NMCOG has grants available
TRAVERSE CITY — Grants to local communities are available through the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments.
One program support local municipalities' efforts to implement principles of The Grand Vision planning document. The New Designs for Growth: Community Growth Grants will provide up to $15,000 in cash or technical assistance to city, township and county governments within the 6-county Grand Vision region.
NMCOG will also award "Placemaking" grants of up to $1,500 available to local governments in Charlevoix, Emmet, Manistee and Missaukee counties to help in the planning of distinctive, accessible and economically viable communities.
The application deadline for both programs is Sept. 7. NMCOG regional planning director Matt McCauley can provide more information at (231) 929-5061.
Retail sales down over last year in region
TRAVERSE CITY — Michigan retailers saw sales slip in June, according to a monthly sales index generated by the Michigan Retailers Association.
The report showed that 50 percent of retailers reported sales increases in June, while 33 percent saw lower sales and 17 percent had no change. The index was down from May but up from a year ago.
"The performance of Michigan's retail industry slipped from May to June, catching up to a national trend that began two months earlier," MRA President and CEO James Hallan said. "However, we are still seeing year-to-year growth, a broader picture of where we are."
Northern Michigan retailers led the state in June, where 65 percent of retailers surveyed showed better results from a year ago. State-wide, gift and apparel stores reported the best sales numbers.
For July through September, 58 percent of retailers anticipate improved sales from last year, while 17 percent expect a decrease and 25 percent anticipate no change.
Consent order for TC State Bank has ended
TRAVERSE CITY — Federal and state regulators terminated a consent order for Traverse City State Bank after it fulfilled the terms of the agreement.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the state's Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation ended the May 2010 order in a decision issued last month.
The agencies directed the bank to bolster its total capital ratio, improve its tier-one capital ratio, suspend dividend payments to shareholders and take other steps after the bank endured nearly $5 million in losses during the financial downturn of 2008 and 2009. The bank suffered a $1 million loss when Lehman Brothers investment bank collapsed in 2008. Bad housing loans, stalled real estate developments and business loans that went into default were also factors.
TCSB President Connie Deneweth said the bank met or exceeded all the requirements of the consent order by mid-2011. The bank implemented more conservative lending and underwriting costs and reduced operating expenses, and bolstered its capital and liquidity. It reported operating profits in 2010 and 2011, and so far this year.
"We are thankful to our shareholders, customers and employees for their loyalty to the bank as we operated under a controlled regulatory environment for the past couple of years," Deneweth said in a statement. "Our team of high performing directors and employees has been focused on resolving issues while continuing to prudently meet the banking needs of our community."