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  • Cheboygan Loves Entrepreneurs and Invest Cheboygan is back for 2018

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    October 26, 2018
    Cheboygan Loves Entrepreneurs and Invest Cheboygan is back for 2018

    At least twenty six new businesses have started in the Cheboygan Area in roughly the last two years.  That’s an average of a little more than one new business per month since 2016.  That’s awesome!  When you add those twenty six new businesses to already established businesses, some of which were started several generations ago by entrepreneurs in Cheboygan, you start to see a community that can very proudly refer to itself as the New Entrepreneurial Capital of Northern Michigan!  And we are not done…..
    Many of those new businesses got help to start from a new event in Cheboygan in 2017, “Invest Cheboygan”.  Invest Cheboygan began as a simple idea to hold a business pitch competition, similar to the TV show Shark Tank, here in Cheboygan and give away prize money to the winning businesses in the form of startup funds.  Sixteen applicants applied to participate in 2017.  Ten were selected to give their presentations on the mainstage in the Cheboygan Opera House.  Three winners and one people’s choice award were announced that evening in front of 350 cheering supporters, community residents and other business owners. Of the original sixteen that applied, nine are fully functioning businesses today and the tenth is moving forward with their plans to open probably in the next year.
    Invest Cheboygan is happening again this year and the organizing committee is looking for the next class of entrepreneurs to participate.  Any business that has been in operation less than two years, or is still in the development phase, is eligible to apply to participate in this year’s completion.  Those entrepreneurs chosen will compete for a chance at $15,000 in startup funds plus a marketing, support and media package from area Chambers of Commerce and media outlets that is valued at over $7000.  If you have ever wanted to open your own business in Cheboygan County, don’t miss out on the opportunity to participate in this year’s Invest Cheboygan. 
    It is important also to note that this year’s competition is not just a local Cheboygan endeavor.  All of Cheboygan County is invited to participate. Invest Cheboygan is a collaborative effort between the City of Cheboygan, the Cheboygan Area, Indian River, and Mackinaw City Chambers of Commerce, Small Business Development Center of Michigan and Northern Lakes Economic Alliance.  Businesses, organizations and foundations from across the county are all participating to make this year’s event as successful for our local entrepreneurs as possible.  Those entities contributing that have not already been listed include; Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, Northeast Michigan Council of Governments, Cheboygan County Community Foundation, Citizens National Bank, Cheboygan Daily Tribune, Black Diamond Broadcasting, MBank, PNC, Pinecrest Village, Awakon Credit Union, Calcite Credit Union, Straits Area Federal Credit Union, First Community Bank, and the Cheboygan Opera House.    
    Invest Cheboygan is November 1st at the Cheboygan Opera House with doors opening at 5:30pm.  Any entrepreneur that is interested in participating should go to www.northernlakes.net/upcoming-events for application information.  Applications are due October 1st, 2018.
    There have been at least twenty six new businesses that have opened in Cheboygan in the last two years.  Nine of them got part of their start by participating in Invest Cheboygan in 2017.  What will this year’s completion bring?  Are you one of those entrepreneurs that has the next great business idea for the area?  Would a chance at $15000 plus a support package of over $7000 help you get your idea off the ground?  I, for one, can’t wait to find out the answers to those questions.  Invest Cheboygan is back for 2018!  Will you be a part of it?
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