• Kate Rose

Traverse City Film Festival Time! Small Business Summer Fun

Big retailers may be starting to roll out their "Back to School" merchandise, but here at Venture North, we're not ready to let go of summer. With the Traverse City Film Festival just getting started, we're proud to have provided loans, gap financing and technical assistance to keep all of our small businesses thriving throughout Northern Michigan's busiest season.

Here are six Venture North clients that can help you beat the summer heat, stretch out the season and fill in the gaps between your moviegoing adventures...

Soup up Your SUP: Watch the sunrise out on the Bay before your first flick. Don't worry about getting run over by a jet ski at dawn, though, the LED lighting kits available through Action Glow can light up your paddleboard, kayak, surfboard, or wakeboard. Check out the invention brothers Garrett and Dakota brought to the sporting equipment market!

Action Glow

Pamper Your Pooch: Does your pup need a clean-up before she comes downtown for her close-up? Backcountry Dog Salon in Cedar has you covered, whether you need an experienced dog groomer or a treatment like the De-Skunk-a-Nator, Pawdicure, or a good old fashioned flea shampoo. Need doggy daycare while you enjoy the festival? The salon shares their property with Wiggle Butts + Waggin’ Tails, another Venture North client!

Backcountry Dog Salon Wiggle Butts + Waggin' Tails

Stay Caffeinated: Sitting in a dark theater all day is bound to give your body the signal to doze off. Pick up a StrongBrew Cold Brew's cold, it’s caffeinated, it’s...kind of a big deal. The cold brewing process reduces the acidity of the coffee, making it less bitter without sacrificing any of the energy. And if you haven't picked up their new chai version, stop by the downtown farmer's market and try it out!


Take the Ride: Okay, it IS summertime in Northern Michigan, so that means getting around downtown is waaaaay easier on a bike. There's no better way to enjoy getting from theater to theater than on two wheels. Brick Wheels can sort you out with a fat tire, mountain bike, tandem, or even an e-bike. Rent or buy your new ride!

Brick Wheels

Hit the Deck: By the afternoon, you'll be ready to refuel the tank. Grab a stone-fired slice atop Pangea Pizza’s rooftop deck for fresh ingredients, in-house recipes and artisan dough, even a gluten-free crust, if needed! Conveniently located near many of the festival venues, right on Front Street. We also recommend the Cajun Jerk Fries.

Pangea's Pizza

Get Virtual: Maybe movies aren't your thing and you want to choose your ownadventure in the storyline. Steer clear of downtown entirely and head to the Warehouse District, where 16 year old entrepreneur, Brent Brisbois, is running TC's only virtual reality arcade, Verge of Reality. Pick up one of the HTC Vive stations with 360 degree tracking capability and have fun storming the castle - see what we did there?

Verge of Reality Arcade

Enjoy the festival and the rest of your summer! - The Venture North Team

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