Destination Bellaire

Starting a Business


Life in Northern Michigan

Beyond our outstanding business and entrepreneurial advantages, Northern Michigan is a great place to live and play.  Long know for unparalleled natural beauty, our region is abundant with friendly, hometown atmospheres; exceptional schools; outstanding health-care; nationally acclaimed arts, cultural and historic facilities; endless four-season recreational opportunities; and quaint downtowns bursting with renowned shops and award-winning restaurants.  Just a few of the many amenities that attract and retain quality employees and working families, and provide an unequaled standard of living.



About Bellaire


The Village of Bellaire is located in West Central Antrim County. The Village is bisected by the Intermediate River, which serves as the jurisdictional boundary line for Kearney Township to the east and Forest Home Township to the west. The Village of Bellaire comprises 1.4 square miles of the County’s 476.9 square mile area.

More about the Village of Bellaire


Area Resources


Starting a Business (courtesy of

Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) provides resources for communities and entrepreneurs to create and retain jobs in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan & Emmet Counties. One of their most popular workshops is "How to Really Start Your Own Business."

If you have questions about high-speed internet, the Connect Michigan website has information regarding broadband access.

Business-related Resources

NLEA has partnered with a number of agencies to create a network of Business Resource Centers (BRCs) in our region (click here for a map). The BRCs are located in public libraries and are available for use by all. Antrim County's BRCs are located in the Central Lake District Library and the Elk Rapids District Library.

Networks Northwest (formerly the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments) serves businesses, non-profits, community organizations, individuals, and units of government. Their mission is to build stronger communities and enhance the quality of life in Northwest Michigan. In addition to many services, their data page provides links to a wide range of statistics, including population data, economic data, and employment data.

The Michigan Small Business Development Center provides services and support to small businesses. The Traverse City-based office is 1 of 12 offices statewide and is administered by Networks Northwest.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has extensive information that can provide guidance and assistance to both new and established businesses.

Business Services

The mission of the State of Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is to support "business growth and job creation while safeguarding Michigan's citizens through a simple, fair, efficient and transparent regulatory structure."

The Michigan Secretary of State's webpage, "Other Business Services," gives information about business services provided by the Department of State.

Agricultural Business Resources

Michigan State University Extension

NLEA's Agriculture Business Team

The State of Michigan's Agricultural Vehicle Safety Requirements

The State of Michigan's Department of Agriculture & Rural Development


Business Licenses

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan issues a number of business-oriented permits and licenses. (Click here for a Fee Schedule.) They also performs many types of inspections. A few of these services are listed below:

  • Temporary Food Licenses
  • Annual Food Licenses
  • Adult & Childcare Facility Inspections
  • Public Swimming Pool Inspections
  • Body Inspections and Plan Reviews

The County Clerk's Office can provide a Doing Business As (DBA) form, and also forms for the dissolution of a DBA.

Builders licenses are issued by the State of Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

If you're unsure if a particular business needs a license or permit, use this Search for Michigan Licenses and Permits provided by the State of Michigan.

Also, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) can provide guidance and assistance to businesses.



Information about business-oriented programs will be posted as we become aware of them.

PACE Program

Antrim County is a part of Lean & Green Michigan™, one of America's first statewide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) initiatives - and Michigan's marketplace for energy efficiency and renewable energy financing.

The partnership with Lean & Green Michigan is a positive step for Antrim County. The PACE plan will bring new economic development tools to entice reinvestment and redevelopment in our County while helping to green the community.


  • All funding is provided by private sources
  • Help property owners save money and make buildings more energy efficient
  • Attract tenants as buildings are more comfortable, less expensive, and greener
  • Raise tax base steadily over time
  • No risk to the County

How PACE Works

Lean & Green Michigan™ enables commercial, industrial and multi-family property owners in Antrim County to take on a voluntary special assessment in order to achieve favorable terms and longer amortizations in financing energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Property owners can eliminate waste and save money while greening the community and creating a more comfortable environment for their employees or tenants. Financing is available for virtually all types of commercial and industrial property for all private for-profit and private non-profit property owners.

Lean & Green Michigan™ is a public-private partnership that uses Michigan's new PACE statue to develop a market-based approach to energy finance and economic development. In essence, we leverage the PACE statute to maximum effect by bringing private capital to bear to solve companies' energy problems, to create work for contractors and jobs for workers, and to green our communities.

Property owners, contractors and financial institutions get a free market in which to arrange energy deals that pencil out for all concerned, using the PACE financing mechanism to lower the cost of capital and create positive cash flow from day one.

Find out more by visiting


Overview of PACE

Public Act 270 of 2010 (“Act 270”) authorizes local units of government to adopt PACE programs to promote the installation of energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems by owners of commercial or industrial property within a district designated by the local government.

Act 270 provides for repayment to local governments through a voluntary property assessment. The property assessment remains with the property and has the same priority as other property tax and assessment liens in the event of foreclosure.

Produced by Gaslight Media