ALLIANCE JOINS GOVERNOR IN REOPENING NORTHERN MICHIGAN

Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance members ready to reopen safely

NORTHERN MI – Today, the Northern Michigan Chamber 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, specified as Michigan Economic Recovery Council reporting regions 6 and 8. The Governor signed Executive Order 2020-92, allowing the May 22 reopening of businesses. This news comes after weeks of advocacy from the Alliance and its member organizations. The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance represents 16 chambers and economic development organizations from all across northern Michigan.

Alliance chamber and economic development organizations have all been highly involved at the local level in response to the economic and health crises in their respective communities – and have joined forces to collectively advocate for northern Michigan at the state and federal levels. Rural northern Michigan communities are committed to partnering with public health and implementing clear guidelines for safe operating practices, including expanded health screening and testing, use of PPE, and employing modified social-distancing practices and comprehensive cleaning procedures to avoid future spikes.

Joining the Governor on stage at her press conference to announce the Friday reopening, Stacie Bytwork, the chairperson of the Alliance and president of the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce, stated, “The Governor’s regional plan recognizes there is no one-size-fits-all approach and northern Michigan is ready to lead by example and open safely.” She went on to say, “Our businesses will take these protocols seriously. Their livelihood is on the line.”

This announcement comes after the Alliance, advocating at the state and federal levels since the onset of the pandemic, sent formal communications to the Governor’s office. The Alliance offered several northern Michigan business leaders for inclusion in reopening discussions – and then followed up with a formal request last week that northern Michigan showcase how reopening can safely begin with regions 6 and 8.

The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance continues to support chambers, economic development organizations, and their over 7,000 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.

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 SENDS LETTER TO GOVERNOR WHITMER OFFERING TO SHOWCASE REOPENING STRATEGIES IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN

Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance members committed to safe operations following guidelines

NORTHERN MI – The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance sent a letter to Governor Gretchen Whitmer, offering northern Michigan as a test case for implementing clear guidelines and safe operating practices, following the Governor’s regional reopening plan. The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance represents 16 chambers and economic development organizations from all across northern Michigan.

The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance states in the letter, “The Alliance is supportive and excited about the regional reopening plan that you announced late last month, because our organization knows that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Our rural northern Michigan communities are eager to show that our business owners are committed to protocols to keep customers and employees safe”.

Stacie Bytwork, the chairperson of the Alliance and president of the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce, expressed her desire to support businesses in reopening safely. “Northern Michigan is ready to partner with public health in order to take a thoughtful approach to reopening to protect businesses, employees, and customers. We know our businesses take reopening protocol seriously – these businesses are their livelihood.” Amy Clickner, vice-chairperson of the Alliance and CEO of the Lake Superior Community Partnership said, “Our rural northern Michigan communities are experiencing a lower incidence of infection and are prepared to get safely to work so we can ensure the wellbeing of employees, their families, and contribute to state programs that depend on business taxes.”

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.

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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Unemployment Webinar for Businesses with the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity

Click here to see the recording and slides.

Date & Time: Thursday May 14, 2020 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

Join Sean Egan, Deputy Director for Labor; Ed Duggan, Senior Advisor; and Darryl Hunter, Tax and Employer Services Division Administrator, Unemployment Insurance all from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity for a presentation on unemployment and resources available to businesses. All businesses are welcome to join and there will be time for Q&A.

All businesses are welcome to register for the webinar here. 

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