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.
Business Leaders Survey: U.S. and Michigan Economies to Worsen
The pandemic-ravaged economies of Michigan and the U.S. will get worse before they get better, according to a new survey of board members of Business Leaders for Michigan, an organization of top executives from the state’s largest companies and universities.
Due to the uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus, expectations for the Michigan and U.S. economies have worsened from the fourth quarter of 2019, when only 4 percent of business leaders expected worsening U.S. economic conditions and just 20 percent expected a downturn in Michigan. Those numbers have increased, as business leaders are wary of growth in the coming months.
More than half (53.3 percent) of the respondents now expect the nation’s economy to worsen in the next six to 12 months and 51.1 percent expect the same from Michigan’s economy. Conversely, more than a quarter of the executives (26.6 percent) expect the U.S. economy to improve and 33.3 percent predict Michigan’s economy to be better in the next year.
“It shouldn’t be a surprise there has been some pullback in hiring and investment based on the conditions the pandemic has created,” says Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders of Michigan. “But it’s important to highlight that nearly 70 percent of Michigan’s largest companies still expect to be hiring at the same rate or even more over the next six to 12 months.”
The latest survey data shows 68.8 percent of Michigan employers either anticipate jobs to grow or maintain the status quo in their companies. Sixty percent of the executives surveyed say they expect capital investment to be the same or increase in their companies in the next 6 to 12 months.
“There is no question that we’re going through a period of great uncertainty right now,” Rothwell says. “The best way to return our economy to full health is to mitigate the spread of the virus by wearing masks, washing hands, and keeping distance from others as much as possible.”
Citizens Bank Survey: Pandemic May Permanently Change Banking
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing how consumers and businesses interact with financial institutions and a new survey from Citizens Bank shows that this trend likely will be permanent.
According to the results of Citizens Bank’s inaugural Banking Experience Survey, half of consumers and 76 percent of businesses said that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way they interact with their financial institution. Of these respondents, 66 percent of consumers and 73 percent of businesses feel that these changes will be permanent.
The nationwide survey of 1,091 consumers and 252 business leaders also found that while the pandemic is leading to an accelerated adoption of digital banking tools, human interaction – provided either in person or via virtual channels – is essential when it comes to getting financial advice and for executing more complex transactions.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated and solidified a transition in how customers behave and interact with brands that was already well underway, posing significant questions around how companies can best serve customers going forward,” says Beth Johnson, CEO at Citizens Bank. “Despite the shift to digital banking, it’s clear that personal interaction remains important to customers so financial institutions must find ways to serve them seamlessly in their channel of choice.”
Some key findings include:
- While 69 percent of consumers already prefer banking online some or all of the time and 64 percent agree that technology will completely change banking as they know it, a similar number (65 percent) agree that they prefer human expertise when receiving financial advice.
- 71 percent of business leaders perform at least some banking activities online and 85 percent agree that technology will completely change banking as they know it. Still, 74 percent see the need to at least occasionally use in-person banking and 73 percent prefer having in-person interactions with experts when receiving financial advice.
For more details on the results of the survey, visit here.
State Government – Casinos to Open Aug. 5, Indoor Bar Service Closes Statewide
Detroit’s casinos will be allowed to open their doors at 15% capacity starting Aug. 5, indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people, and starting Friday, all indoor bar facilities across the state must shut down, according to new executive orders signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday.
Casinos also must, among other things, conduct a daily entry screening protocol for customers and employees that includes temperature screening. Casinos must require patrons to wear a face covering, except while eating or drinking or for identification purposes.
“As we see COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Michiganders cannot afford to drop our guard,” Whitmer says. “We must take every step possible to save lives, protect the brave men and women on the front lines, and avoid overwhelming our health care system while we continue to combat COVID-19. After seeing a resurgence in cases connected to social gatherings across the state, we must further limit gatherings for the health of our community and economy. By taking these strong actions, we will be better positioned to get our children back into classrooms and avoid a potentially devastating second wave.”
The Marygrove Conservancy Announces a New Community Impact Incubator program
The Marygrove Conservancy in Detroit has unveiled a Community Impact Incubator, a program that will provide capacity building and facilities support to community-based, nonprofit organizations.
Built in partnership with Strategic Community Partners (SCP), this program complements the P-20 cradle-to-career educational campus the conservancy is stewarding on the 53-acre site of the former Marygrove College in northwest Detroit.
The Marygrove Conservancy and SCP selected five Detroit nonprofit organizations to participate in this pilot phase of the Community Impact Incubator including:
- Detroit City Lions Youth Club, which helps at-risk youth develop healthy bodies and minds.
- Detroit Phoenix Center, a low-barrier resource center for young people between the ages of 13 and 24 experiencing housing insecurity.
- Detroit Youth Choir and Performing Arts Co., which offers the youth of Detroit a performing arts experience to develop creative skills and talents though music education, dance and theater.
- JOURNi, which is dedicated to building an inclusive technology ecosystem in Detroit.
- Pure Heart Foundation, which empowers and embraces children of incarcerated parents to help break the cycle of generational incarceration.
The Community Impact Incubator also will have an executive-in-residence, Rita Fields, to help facilitate the program, meet with participating organizations monthly, and serve as a mentor for the nonprofit leaders.
For more information, visit here.
Rite Aid is opening two more no-charge COVID-19 testing sites in Michigan starting today.
The new Michigan sites are:
- 4410 South Division St. in Kentwood.
- 2410 Burton St. SE in Grand Rapids.
Like Rite Aid’s existing drive-through testing sites, the new locations will utilize self-swab nasal tests overseen by Rite Aid pharmacists, and will operate Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
At all testing locations, patients are required to provide government issued identification, be at least 18 years old and need to pre-register here in order to schedule a time slot for testing and see a full list of Rite Aid testing sites.
The INDUSTRY to Open an Office in Downtown Mount Clemens
PurposePoint, a professional development organization, today announced that The INDUSTRY, a Port Huron based nonprofit, will open an office in downtown Mount Clemens in partnership with them to engage local schools, businesses, and organizations on a mission to positively shape the future of work.
The INDUSTRY is focused on equipping young adults (ages 17-25) for their futures and fosters an experience for students to promote soft skills such as a strong work ethic, communication, creative problem solving, self-awareness, time management, leadership, and teamwork. It will conduct classes at the Neway Creative co-working and training space.
“Through our organization we offer what we call a Bridge Semester; a break from traditional education in order to assess and connect the present to the future, bridging the space between high school graduation, career success, and a life of significance,” says Josh Sabo, founder of The INDUSTRY.
For more information, visit here.
Detroit Auto Dealers and the Community Foundation Announce $300,000 in Grants
The Detroit Auto Dealers Association Charitable Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan announced that eight nonprofits providing services to children and youth in southeast Michigan will receive grants totaling $300,000.
While this year’s Charity Preview was cancelled along with the North American International Auto Show, the DADA says felt it was important to support the work of these annually supported organizations.
“This has been a tough and unusual year for many in southeast Michigan,” says Rod Alberts, executive director of DADA. “Our dealers wanted to ensure we do our part to support the nonprofits we’ve had a relationship with over the years to help them continue their work with youth in our region.”
Organization receiving $37,500 grants include:
- Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan
- Boys Hope Girls Hope Detroit
- Children’s Center
- The Children’s Foundation
- Detroit PAL
- Judson Center
- March of Dimes Metro Detroit
- University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital
“These organizations touch so many young lives in our community, and it is our privilege as a dealer association to help support their initiatives,” says Doug North, chairman of the 2021 NAIAS and president of North Brothers Ford in Westland. “Charity Preview is a highlight of the show, and we look forward once again to engaging the community in our plans to raise funds for nonprofit organizations next year.”
In addition to these grants, the Community Foundation is accepting applications through Oct. 1, for all nonprofit organizations in southeast Michigan that support children and youth. More information and applications are available here.
Detroit Historical Museum to Offer Virtual Summer Camp
The Detroit Historical Museum is partnering with the Arab American National Museum, Corpus Art Inc, the Hellenic Museum of Michigan, Michigan Science Center, and many more to offer “Detroit To the World,” its first virtual summer camp experience.
Designed for campers aged 8-12, the daily camp will be conducted live on Zoom from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Aug. 17-21.
With live daily instruction and hands-on crafts, campers will explore Mexican-American, Arab, Native, African American, and Greek American stories and traditions to learn more about the many people that call Detroit home. Craft supply kits to complement the daily sessions will be available for purchase and pick up prior to Aug. 17.
Pricing (including craft supplies) is $120. A daily rate for camp sessions is $20 with an optional craft supply kit for $40. More information and registration are available here.
Partnership to Deliver 3,000 Backpacks with School Supplies to Detroit Families in Need
Three thousand backpacks filled with school supplies will be delivered to the doorsteps of Detroit families in need on Saturday, Aug. 1, as part of a partnership between Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, Community Movement Builders Detroit, and Black Lives Matter Detroit.
This marks the 14th consecutive year of the backpack program, previously conducted annually as part of a neighborhood festival in Detroit’s Zone 8 called “Restoring the Neighbor Back to the Hood.” (The community boundaries are John C. Lodge and I-94 expressways, West Grand Boulevard and Grand River.) This year, the festival was cancelled due to the pandemic.
“This is a commitment I made to my community,” says Yusef Bunchy Shakur, co-director of programs for the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion and lead organizer of the Detroit chapter of Community Movement Builders. “I try to serve my neighborhood and the residents of Detroit the way I wish someone had done for me when I was a little boy. I want to show them that somebody cares, somebody believes in them and they’re worth the effort and the time. This is about hope.”
Families were able to pre-register to receive a delivery of up to two backpacks per house. Social distancing requirements will be adhered to when the deliveries are made, to maintain the health and safety of community members and program volunteers. For more information, visit here.
Cannabis Retailer Expands into Metro Detroit with Hazel Park Store
Green Peak Innovations, Michigan’s largest vertically integrated cannabis company, today is opening its 10th Michigan Skymint store and its first in metro Detroit in Hazel Park.
Located at 20940 John R. Road, Skymint Hazel Park will serve both medical patients and adult-use customers.
“With Skymint Hazel Park, we are fully committed to investing in, celebrating, and making a meaningful and lasting contribution to this incredible, self-made community, starting with our partnerships with Detroit Cookie Co., Detroit Tray, and SMPLFD, as well as acclaimed Detroit musical artist and muralist, Sheefy McFly,” says Jeff Radway, co-founder and CEO of Green Peak Innovations.
This August, McFly will adorn Skymint Hazel Park’s exterior with an original artwork titled, “Strains Not Chains” that speaks to Skymint’s ongoing advocacy work related to cannabis and restorative justice in Michigan (in collaboration with the Last Prisoner Project).