COVID-19 Update: Bedrock Unveils ‘Shop, Eat & Be in the D’ Campaign, U-M Future of Mobility Conference to Focus on Diversity, and More

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
graph of daily coronavirus cases in Michigan
Courtesy of Bridge

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Bedrock Unveils ‘Shop, Eat & Be in the D’ Campaign
Bedrock today revealed plans that will bring new holiday shopping, local entrepreneurs, and family-friendly programming to downtown Detroit during the winter months.

More than 50 local brands and work from emerging artists will be represented in pop-ups throughout Bedrock’s portfolio of prime storefronts, open now through early January 2021.

“The holiday season offers the perfect opportunity for talented entrepreneurs and artists to expand their brands while also creating unique winter experiences the whole community can enjoy,” says Jennifer Skiba, vice president of retail leasing at Bedrock. “Bedrock is committed now more than ever to developing innovative ways to support small, local businesses and we are confident these entrepreneurs will thrive in downtown Detroit’s emerging retail scene.”

Among the retail and artist pop-ups are:

DOSE Collective (1419 Woodward Ave.). A curated retail experience showcasing luxury products from more than 20 small businesses ranging from fashionable apparel and Detroit themed goods to accessories, floral arrangements, and gifting items. Now open.

Former Vintage (1301 Broadway). A resale shop featuring popular streetwear items from brands including Supreme, Bape, and Chrome Hearts. Former Vintage also specializes in vintage ‘80s and ‘90s rare clothing, sneakers, jerseys. and throw-back goods. Opening on December 1.

Krispy Addicts (1425 Woodward Ave.). A street-stylish brand that also sells a wide variety of well-known brands with products including sweatshirts, pants, hats, and bags. Opening by early December.

Playground Detroit (1435 Farmer St. Suite 117). Starting today, an immersive light installation by multidisciplinary artist Gerald Collins, with viewing experience from the street or inside by appointment here. On Nov. 28, the Playground pop-up will transition from an art installation to a pop-up store featuring artwork and exclusive products from more than 20 emerging Detroit and Michigan artists and makers.

Spun Sugar (1232 Library Street). A gourmet cotton candy company with simple ingredients including organic sugar, plant-based dyes, and natural flavoring all crafted into an assortment of unique flavors. Spun Sugar is made in-house and serves more than 55 flavors. Opening Nov. 28.

Window Art Installations (1401 Woodward Ave.). In partnership with Design Core, three Detroit artists will be creating festive window displays on the exterior of a Bedrock property. Donovan Dewberry, Angela Cwayna, and Ivory Alexander will be using various mediums to create holiday-themed window art that will be revealed and ready for viewing Nov. 23.

Masks will be required for entry inside all of the pop-ups and social distancing guidelines will be enforced.

Due to the small capacity of the Downtown Detroit Markets, Bedrock and the Rocket Community Fund made the decision to forgo the traditional Downtown Detroit Markets this season in lieu of the pop-ups.

In addition, Bedrock and the Shinola Hotel are partnering with Studio M Detroit and the Detroit Actor’s Theatre Co. to deploy family-friendly events in Parker’s Alley behind the hotel every weekend. These events are free and open to the public.

Every Saturday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., beginning Nov. 14 through Jan. 2, Studio M Detroit will bring local performers and artists to Parker’s Alley. Entertainment will include acts such as stilt walkers, bucket drummers, circus-style acrobats, dance troupes, and optical illusionists. A full schedule will be released soon.

The Detroit Actor’s Theatre Co. will be performing holiday carols and providing entertainment in Parker’s Alley every Sunday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. through Nov. 22.

No reservations are required for programming events; however, guests will be asked to wear masks and maintain a safe, social distance from one another.

Bedrock is offering free four-hour parking validations with a purchase from any of its pop-up retailers or full-time tenants. Open businesses and parking details can be found on Bedrock’s Open Business Map.

For more information, visit here starting Nov. 16.

U-M Future of Mobility Conference to Focus on Diversity
The Auto and Mobility Club at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor is conducting its fifth annual Future of Mobility Conference and Case Competition Nov. 13 via Zoom starting at 9 a.m.

The theme of the event is “Mobility as a Driver of Equity: Understanding Equality of Access Based on Income, Gender, and Race.” The virtual conference is designed to highlight the need to bring diversity, equity, and inclusion into the conversation and through the mobility development process.

The event includes a case competition, panel discussion, and keynote speech by Richard Ezike, a senior policy associate at the Urban Institute’s Research to Action Lab.

The conference is sponsored by Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Rivian, May Mobility, and Ann Arbor Spark.

To register, visit here.

Hamtramck-based Chocolate Shop Expands to Ann Arbor
Hamtramck-based Bon Bon Bon is opening a permanent, 738-square-foot store in Ann Arbor’s historic Nickels Arcade this month.

Located on S. State Street in downtown Ann Arbor, Nickels Arcade was built in 1918 and its aesthetics mirror the Bon Bon Bon’s brand, according to Alexandra Clark, president of the candy maker.

“We have missed Ann Arbor since our summer pop-up at Takoi ended, and we are thrilled to be back for good,” says Clark. “As a chocolatier who grew up halfway between Detroit and Ann Arbor, I am thrilled that Bon Bon Bon has the same opportunity to fall in love and feel at home in these two totally unique and vibrant places. I simply cannot believe that the bootstrapped weirdo chocolate shop I started in the back room of The Hamtramck Coney Island has made it all the way to the historic Nickels Arcade. It’s a dream come true.”

The Ann Arbor space will be Bon Bon Bon’s third permanent store. Its hours are Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday noon-6 p.m.

Detroit’s Amesite Expands Sales and Business Development Team
Amesite Inc., a Detroit-based artificial intelligence software company that provides online learning ecosystems for business, higher education, and K-12, announced today it has expanded its sales and business development team by adding seasoned education industry sales professionals Brandon Owens and Kellen Hanson.

Owens joins Amesite as director of enterprise sales and Hansen as director of higher education sales.

“We are excited to welcome Brandon and Kellen to the Amesite team,” says Ann Marie Sastry, founder and CEO of Amesite. “As a result of our recent $15 million IPO, we now have the capital to aggressively expand our sales and marketing team in an effort to grow wins in both the virtual enterprise training and educational markets.

“We expect to substantially build out our finance team as well to support sales, as we work hard to develop repeatable wins in our business segments,” Sastry says. “With greater remote learning likely to become a permanent feature going forward, coupled with the need for professionals to undergo training from their employers, we stand ready to meet the needs of students and professionals alike by providing and supporting companies and universities with turnkey eLearning systems.”

Beaumont Health Announces Employee Compensation Enhancements
Southfield-based Beaumont Health, the state’s largest health care provider, has announced three compensation enhancements for its employees.

The first is a $1,000 “Thanks for Thanksgiving” appreciation payment for full-time and many part-time employees on Wednesday, Nov. 25. The minimum amount for part-time employees will be $500 and the minimum for contingents will be $200.

Physicians employed by the Beaumont Medical Group will receive a $1,000 reimbursement payment. In addition, Beaumont Health is funding $1 million to be proportionately allocated to its eight medical staffs. The hospital administration and medical staff leaders at each site will determine how to use these funds to invest in ways to advance medical care and better serve patients through medical education.

Beginning Dec. 13, the starting wage for non-represented Beaumont employees will be $15 per hour. In addition, over the next three months, Beaumont will evaluate other employees whose pay rates are near minimum wage and might need to be adjusted based upon their experience. These adjustments will be made by the end of February.

“This change is designed to retain our skilled and experienced employees at Beaumont,” says Aaron Gillingham, chief human resources officer at Beaumont Health. “We are proud to now offer an even more competitive compensation package in our market area.”

Also, effective Nov. 29, Beaumont also will address an increased pay differential for some employees who work premium shifts – afternoons, midnights, and weekends. These employees include nurses, respiratory therapists, care coordinators, and some other clinical positions.

With these latest enhancements, which build upon Beaumont’s focus to attract and retain high-quality talent, the system will invest more than $140 million in its staff this year. Other initiatives that are part of the $140 million investment include:

  • Offering a COVID-19 surge peak pandemic bonus in April.
  • Restoring the 403(b) Match in September.
  • Reinstating its tuition reimbursement program.
  • Providing a general pay increase for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Absorbing the costs of health care benefits for 2021.
  • Launching staff retention and referral programs.

“Our phenomenal team cares deeply for our patients and provides compassionate, extraordinary care, every day,” says John Fox, CEO of Beaumont Health. “By enhancing our compensation programs, we hope to ease some of the financial stress the COVID-19 pandemic has created. We want our employees to know they are valued by everyone at Beaumont Health.”

Aerospace Industry to Explore Post-COVID World at Nov. 17 Webinar
Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan, based in Rochester, is hosting a webinar via Zoom Nov. 17 from noon to 1 p.m. to address the industry in the post-COVID world.

Other topics will include upcoming virtual events, member packages, association website upgrades, and organization and business.

For more information, visit here. To join the webinar, visit here.

Pope Francis Center to Setup Homeless Shelter at TCF Center
Beginning Nov. 16, the Pope Francis Center, a day center in Detroit that serves the homeless, will temporarily relocate its services to the TCF Center for the winter to meet the increased demand for services in line with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The city of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department is awarding $300,000 in funding to help pay for some of the costs associated with the move, but the Pope Francis Center still has $250,000 in additional expenses it is looking to raise through its Sanctuary for the Season fundraising campaign.

To donate, visit here.

Michigan Winery Wins Double Gold at Competition
The Winery at Black Star Farms, based in Suttons Bay (north of Traverse City), won Double Gold last month for its 2018 Black Star Farms Sparkling Riesling with a score of 93 points at the 2020 American Wine Society Commercial Wine Competition.

Developed as a special release for Wine Club Members, the 2018 Sparkling Riesling is the second vintage of Black Star Farms first sparkling wine made from 100 percent Riesling.

“Riesling, when done well like this one, can produce delicate fruit forward, complex sparkling wines,” says Sherri Campbell Fenton, managing owner of the winery. “This unique, very dry sparkling wine has been a new favorite among our wine club members, who were the first to receive the special release.”

This wine retails for $18 and is available only in the winery’s two Traverse City area tasting rooms or here.

The Winery at Black Star Farms also won Silver medals for its 2017 Arcutoros Barrel Aged Chardonnay, 2017 Arcturos Sauvignon Blanc, and the 2017 Arcturos Cabernet Franc.

For complete competition results, visit here.

Forgotten Harvest Holiday Cards Fight Food Insecurity
Forgotten Harvest has released its 2020 festive holiday card collection, sponsored by Tom and Carol Cracchiolo, to fight food insecurity.

The Oak Park-based organization has seen a 50 percent increase in need during the pandemic and the holidays are especially challenging to the hundreds of families experiencing food insecurity.

Holiday cards with envelopes are available in packs of 25 for a suggested donation of $30 per pack, which includes shipping and handling. Special tribute cards also are available for a donation of $5 each, which can be inserted into a holiday card as a gift.

For every holiday card pack sold, Forgotten Harvest will provide $200 worth of groceries. Last year, the program fed more than 100,000 families with $120,000 worth of groceries.

This year, there are nine designs from which to choose, including “Michigan Mitten,” designed by Matt LaBarre Illustration, our “Happy, Healthy Christmas” card, a new “Star of David” card, and several others. There also is an option to write a personalized message of up to 150 characters. Corporate partners have the option to add brand logos to the cards. Allow five to seven days for shipping.

To order, visit here.