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Small Business Forums to help local businesses stay on top of Affordable Care

OCTOBER 18 Amid uncertainty and speculation over the Affordable Care Act, one thing is for sure: Many of Northern Michigan's small businesses will be affected in a big way.

That's why the Health Department of Northwest Michigan has partnered with the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Gaylord/Otsego Chamber of Commerce to host special forums in each of those areas. The forum, "Healthcare Reform and How it will Affect You and Your Business or Non-Profit, will be offered on Wednesday, October 23. The Petoskey session starts at 8am at the North Central Michigan College (NCMC) library, and the Gaylord session will begin at 1pm at the University Center/MTEC. Cost is $10 at the door, by cash or check. Space is limited and pre-registration is encouraged; contact the Petoskey Regional Chamber at (231) 347-4150 or the Gaylord/Otsego Chamber at (989) 732-6333 to pre-register.

Michigan Consumers for Healthcare representative Brett Williams, a former registered lobbyist and legislative aide, has conducted extensive study of the Affordable Care Act and its impact on businesses, non-profits and individuals. Williams will be on hand at both forums to deliver an in-depth presentation that will answer small business leaders' most pressing questions.

"These forums will be a tremendous resource for small and mid-size businesses throughout Northern Michigan," said Linda Yaroch, Health Officer for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. "They all have important questions 'How does this affect my company?' 'What are my obligations as an employer?' 'What if I'm self-employed, running a single-person or family business?' 'What's the impact for larger companies?' 'What about tax credits?' Brett Williams will be there to cover all these topics, and much more."

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties. For additional information about the forums, contact Jane Sundmacher, Community Health Planner for the Health Department, at (231) 347-5041 or