Social Districts & Liquor to Go

The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance submitted feedback to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission on how to support rural northern Michigan restaurants and bars during the COVID-19 crisis and through recovery. The Alliance’s recommendations included allowing for restaurants and bars to sell liquor to go and for expanded outdoor seating so patrons can socially distance  

Last week the State House Regulatory Reform Committee took testimony and voted on two bills supported by the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance and numerous chambers from across Michigan. House Bills 5781 & 5811 were passed out of committee and are now in a second House committee, Ways and Means. House Bill 5781 sponsored by State Rep. Webber allows local governments to designate a social district containing a commons area where restaurants and bars could obtain a permit so patrons could consume alcohol in these commons areas, with certain conditions. House Bill 5811 sponsored by Rep. Anthony would allow a retailer licensed for on-premises alcohol consumption to fill and sell qualified containers with liquor for consumption off the premises, with certain conditions.

The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance is supportive of these bills to help our restaurants and bars get back to businesses and safely serve patrons. We will keep you up-to-date on any movement.

ALLIANCE APPLAUDS REGION’S BUSINESSES IN SETTING REOPENING EXAMPLE FOR STATE

Northern Michigan Region businesses look forward to June 10 reopening

NORTHERN MI – The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance recognized the efforts of northern Michigan’s business owners, workforce, and community members to stay safe to stay open as Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the June 10 move of regions 6 and 8 to Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan and the reopening of all businesses. The expanded reopening recognizes the efforts made by businesses and their customers to set an example for the state since the May 22 reopening of restaurants, bars, and retailers with capacity limits and other safety precautions.

“This announcement is welcomed by our rural northern Michigan communities and is a testament to our businesses’ commitment to keeping employees and customers safe during the reopening process,” said Stacie Bytwork, the chairperson of the Alliance and president of the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce. This announcement comes just days after the Alliance sent a letter to Governor Whitmer offering northern Michigan communities as partners in continued reopening. “We look forward to more businesses having open signs in their windows,” she continued.

“Chambers and economic development organizations within the Alliance have been working hard to support the tireless reopening efforts of our business communities,” said Amy Clickner, vice-chairperson of the Alliance and CEO of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. She continued, “We know there is still much work to do and we will continue to serve as the business voice and advocate on behalf of northern Michigan.”

The Alliance has continued advocacy efforts to ensure the rural northern Michigan voice is included in reopening discussions. On June 3, the Alliance sent a letter to Governor Whitmer stating, “Our businesses have taken the task of reopening seriously. Not only do we realize that northern Michigan is showcasing reopening efforts for the entire state, but we also know that the reopening of additional businesses is dependent on the success of our current efforts. The rural northern Michigan business community is eager to welcome our cinemas, fitness centers, hair salons, bowling alleys, and more, back online.”

The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance continues to support chambers, economic development organizations, and their member businesses by providing timely information and advocating for rural business needs at the state and federal levels. The Alliance is engaged in delivering industry-specific information, access to funding opportunities, and working to ensure the northern Michigan voice is represented in reopening discussions. More information on the Alliance’s latest work can be found at nmichiganbusiness.com.

About the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance:

The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance is a coalition of chambers and economic development organizations in Alpena, Benzie, Boyne City, Cadillac, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, East Jordan, Elk Rapids, Gaylord, Harbor Springs, Leelanau County, Manistee, Marquette, Petoskey, Sault Area, and Traverse City. The Alliance exists to advocate for rural northern Michigan and move forward rural-centric business policy.

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ALLIANCE SAYS NORTHERN MICHIGAN IS READY TO GET BACK TO WORK

Northern Michigan businesses have proven they can reopen safely

NORTHERN MI – The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance yesterday sent a letter to Governor Gretchen Whitmer, once again offering northern Michigan communities as partners in continued reopening. The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance represents 16 chambers and economic development organizations and over 7,000 member businesses from all across northern Michigan.

This request comes after the Alliance joined Governor Whitmer in announcing the first phase of reopening by retail businesses, restaurants, and bars in the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula late last month. In their most recent letter, the Alliance states, “Our businesses have taken the task of reopening seriously. Not only do we realize that northern Michigan is showcasing reopening efforts for the entire state, but we also know that the reopening of additional businesses is dependent on the success of our current efforts. The rural northern Michigan business community is eager to welcome our cinemas, fitness centers, hair salons, bowling alleys, and more, back online”.

Stacie Bytwork, the chairperson of the Alliance and president of the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce, shared that chambers and economic development organizations have been pivotal in reopening efforts. “Our chambers have partnered with public health and supported our business communities to ensure we can stay safe to stay open.” Amy Clickner, vice-chairperson of the Alliance and CEO of the Lake Superior Community Partnership said, “Northern Michigan has successfully showcased safe reopening and we’re ready to reopen our gyms and hair salons – sectors of our economy that value the health and wellness – and safety – of their customers.”

The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance continues to support chambers, economic development organizations, and their member businesses by providing timely information and advocating for rural business needs at the state and federal levels. The Alliance is engaged in delivering industry-specific information, access to funding opportunities, and working to ensure the northern Michigan voice is represented in reopening discussions. More information on the Alliance’s latest work can be found at nmichiganbusiness.com.

About the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance:

The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance is a coalition of chambers and economic development organizations in Alpena, Benzie, Boyne City, Cadillac, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, East Jordan, Elk Rapids, Gaylord, Harbor Springs, Leelanau County, Manistee, Marquette, Petoskey, Sault Area, and Traverse City. The Alliance exists to advocate for rural northern Michigan and move forward rural-centric business policy.

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