DBusiness Daily Update: Balian Eye Center Partners with Chicago Vision Group, Last Electric Mile Working with Cox to Prepare for Commercial EV Future, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
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map of Michigan coronavirus cases by county
Courtesy of Bridge, as of April 30

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Balian Eye Center Partners with Chicago Vision Group
Balian Eye Center in Rochester has partnered with Midwest Vision Partners of Chicago.

This represents MVP’s 12th partnership, broadening its network to 115 physicians, 52 locations, and more than 1,200 staff across Michigan and Ohio.

Balian Eye Center pioneered the integrated eye care model and introduced one of the first freestanding outpatient surgical facilities in the state of Michigan.

“On June 1, Balian Eye Center will be celebrating 50 years of clinical service in Rochester,” says Dr. Mike Raphtis of the Balian Eye Center. “I am excited for our practice to celebrate this milestone with the announcement of our partnership with Midwest Vision Partners, the preeminent eye care management services organization that shares the same values as us with their PatientFirst philosophy.”

Joseph Giles, president and CEO of MVP, says, “Dr. Raphtis and the team at Balian Eye Center have done an exceptional job serving patients in southeast Michigan. We look forward to supporting their continued success in delivering superior outcomes for patients.”

Electric Last Mile Working with Cox to Prepare for Commercial EV Future
Electric Last Mile Inc. in Troy, an electric vehicle company focused on last mile delivery solutions, and Cox Automotive Inc. in Atlanta today announced a new collaboration working toward delivering a more comprehensive service and support ecosystem for ELMS’ Urban Delivery EV customers.

ELMS expects to begin production of the Urban Delivery by the end of the third quarter of 2021, making it the anticipated first commercial Class 1 EV officially available in the U.S. market.

The collaboration would give ELMS’ Urban Delivery customers access to Cox Automotive’s fleet service knowledge and expertise, supported by its mobility division’s Pivet fleet marketplace, which includes more than 6,000 service centers and 3,000 partner locations across the country that collectively service millions of vehicles each year.

In addition to Pivet’s fixed and high-capacity service centers, fleet customers would have access to Dickinson Fleet Services’ network of more than 800 mobile technicians that will bring service directly to their vehicles.

The proposed collaboration will seek to provide a full scope of service solutions to customers, including factory warranty repairs, preventative and ongoing maintenance, roadside assistance, collision repairs and battery servicing.

“The opportunity to collaborate with industry leader Cox Automotive helps put us on track to offer customers one of the most comprehensive service solutions that addresses their fleet needs in the most time and cost-efficient manner, any time and any place,” says James Taylor, co-founder and CEO of ELMS. “Additionally, with ELMS’ anticipated over-the-air system update capabilities and real-time vehicle analytics for predictive maintenance, we are working to provide the most efficient solutions to eliminate downtime so fleet customers can focus on running their business.”

Joe George, president of Cox Automotive, says, “Efficiency is a common thread that connects Pivet and ELMS as we both work to deliver solutions that minimize vehicle downtime and lower the total cost of ownership for our fleet customers. With an aggressive production timeline driven by pre-orders from on-demand service providers, ELMS is establishing itself as an innovative force in sustainable urban mobility.”

The ELMS Urban Delivery is anticipated to have approximately 150 miles of range and provide 170 cubic feet of cargo space, which is estimated to be approximately 34 percent more than the current leading gas model in the Class 1 commercial vehicle segment.

Asian Pacific American Chamber Plans Anniversary Events
The Clawson-based Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce is celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and its 20th anniversary with a series of happy hour events during May.

These events are open to the public and offer opportunities to connect with supplier diversity teams and make business connections with automotive/manufacturing businesses.

The events include:

Happy Hour with Supplier Diversity Team from Ford Motor Co. sponsored by Chrysan Industries Inc.

Friday, May 7

4:30-6 p.m.

Register Here

Happy Hour with Supplier Diversity Team from General Motors Co. sponsored by PMBC

Thursday May 13

3:30-5 p.m.

Register Here

Happy Hour with Supplier Diversity Team from Faurecia – North America

Wednesday May 19

3:30-5 p.m.

Register Here

Happy Hour with Supplier Diversity Team from Stellantis sponsored by Dana Inc.

Thursday May 27

4:30-6 p.m.

Register Here

Grant Funding Available for Michigan Restaurants and Bars
The new Restaurant Revitalization Fund, part of the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act, provides $28.6 billion in grants to restaurants and bars that have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss.

The U.S. Small Business Administration began registrations for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund on April 30 and will open applications today at noon. The online application will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.

For more information on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, visit here or in Spanish here.

Village of Rochester Hills Hosts Hiring Fair May 4
The Village of Rochester Hills, at the corner of Adams and Walton, will be hosting a hiring fair on Tuesday, May 4, from noon to 4 p.m. and giving interested applicants a chance to interview for open positions in-person.

There are a wide variety of full- and part-time job opportunities available.

Interested applicants are encouraged to visit here for a full list of available job postings. Applicants can apply online prior to the event or bring their resume to The Village. Appointments are not needed.

A representative will be on-site in Festival Park directing applicants to the retailers and restaurants who will be hosting in-person interviews at their locations.

The following locations will be taking part in the in-person interview process.

  • Banana Republic
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Bravo
  • Buckle
  • Chicos
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Francescas – Meet & Greet
  • Jill
  • Light & Loom
  • Massage Envy
  • Mitchell’s Fish Market
  • Paper Source
  • F. Changs
  • Sundance Catalogue
  • White House Black Market
  • Woodhouse Day Spa
  • Yoga Six – Set up in Festival Park

Matrix Human Services Offers COVID-19 Relief Services
In addition to maintaining its roster of day-to-day programming, Matrix Human Services in Detroit is providing essential services to fill the gap caused by COVID-19. Since March 2020, Matrix has provided food and care packages on a bi-weekly basis to more than 600 families in need.

Matrix continues to provide transportation and food deliveries to seniors in need and we continue to distribute and deliver diapers, wipes, and formula to its Head Start families.

The organization is supported by the work of ArtWorks Detroit and 313 in the D.

Now in its 26th year, ArtWorks Detroit has raised more than $1.5 million for Matrix’s work. To support Matrix through ArtWorks Detroit, visit here.

313 in the D’s summer party is returning to the rooftop at 3Fifty Terrace on July 22 from 6-8 p.m. It also is offering Our House Party Packs for reimagining the rooftop experience from the comfort of one’s own home. To support Matrix through 313 in the D, visit here.

Nora Modern Detroit Announce Inaugural Student Exhibition May 7-20
Nora Modern Detroit is announcing a spring student exhibition featuring undergraduate and graduate students from Center for Creative Studies, Cranbrook, Lawrence Technological Institute, University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. The exhibition will take place at Nora May 7-20.

“Students missed important opportunities to showcase their work last year because of the pandemic,” says Liz Boone, co-owner of Nora. “We decided to create an exhibition to give them another platform to shine and decided to make it an annual event.”

Boone worked with Michael Andrews, artist, educator and new partner to Nora, who handpicked 20 students to participate.

This new wave of artists and designers are using textiles, glass, 3-D prototypes, lighting, tufted rugs, and prints to create tactile experiences.

In addition to the selection of modern gifts, housewares, and personal items that Nora is known for, many of the student items will be for sale. To help celebrate Mother’s Day, Flowers for Dreamsbouquets will be available at the store and during the show on Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9.

The student exhibition is free and open to the public and will be take place at Nora’s Auburn Building Event Space (4240 Cass Ave., UNIT 109, in Detroit). Nora is open Monday-Saturday 11-6 and Sunday 11-4, starting May 1. For more information, here.

In related news, Nora Modern, announced plans to open a seasonal shop in the Leelanau Peninsula (107 E Nagonaba St. in Northport. It will be the company’s first initiative outside of its flagship store in midtown Detroit.

Holocaust Memorial Center Launches Virtual Experience for Students
The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus in Farmington Hills has launched the Virtual Museum Experience (VME), a new online program for students learning about the Holocaust.

The Holocaust Memorial Center’s Education Department created the VME in response to the museum being closed by state regulation due to COVID-19 while balancing the ongoing need to engage students who pre-pandemic took field trips to the museum — usually more than 35,000 students from across the state visit the Holocaust Memorial Center annually.

“Our important work of teaching the lessons of the Holocaust has never stopped,” says Ruth Bergman, education director of the Holocaust Memorial Center. “Early in the pandemic, our Education Department began strategizing how to take the museum experience to students virtually, customizing the content for each classroom and staying true to this vital curriculum.”

Each VME session is facilitated by a Holocaust Memorial Center educator via Zoom or Google Meet, and lasts approximately 45 minutes. Artifacts, Holocaust survivor testimony videos, and artwork created by survivors are among the audio-visual assets incorporated into VME sessions.

Overarching themes from which teachers can choose include Propaganda; Pyramid of Hate (how could the Holocaust happen); Choice and Responsibility; Resistance; Resilience and Returning to Life; and Camps/Final Solution. Thus far, Resistance; Pyramid of Hate; and Choice and Responsibility are the most often requested themes.

Since the program pilot launched in January, Holocaust Memorial Center educators have facilitated more than 120 VMEs with another 90 sessions scheduled before the end of the school year. In total, more than 6,500 students will have participated in a Holocaust Memorial Center Virtual Museum Experience in the first five months of the year.

Currently, the Holocaust Memorial Center is booking VMEs for the summer and fall. Teachers can email VME@holocaustcenter.org to schedule a VME.

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