalition by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.
SAFE is one of 15 organizations in the country to receive this recognition for its work relating to substance misuse among youths in Antrim, Emmet and Charlevoix counties. They work with staff at area schools to provide youth events in substance-free environments. To learn more, visit safeinnm.com.
LMCU opens essay contest
GRAND RAPIDS — Lake Michigan Credit Union’s 2022-2023 Lloyd F. Hutt Scholarship will award 20 individual $2,000 college scholarships.
Applicants must write an original essay answering the question “What act of kindness have you experienced or witnessed that has positively influenced you most? How will you carry it into your future?”
Essays are evaluated by an independent panel of judges. Applicants are high school seniors (including home school students) who plan to enter a trade school, college or university in the next academic year. Applicants must be a resident of Michigan or Florida, a member of Lake Michigan Credit Union or the child of a LMCU member.
Complete an online application by Jan. 31 at LMCU.org/Hutt. Winners are announced in May 2023 on the credit union’s social media pages.
BBB warns of scams
GRAND RAPIDS — The Better Business Bureau aims to make people aware of potential online shopping scams during the holiday season.
BBB Scam Tracker reports that online shopping scams include nearly $380 million in losses, according to a release. Online scams have increased 87 percent since the tracker started in 2015.
Scammers try to draw in shoppers with rare items, low prices and fast delivery. In many cases, shoppers were directed to a fake website through social media posts or advertisements.
BBB offers these tips for shopping online:
- Avoid deals from unfamiliar retailers.
- Use a credit card to make purchases.
- Research product and seller reviews and visit BBB.org to look at business profiles.
- Read and keep a copy of the return policy.
UIA to upgrade system
LANSING — The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency selected Deloitte to design and install a new computer system to replace the Michigan Integrated Data Automated System (MiDAS).
Currently, workers file jobless claims and certify for benefits using MiDAS’ Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) and employers use this to pay unemployment taxes and file reports.
The new Unemployment Framework for Automated Claim & Tax Services (uFACTS) system should be fully functioning in 2025. According to a release, the system will “ensure the timely payment of benefits as well as a robust and comprehensive fraud detection program.”
The project is expected to cost more than $78 million over a 10-year contract, according to a release. Individuals may visit Michigan.gov/UIA or call 866-500-0017 with questions about their unemployment claims.
Winter campaign starts
LANSING — Pure Michigan presents its national winter advertising campaign with two spots “Loud” and “Heart of Winter.”
“Outdoor enthusiasts and families alike are preparing and planning for a true Michigan winter,” said David Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, in a release. “Whether your activities are skiing, snowmobiling, visiting vibrant downtowns, ice fishing, ice climbing or more, our message is clear: Michigan is your winter playground.”
This year’s campaign aims to “build on the yearly impact of the winter tourism season,” according to a release. TravelUSA reported that in 2021, traveler spending was $2.9 billion. The 2022 winter advertising budget is $2,377,476 and includes $446,000 in partner contributions.
Contracts for Michigan companies
WASHINGTON D.C. — Federal contracts were awarded to several Michigan companies in November.
Kasper Industries in Gaylord received $44,693 from the Defense Logistics Agency in Columbus, Ohio. Funds go to motor vehicle parts manufacturing.