In business: a view to growth

Posted on January 26, 2008


A CPA, a partner in a hair salon, a restaurant owner, farmers, real estate brokers, an internet provider, the proprietor of a self-storage facility and the owners of the local airport gathered over coffee this morning to share their perspectives on doing business in Torch Lake Township. Joining them for the informal discussion were Township Supervisor Bob Spencer, Treasurer Sharon Schultz, and Trustee Alan Martel.

Bob Spencer and TL Township businesses 
Everyone agreed that the township is ideally located to attract business and economic development.  Everyone agreed that part of the charm is the area’s rural nature.  Everyone agreed that finding a balance between enhancing services and job opportunities on the one hand and keeping the township beautiful on the other is not a simple thing – but that neighbors can do it if they just keep talking to each other.  And talk they did:

“We should spruce up the corner of US-31 and M-88 . . . . We lost some of our community spirit when Sneakins closed . . . . It would be really helpful to simplify permitting for small businesses . . . . Informal meetings like this are good – we should invite Planning Commission members to the next one . . . . We could have a sign like the one at the Chamber of Commerce in Elk Rapids that tells people about township meetings and UTLA potlucks and Firemen’s Field Day and the Petoskey Stone Festival . . . . We need better access to high speed internet . . . . We need some joint promotional efforts . . . . We could set up a display of tourist information and flyers from local businesses at the new township hall . . . . “

In the end, the business owners at the meeting agreed to form an association to foster communication and implement some of the ideas generated during the discussion.  The organizational meeting is tentatively scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 23.  To confirm meeting details contact Maryanne Jorgensen (of Exit Realty and the Torchport) at: mjorgensen @ miexit . com