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Whiskey Business: TC Whiskey Expansion Highlighted by Public Support

The cooperation between government and private companies was on full display Friday with the groundbreaking of a new distillery and tasting room for the Traverse City Whiskey Company. It’s a project that is supposed to create 100 jobs and bring $20 million to the region.

It’s still a year away, but the beginning of the next phase for TC Whiskey Company has begun with the new distillery facility in Leelanau County.

“The craft distillery industry has been growing and it’s good for local development in towns and often brings people in the community,” said Senator Gary Peters.

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TC Whiskey just started eight years ago and this will be their third facility. Once finished it will be a 70,000 square feet complete with visitor center and tasting room.

“They’re starting to go national. You see this product, not just locally in the Traverse City area, but all around the country,” said Sen. Peters. “It just means more jobs more economic development here in the area.”

Flanked by Peters and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, the TCWC owners pointed to the support and cooperation given by the government. From the $750,000 grant from the state to changes in tax code to even help them get off the ground.

“The tax structure is really designed for some very large distilleries,” said Peters. “It’s really hard for a new distillery to get started.”

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While major business investments are announced across the state, Lt. Gov. Gilchrist says these smaller investments are worth every penny.

“All of these investments are wins,” said Gilchrist. “They are wins for communities because creating one new job, I think it’s a victory.”

It’s been a major focus of the Whitmer administration and will be a key focus in next week’s State of the State address, economic development.

“It’s a good example of working with the government, working with regulators to enable your vision,” said Gilchrist. “That’s what we want to do as an administration.”

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Maybe the biggest impact to rural Michigan business won’t be a business grant or tax code change but the infusion of broadband internet. It is a lofty goal the administration is focusing on in the second term.

“The $250 million investment that we’ve committed to building out the kind of infrastructure that we need for internet,” said Gilchrist. “To more homes, to more businesses, to more farms, to more families. Michigan is going to be the first large state to connect all of our people online over the next four years.”