Banking on Traverse City: Sixteen banks now compete here

TRAVERSE CITY - An increasingly crowded Traverse City banking scene has some crowning us the Financial Capital of The North, while others wonder if the region is officially 'overbanked.'The arrival of Bank of Northern Michigan, First Community Bank, and US Bank in Traverse City this...

Winemaker to open first ‘urban winery’

TRAVERSE CITY - Bryan Ulbrich is turning "wine country" on its head. The local winemaker is bringing the grapes and the barrels and the bottles to town. Ulbrich, the winemaker at Peninsula Cellars since '98, is bringing his Left Foot Charley operations to The Village at...

Employing ex-prisoners can benefit businesses

TRAVERSE CITY - Every year more than 11,000 inmates are released back into their home communities. Nearly half return to prison within two years. While there are many factors that contribute to recidivism, lack of a job often tops the list.The Department of Corrections has...

Area inventors make their (trade) marks around the world

TRAVERSE CITY - A lot of John Emory's thoughts begin with the same two words: "I wonder." Talk to other people like John, and you'll find that this isn't all that unusual. That's because John is an inventor. "I'm always thinking about any way...

Liquor license proposals aim to help downtowns

TRAVERSE CITY - Two bills moving through the Michigan legislature would create more liquor licenses for downtown centers around the state, if the development districts prove they have at least a 25 percent growth in investments.The bills sponsored by Sen. Jason Allen (R-Traverse City)...

Merchants weigh in on bayfront planning

TRAVERSE CITY - What to do with approximately 13,000 linear feet of shoreline along West Grand Traverse Bay has been the topic of discussion ever since the Power Plant was removed and City Commissioners decided to close the zoo.With the November hiring of consultant...

Developers seek input on downtown

TRAVERSE CITY - At the first two of three scheduled public forums titled, "Building our Downtown," the forum's sponsoring developers heard loud and clear that the shared community vision they are seeking is still a ways off. Most everyone, from city residents and city...

Merchants share holiday sales strategies

TRAVERSE CITY - Michigan retailers are projecting an average 4.5 percent sales increase over last year's uninspiring holiday season, according to the Michigan Retailers Association (MRA). The state's expected holiday sales increase matches the National Retail Federation's forecasted 5 percent rise in holiday spending...

New laws benefit charitable donors

It may be one of the great ironies of our tax laws that the holiday season for giving is also the season for preparing materials for your income tax return. You may be in the throes of shopping and wrapping for the holidays, but don't...

Equipment supplier launches leasing company

TRAVERSE CITY - Jim Kirby, owner of GT Packaging & Janitorial Supply, has established a new leasing company that provides in-house financing for clients. Kirby is partnering with Bay City-based Wirt Financial and Leasing Services, which has a northern Michigan office in Traverse City. "This...