COVID-19 Update: Ford to Illuminate HQ and Michigan Central Station to Honor COVID-19 Deaths, Level One Bank to Help Businesses During Second Round of PPP, 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.
map of Michigan coronavirus cases by county
Courtesy of Bridge, as of Jan. 18

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.

Ford to Illuminate HQ and Michigan Central Station to Honor COVID-19 Deaths
Ford Motor Co. will illuminate its world headquarters in Dearborn and the historic Michigan Central Station for one hour today at 5:30 p.m. to honor people who lost their lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The automaker is joining other enterprises and organizations who are lighting buildings and ringing church bells all over the country. The effort was planned by the 2021 Presidential Inaugural Committee and will feature a lighting around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C., to mark the day of remembrance and unity.

Ford is a chair of the committee and supporting inaugural activities by contributing up to four million Michigan-made face masks, which were used by participants in the committee’s National Day of Service on Martin Luther King Day.

In total, Ford is producing and donating 100 million face masks through mid-2021 as part of its commitment to provide personal protective equipment to help communities combat and limit the spread of the virus.

Level One Bank to Help Businesses During Second Round of PPP
Level One Bank in Farmington Hills has announced it will be assisting local business owners with applying for the second round of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Starting today, businesses can begin applying for PPP funds that will be available to new and existing PPP borrowers, including non-Level One Bank clients.

During the first round of the PPP in 2020, Level One Bank helped more than 2,000 small businesses gain access to over $400 million in PPP loans, supporting the jobs of more than 30,000 employees in Michigan.

“As a Michigan-based community bank with an entrepreneurial spirit, Level One Bank is committed to helping local small businesses acquire the funding they so desperately need,” says Gregory A. Wernette, executive vice president and chief lending officer of Level One Bank. “We’re here to be a resource to our fellow entrepreneurs, helping them to withstand continuing financial challenges related to the pandemic.”

Businesses can apply online with Level One Bank here. Additional information about the PPP can be found here.

Troy’s Edcor to Offer TutorMe Services to Customers in New Partnership
Troy-based Edcor, one of the nation’s largest providers of education benefits administration solutions to employers, announced an exclusive partnership with TutorMe to make the latter’s services available to its employer network.

The TutorMe partnership provides Edcor with a service offering designed to appeal to current and prospective customers as COVID-19 upends the employment market and creates a ripple effect on the need for upskilling and mastering key job duties.

TutorMe is an online provider of tutoring services for learners from kindergarten through graduate school and owned by education technology services company, Zovio. It provides tutoring services in 300 subject areas in a secure, online environment via website or app through a virtual whiteboard, audio/video chat, screen sharing, and text. Tutors are available 24/7 and can be accessed in less than one minute.

“TutorMe is an established platform that is ideal for today’s virtual educational environment,” says Adrienne Way, owner and CEO of Edcor. “With Edcor’s national network of adult learners taking approximately 350,000 classes collectively per semester, we have a built-in base that makes the partnership between Edcor and TutorMe a perfect match.”

According to Myles Hunter, TutorMe CEO and co-founder, the relationship with Edcor is among its first business-to-business partnerships.

Total Life Changes Introduces Total Life Essentials Self-care Products
Total Life Changes, a health supplement company based in Fair Haven, today introduced a new collection of self-care and wellness products with the launch of Total Life Essentials.

The first three Total Life Essentials products are:

Total Life Essential Oils — 12 scents and three proprietary “power” blends crafted from sources across six continents.

Total Life Essentials Guardian Hand Sanitizer Multi-Use Spray and Gel — a physician-formulated hand sanitizer featuring a proprietary blend of cinnamon, clove, orange, lemongrass, lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, and spearmint.

Total Life Essentials Guardian Hand Soap — A proprietary composition that promises to be an alternative to commercial hand soaps with a mild, plant-based foaming formula using eco-friendly cleansing ingredients.

TLC says it worked with experts to curate this family of self-care products.

For more information, visit here.

Pączki Day Vodka by Detroit City Distillery Returns for Pączki Day
Detroit City Distillery’s limited-edition Pączki Day Vodka returns in 2021 with sales starting online here on Feb. 1.

Bottles of the craft polish potato vodka distilled with dozens of raspberry pączki from the New Palace Bakery in Hamtramck are $30 each. Customers can collect their spirits curbside outside DCD’s Tasting Room at 2462 Riopelle St. at Eastern Market. The vodka also will be available at select liquor stores while supplies last.

“I made Pączki Day Vodka because I wanted to capture the essence of the Hamtramck Pączki Day party in a bottle,” says Steve Orzechowski, distiller at Detroit City Distillery “I thought it’d be a fun way to honor my Polish heritage and create a small-batch spirit we shared with our closest friends and family. But, as more and more people tried it and loved it, and the requests came pouring in, we realized we’d created something very unique. It’s a real honor to create something that the community has made part of the celebration and the comradery of the day.”

This year the distillery will procure nearly 1,300 glazed raspberry pączki from New Palace to distill in 100 percent potato vodka from Poland. Each batch uses 18-dozen pączki baked fresh that morning, which are then are soaked for 24 hours in vodka inside a 500-gallon copper pot still. Next, distillation transforms the pączki and vodka into a clear spirit that is smooth, buttery, and has a raspberry finish. It is best enjoyed chilled over ice, mixed in a cocktail or as a pączki chaser, according to Orzechowski.

Pączki are rich, filled donuts in various flavors enjoyed on Fat Tuesday, the Tuesday before the somber Lenten season before Easter. Pączki resemble donuts but are made with an enriched dough that often incorporates eggs, butter, and milk, as well as vodka, which limits the absorption of fats during frying, keeping the exterior crust crisp. Pączki are coated in powdered sugar or glaze and come in traditional flavors like raspberry, strawberry, lemon, plum, apple, and custard.

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