COVID-19 Update: Great Lakes Hotel Supply Comes to Rescue of Local Restaurant Community, Three Thirteen Boutique Expands with Second Location in Parker’s Alley, 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 Dec. 8

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.

Great Lakes Hotel Supply Comes to Rescue of Local Restaurant Community
Great Lakes Hotel Supply in Southfield and the Detroit Chapter of the Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association have created the GoFundMe “Local Love” fundraiser to assist the metro Detroit restaurant community that is suffering through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The endeavor kicked off Tuesday and will run through March 1, 2021 with a goal of $500,000 to help waitstaff, bussers, host/hostess, cooks, or the business owners themselves.

“Since the inception of Great Lakes Hotel Supply it has been our honor to serve the restaurant community by providing top-notch services and equipment,” says Marc Israel, owner of Great Lakes Hotel Supply. “During this never-before-seen economic crisis it is crystal clear that we must do something now to help our local restaurants survive. We are asking everyone, as individuals and as corporations, if you have the ability to donate please help us reach or exceed our goal of $500,000. These folks are really in need and it’s vital that we help them.”

A two-tier funding plan has been established to help both the owners and individual employees. Business owners must register themselves and their employees for approval. Any business applying for help must be registered in Michigan. All money raised will be distributed to the owners and their employees, based on total donations received.

Great Lakes Hotel Supply will write their first check in the third week of December to help the community over the Christmas holidays, and then monthly checks will be distributed. Restaurant owners who wish to register their establishment and its employees can visit here.

Anyone who would like to donate to the cause can visit here.

In Related News: Atlas Wholesale Food Co. in Detroit has launched Rescue MI Restaurants, an initiative to help support locally owned restaurants by further encouraging metro Detroit residents to order carry out and delivery.

The program works like this:

  • Support your favorite local restaurant by ordering carryout or delivery.
  • Take a photo of the receipt, post it publicly on Facebook with the hashtag #RescueMIRestaurant. All posts must properly tag the correlating restaurant, list the date of the order and total amount, including tax and tip.
  • Upon seeing the post, Atlas will match, dollar for dollar, the total amount of the receipt to the restaurant in the form of a product credit up to $100,000 in total.

The program runs through Dec. 25.

Three Thirteen Boutique Expands with Second Location in Parker’s Alley
Clothing and streetwear boutique Three Thirteen will be expanding its brand and opening a second location at 1436 Farmer St. in Parker’s Alley before the end of the year

“Three Thirteen, Detroit’s brand name retail store, is excited to join Parker’s Alley,” says Clement “Fame” Brown, founder of Three Thirteen. “Helping to bolster and participate in our city’s growth is particularly important to us and we are proud to be a part of Detroit’s newly emerging downtown landscape.”

The boutique shop will feature specialty branded Three Thirteen t-shirts, crewnecks, jackets, jerseys, hats, and gift items including coffee mugs, pins, candles, and body spray. Products from other niche brands will be featured on a rotating basis.

Brown founded the Three Thirteen brand in 2008 and began selling apparel through word of mouth, pop-ups, and in select retailers. After opening his first shop in 2015, Brown moved Three Thirteen to the Livernois Avenue of Fashion in March of 2019.

“Clement embodies that entrepreneurial talent and drive that makes Detroit brands authentic,” says Ivy Greaner, COO of Bedrock. “He has grown Three Thirteen into a household name in Detroit. It’s these unique brands that make the downtown shopping district a one-of-a-kind destination.

Parker’s Alley, located behind the Shinola Hotel, was designed with the goal of attracting small businesses to a downtown setting. Three Thirteen’s neighboring small businesses include The Lip Bar, Flowers for Dreams, DROUGHT, Good Neighbor, Huddle, and Madcap Coffee.

Hours of operation, upon opening will be Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Detroit Extends Moratorium on Residential Water Shutoffs through 2022
The City of Detroit announced Tuesday it has extended its moratorium on water service interruptions for residents who do not have the ability to pay through at least 2022 and its intention to make the program permanent.

The program, which started in March, is funded from several available sources.

“My goal now is stop water shutoffs to low-income Detroiters once and for all,” says Mayor Duggan. “We have secured the funding necessary to continue this effort through 2022 and we are building a coalition to make this permanent.”

Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) Director Gary Brown noted that the COVID-19 Water Restart Plan, launched March 9, has restored water service at nearly 1,300 occupied homes, many of which needed plumbing repairs. The city has set aside sufficient state, federal, private, and local funds to continue the moratorium on water service interruptions even after the health departments orders end on Dec. 31.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, DWSD has helped thousands of financially insecure households with water bills and emergency plumbing repairs. By the end of December, $22 million is expected to be spent, $15 million of which has been for bill credits to nearly 50,000 Detroit households. DWSD has 227,000 active residential accounts.

“The water shutoff moratoriums issued by health departments end in 23 days,” says Brown. “We have chosen to ensure that residential households that do not have the ability to pay have the resources for help and maintain service through at least 2022 while we work on permanent water affordability solutions at the state and federal levels. The infrastructure is in place through DWSD and our community partners to continue to provide compassionate and effective customer affordability programs to financially insecure Detroit households, now and through the implementation of long-term solutions.”

The COVID-19 Water Restart Plan, the CARES Act, and Michigan Senate Bill 690 provided temporary relief during the pandemic. The next step, according to officials, is to work on a permanent solution for water affordability. Detroit will be a leader at the state level and nationally.

“The federal government currently actively prevents gas and electric shutoffs of low-income Americans through the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP),” says Duggan said.  “But there is no comparable program for water bills. We’re going to be part of a national coalition to support the efforts of Sen. Gary Peters to extend utility shutoff support for water.”

Detroit has joined a coalition of cities from around the country, including Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Alexandria, Va., Baltimore, Louisville, Sacramento, Calif., and Washington, D.C. to create a policy platform on national water affordability initiatives focusing primarily on Low-Income Water Assistance Program) and include plumbing repairs.

Detroiters with low income can join the program and avoid any interruption of service by contacting Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency at 313-386-9727 or visiting here.

Priority Health Announces $600K Statewide Effort to Build Outdoor Fitness Courts
Grand Rapids-based Priority Health and the National Fitness Campaign have launched a statewide partnership to expand free access to workouts by bringing outdoor Fitness Courts to communities across Michigan.

This partnership was formed to fight obesity, improve quality of life, and create equitable access to exercise for communities around the state.

Through the partnership, Priority Health Fitness Courts will be constructed in easily accessible public spaces with the goal of building 15 more Fitness Courts in the next 18 months. NFC’s initiative now is supporting more than 150 cities across America, including Michigan cities Brownstown, Roseville, Garden City, Big Rapids, and Saginaw.

“This partnership with NFC couldn’t be more timely as we continue to look for innovative partnerships that help create more safe, equitable access to health and wellness for Michigan residents,” says Marti Lolli, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of consumer and government markets at Priority Health. “We believe that all people deserve the opportunity to live a healthy life and we are proud to be Michigan’s first statewide sponsor to show our commitment to improving the health of our communities.”

Beginning in January 2021, municipalities, schools, and other organizations may apply for grant funding to assist in building a Fitness Court here.

Children’s Hospital Earns Award for Quality and Safety
DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan was named a Top Children’s Hospital nationally by The Leapfrog Group, a national watchdog organization of health care industry employers and other purchasers.

“Children’s Hospital of Michigan is honored to be nationally recognized as one of the nine top children’s hospitals in the country for quality and safety,” says Kathy Donovan, CEO of Children’s Hospital of Michigan. “This recognition highlights our exceptional team and their dedication to providing the safest and highest quality pediatric care to the children of Southeast Michigan and beyond. I am extremely proud of our team and honored to provide nationally recognized care to our community.”

Among the more than 2,200 hospitals considered for the award, Children’s Hospital of Michigan received a Top Children’s distinction. A total of 105 hospitals were selected as Top Hospitals, including:

  • Nine Top Children’s Hospitals
  • 29 Top General Hospitals
  • 19 Top Rural Hospitals
  • 48 Top Teaching Hospitals

“Being recognized as a Top Hospital is an extraordinary feat and we are honored to recognize Children’s Hospital of Michigan this year,” says Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Despite the extraordinary pressure and strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, Children’s Hospital of Michigan has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to patients and to the Detroit and southeast Michigan community.”

City of Wyandotte Upgrades Digital Connectivity
The city of Wyandotte has partnered with North Carolina’s CommScope to accelerate its digital transformation by delivering high-capacity, low-latency connectivity to nearly 25,000 residents.

By providing both the fiber technology and expertise, CommScope will enable nearly 13,000 homes and more than 700 commercial buildings to have access to a new network with up to 10Gbps of internet, IP video, and smart home services.

The project requires full conversion to fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), management of multiple contractors, network component integration, and relocation and expansion of their headend.

“Wyandotte is an area that has flourished, developing a reputation as a destination for new and expanding businesses,” said Paul LaManes, general manager of the City of Wyandotte. “We are spreading economic growth and investing in arts, food, culture, retail, and services that will be attractive to future generations.

“Super-fast broadband will kick this evolution into a new gear, paving the way for new applications that improve the quality of life and advance social progress. CommScope eliminates the burden of dealing with multiple vendors while helping us to build a smarter and more strategic network.”

CommScope Professional Services will provide both inside and outside plant construction management and headend relocation. Ongoing consulting services include hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) and FTTH architecture analysis, network evolution, FTTH design services, off-air antenna and satellite signal surveys.

“This year has shown us that the internet is critical in keeping our society functioning in the face of rapid and unpredictable change,” says Tom McLaughlin, senior vice president of service providers at CommScope. “It’s reminding us the advantage of forward-looking design and the importance of network innovation. By planning ahead and working together with developers, local utilities, service providers, and trusted fiber experts, Wyandotte is creating a path for a connected future.”

Walsh/Kettering University Tech MBA Offers Fast Track to Leadership Skills
Walsh College in Troy and Kettering University in Flint are offering an interdisciplinary joint MBA that combines Walsh’s internationally ranked MBA with a technology leadership certificate from Kettering.

Classes start Jan. 4, 2021 and will be offered virtually.

Courses taught by Kettering faculty as part of the technology leadership certificate for the Winter Term include Virtual Reality Systems: Modeling and Control, Introduction to Thermal Science and Lean Six Sigma.

“Because these courses offered as part of this unique degree are applied rather than theoretical, professionals will gain valuable skills that are sharply focused on using technology to solve problems, to innovate within AI, mobility, science, and other high-demand roles within a variety of technical fields,” says James Zhang, provost of Kettering University.

Courses taught by Walsh faculty as part of the MBA include Fundamentals of Business Success,  Leading Projects, Programs, and Operations, as well as courses in accounting, finance ,and marketing, and Strategic Management of the Enterprise.

“The Walsh/Kettering Tech MBA addresses the need for senior leadership with both deep technical skills and business acumen,” says Suzy Siegle, provost at Walsh. “This rigorous program prepares graduates to lead through the integration of artificial intelligence, robotics and mobility in a broad spectrum of technical and engineering industries.”

Applicants must have an undergraduate or higher degree from an accredited college or university in applied mathematics, computer science, engineering or physics. In addition, applicants must have an overall cumulative grade point average of 2.750 or better on a 4.0 scale. Students with a cumulative GPA lower than 2.750, but not below 2.000, will be admitted provisionally. Financial aid and scholarship opportunities are available.

For more information and to apply, visit here.

Living Arts Launches Search for New Executive Director
Detroit-based arts education and youth development nonprofit Living Arts has launched a search to hire a new executive director.

Living Arts says it is seeking a leader with the skillset, passion, and expertise to uplift youth voices and artistic talent in ways that provide culturally relevant educational experiences for young people in our region.

This leadership transition comes after nearly a year of discussions among the organization’s board and staff members — and in partnership with Living Arts’ community stakeholders building on financial support from The Kresge Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

“This transition process has been propelled by joy, intensive exploration, and reimagining, and our staff and board members’ shared commitment to transformative change,” says Alissa Novoselick, current executive director of Living Arts. “Utilizing our core values, mission, and equity principles as guides, this strategic decision is rooted in the voices of the entire board, staff, artists, young people, and donors who have been part of our process.”

The hiring of a new executive director is a community-led effort that includes a Search Committee of teaching artists, parents, youth, staff, and board members so that all stakeholders have a voice in the decision. Koya Leadership Partners is assisting with recruitment.

“The board is seeking someone who can authentically represent the Detroit arts community and ensure that the programming continues to bring out the best in Detroit’s youth, especially Black and Latinx youth,” says Isabelle Moses Moses, a Living Arts facilitator and executive coach.

DIA Adds Works to Native American Collection and New Works by Women
The Detroit Institute of Arts’ Board of Directors has approved the acquisition of 463 works of art through gifts and purchases in 2020, including significant additions to the museum’s Native American collection and works by women artists.

“The collection is the heart of every art museum, and at the DIA, we are fortunate to have one of the best in the world,” says Salvador Salort-Pons, director of the DIA. “But museum collections are not static; they are dynamic and evolving. We see artworks through new lenses in today’s world. As we work to serve new audiences and create a more inclusive society, it is important to leverage acquisitions to evolve our collection to better mirror our community.”

Highlights of the DIA’s 2020 acquisitions include:

  • Sphae, undated by Mavis Iona Pusey
  • Anishnabe Treaty Hat by Kelly Church
  • Reading the Fate of the Christ Child by Josefa de Óbidos
  • I See Red: Herd by Jaune Quick-to­See Smith
  • An untitled painting by Roberto Montenegro
  • Maternity Figure by an unknown artist
  • Folio from the Late Shah Jahan Album by Mir ‘Ali Haravi

Prints and photographs added to the museum’s collection include a group of works by Ghanaian photographer James Barnor, two photographs by Ansel Adams, a print by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, and prints by American artists Rashid Johnson and Mavis Iona Pusey.

9thWonder in Texas and Grand Rapids’ Lambert & Co. Partner to Expand Service
9thWonder in Houston and Lambert & Co. in Grand Rapids have established a joint venture and co-investment aimed at building the integrated agency of the future. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The partnership and capital infusion are intended to accelerate the growth of both companies, deepen 9thWonder’s communications, public relations, and multicultural market reach, and fund future acquisitions in the U.S. and internationally.

As part of the strategic investment and joint venture, Lambert acquired the PR practice of 9thWonder. The team will remain based in Houston, adding a southern hub to the firm’s offices in Michigan, New York, and Arizona. Likewise, 9thWonder adds marketing, creative, and ad buying firepower to Lambert’s clients and practices in automotive and mobility, consumer, education and social impact, health care, investor relations and capital markets, and public affairs.

Hispanic-owned 9thWonder is among the nation’s leading marketing and brand strategy firms with offices in Houston, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Argentina, and Vietnam.

Lambert is a national public relations, investor relations, and integrated marketing firm with clients spanning the globe including the North American International Auto Show, Green Giant Fresh, Bell, The Shyft Group, and Faurecia.

“We are excited to invest in 9thWonder as part of the growing Lambert Family of Companies and believe this unique agency partnership and co-investment model will be another catalyst in our accelerating growth,” says Jeff Lambert, founder and CEO of Lambert. “Jose (Lozano) and the 9thWonder team are a perfect complement to our offerings in PR, investor relations, crisis communications and diversity consulting; their office network is a hand-glove fit with our regional hubs in Michigan, Arizona and New York, and we both have an active M&A strategy that we believe will be compelling to owner entrepreneurs looking for an alternative to the agency networks.”

As part of the agreement, Lambert will join the 9thWonder board. Joining Lambert in the deal is an investor group led by Monika Mantilla, a fund manager and capital markets leader with a proven track record of investing in minority, women-led and diverse-owned companies as well as owners and entrepreneurs located in low or moderate-income communities. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Our focus over the past two years has been to acquire and integrate a collection of complementary agencies, but always with an eye toward a bigger vision of a new business-impact-centric agency model with partners invested in one another and with a shared focus on marketing and communications that deliver to the bottom line,” says Jose Lozano, CEO of 9thWonder. “We found this like-mindedness and similar track record of success in Lambert, and together we can bring best-in-class expertise to our client rosters, and new scale and significance for our teams.”

GrowGeneration Announces $125M Follow-on Public Offering
GrowGeneration Corp., which has six hydroponic and organic gardening locations in Michigan, filed a registration statement on Form S-3 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed follow-on public offering raising $125 million.

In connection with the offering, GrowGen expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 15 percent of the shares of common stock offered in the public offering.

Oppenheimer & Co. and Stifel are acting as joint book-running managers for the proposed offering.

JVS Human Services Offers Paid Internship Program for Job Seekers 50+
JVS Human Services in Southfield, one of the largest human service agencies in metro Detroit, is encouraging workers aged 50 and over who have been unemployed for six months or longer, to join its paid internship program.

Funded by government grants, the New Experiences Internship provides 10 weeks of paid work, 40 hours-a-week, at a rate of $13 an hour. Additionally, the program offers recent employment activity and positive job references that can be used for future employment applications. In some cases, internships may lead to job offers. Graduates of the program have gone on to get jobs in childcare, light assembly, security, marketing and sales, human resources, administrative work, and as professional drivers. There is no upper age barrier to taking part in the internship.

“There are countless mature workers who have been out of work for many months now due to the pandemic, and we know there are many who might be interested in the opportunity to try something new,” says Jason Charnas, director of business and career services at JVS Human Services. “Other candidates we consider are those that have been unemployed or underemployed for a long time and who need the chance to showcase prospective employers that their skills are current.”

JVS Human Services is also encouraging more metro Detroit businesses that are interested in hiring interns, to take part in the program. Workers and potential businesses seeking more information should contact Gerard Baltrusaitis, internship employment specialist, at or by calling 248-658-8862.