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.
Boston-Edison Virtual Holiday Home Tour Starts Dec. 12
The Historic Boston-Edison Association is launching its 47th Holiday Home Tour virtually starting Dec. 12.
The historic neighborhood home tour known for its exclusive access to decorated properties, resident tour guides, and quick sell outs is returning for its second year in a digital video-on-demand (VOD) format.
“The greater Detroit community looks forward to this event each year as a way to showcase the neighborhood,” says Deniera Davis, chair of the Holiday Home Tour Committee. “After some creative thinking in 2020 we continued the tradition by bringing the tour virtual.”
Last year’s virtual tour had more than 800 video streams, 11,000 website sessions, and 35,000 page views from more than 25 countries. After the success of last year’s virtual tour, the HBEA turned its focus once again to making a special on-demand version that is viewable from anywhere in the world.
The 2021 home tour special was shot in high-definition by Detroit filmmaker, Desmond Love on location in Boston-Edison and is 30 minutes in length. With a $20 viewing pass it’ll be available to view unlimited times, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The narrated video tour features five historically significant properties on display, decorated for the holiday season. Viewers will have a chance to see the exterior and interior residential architecture of the early 1900s and virtually meet the homes’ current owners through on-screen interviews.
The tour transports one back to the Golden Age of Detroit, when Boston-Edison residents included such familiar names as Henry Ford, James Couzens, Charles T. Fisher, and S.S. Kresge. All five of this year’s homes have never before been featured on the tour.
For more information and to purchase a viewing pass, visit here.
Jefferson East Unveils Neighborhood Resource Hub Located in Historic Kresge Building
Jefferson East Inc. recently opened the Neighborhood Resource Hub in the historic Kresge building at 14300 E Jefferson Ave.
The hub will allow JEI’s Housing and Neighborhood Services team to support more than 1,000 Detroit homeowners and renters annually.
The Neighborhood Resource Hub provides the Jefferson-Chalmers community with several critical services and resources designed to help keep residents in their homes. These include home repair loans, housing counseling services, grants, and resources; energy efficiency and utility assistance program implementation; weatherization readiness and rooftop funds; credit repair and recovery; financial education; public WiFi and computer access; and Detroit Homeowners Property Exemption application support.
“We are excited to announce the grand opening of the Neighborhood Resource Hub, which will serve as a home base where residents can easily access housing services, ensuring that Detroiters have the means necessary to stay in their homes and be a part of the city’s revitalization,” says Josh Elling, CEO of JEI. “The opening of the hub was an effort supported by and for the community, and we are immensely grateful to the partners who helped bring our vision to life.”
The Neighborhood Resource Hub was made possible through grants and support from the Bank of America Foundation, Kresge Foundation, AT&T, J.P. Morgan Chase, Invest Detroit, Penske Corp., city of Detroit, and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
The project was also funded by the Strategic Neighborhood Fund, a partnership with the city of Detroit and Invest Detroit that brings targeted investment into 10 Detroit neighborhoods and works with community residents to identify projects. The fund is supported by philanthropic support from foundations and local corporations like Penske.
“The most important work we do is keeping Detroiters in their homes,” says Mayor Mike Duggan. “While there are many great programs to help homeowners who may be struggling with their property taxes, making critical repairs, grant and loan assistance, or other needs, they aren’t much good if residents don’t know how to access them. That’s why the opening of the new Jefferson East Inc. Neighborhood Resource Hub is so important. Now, the residents of Jefferson Chalmers have a place in their own neighborhood where they can get connected to the help they need.”
XLerateHealth Expands Health Care Innovation Operations in Michigan
XLerateHealth, a health care accelerator headquartered in Louisville Ky., announced new funding from the city of Flint via the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Community Navigator Pilot Program and The Community Foundation of Flint.
The Awards will support the development of a new pre-accelerator program to help prime local Flint health care innovation. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, one of the original funders of XLH Flint starting in 2018, will continue to support operations of the flagship Flint accelerator.
“We could not be more pleased to announce the expansion of our work in Michigan, and are especially proud to be a part of the first City of Flint SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program,” says Jackie Willmot, co-founder and CEO of XLH. “We have now put three cohorts through the Flint accelerator program and the creation of this new pre-accelerator program will help more local talent to get the resources, education and exposure they need to succeed. We extend deep gratitude to all of our partners and funders that have made XLH Flint successful over the last three years.”
XLH is one of the partners in the City of Flint Community Navigator Pilot Program, which aims to connect with a variety of entrepreneurial industries by providing assistance during economic recovery. Funds from this program, alongside the award from the Community Foundation of Flint, will support the creation of a new pre-accelerator program to harvest more ideas out of the Flint region directly via universities, hospitals, and ecosystem partners and then funnel them into the flagship XLH accelerator.
“This [new SBA] grant will allow us to meet entrepreneurs where they are and help expand their resources for sustainable growth in Flint,” says Khalfani Stephens, economic development director for Flint. “We are grateful to be one of the 32 organizations in the nation given this wonderful opportunity.”
Report: Michigan a Top State for Foreign Direct Investment
Michigan has been recognized as one of the Top 5 states for foreign direct investment jobs growth in 2021, according to the Global Business Alliance.
With FDI employment increasing by 33 percent from 2014 to 2019, Michigan was the only state to rank among the Top 5 under all three categories. Additionally, with FDI jobs making up 8.2 percent of its total employment, Michigan leads the Midwest while ranking third in the nation for its number of FDI-created manufacturing jobs.
Over the past five years, global companies have invested $11.8 billion in projects throughout the state, creating 36,400 jobs here in Michigan. Investments from critical partners in the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, and others have supported significant job creation, while also building on Michigan’s strengths in automotive manufacturing, R&D, mobility, and electrification efforts.
“Michigan will continue to compete across global markets to deliver key investments and wins for the state’s economy and job creation across the automotive, advanced manufacturing and other R&D-intensive sectors,” says Quentin Messer Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “From our world-class workforce, our globally connected location, commitment to welcoming international newcomers, and a rich heritage in innovation and manufacturing, Michigan remains the place for foreign companies to find pure opportunity here in the U.S.”
In recent weeks, Michigan has continued to demonstrate growth in foreign direct investments in the state. Recent announcements include global auto supplier TÜV SÜD establishing a state-of-the-art EV battery testing facility in Auburn Hills. The $44.1 million investment will create high-wage jobs and continue to build on Michigan’s leadership in mobility and electrification.
Additionally, Taiwan-based EOI Pioneer announced it was establishing new automotive manufacturing operations at its facility in Dundee. This project is the company’s first North American automotive manufacturing facility, with a total capital investment of $14 million and the creation of up to 195 new jobs.
Boys & Girls Club Teams with Apple to Bring Coding Opportunities to Students
The Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) announced Thursday that it will be part of a new program that Apple is launching with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to bring coding opportunities to young learners across the country.
The new collaboration will bring coding with Swift to tens of thousands of students across the U.S. — including learners in metro Detroit — and builds on Apple’s existing partnership with BGCA through the company’s community education initiatives in support of its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.
“The partnership with Apple and generous donation of hardware has helped Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan take the next step as a tech forward organization,” says Shawn H. Wilson, president and CEO of BGCSM. “Together with Apple we are able to build an ecosystem of neighborhood and tech entrepreneurs of all ages throughout metro Detroit.”
Gazelle Sports Expanding with New Downtown Grand Rapids Store
Gazelle Sports, the Michigan-based running specialty shop and footwear and active apparel retailer, announced plans for its sixth retail location, and fourth in west Michigan, set to open in downtown Grand Rapids in spring/summer 2022.
The new store will be located just blocks from Rosa Parks Circle at 52 Monroe Center St. NW, the planned 3,600-square-foot outlet is expected to employ a full-time manager and up to 12 additional team members, both full- and part-time. It will serve as a hub for many of Gazelle Sports’ most popular west Michigan community events, including the She Runs Grand Rapids (formerly Gazelle Girl) Half Marathon, 10K and 5K races.
The new location is being made possible through Gazelle Sports’ partnerships with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and Rockford Construction.
“As a business that started in downtown Kalamazoo more than 35 years ago, we believe in the power of local business adding to the vibrancy and experience of a great downtown community,” says Jennifer Brummitt, CEO of Gazelle Sports. “The vision for downtown Grand Rapids as a retail and wellness destination is a great fit for our organization, and we look forward to further committing to Grand Rapids by planting our roots on Monroe Center.”
Volunteers of America Seeks Sponsors for Adopt A Family Program
Volunteers of America Michigan is seeking the community’s assistance for its Adopt A Family program. For nearly 30 years, the program has been connecting those who can help with those who need help. It’s an opportunity for individuals, teams, companies, and organizations to reach out and uplift those in need, either through direct adoption or monetary contribution.
“We’re asking our community to come together and wrap their arms around those in need. By adopting a family, we can provide one toy and one outfit per child, and the means for a holiday meal for the entire household,” says Laura LeBlanc, vice president of development and communications for Volunteers of America Michigan. “This program is not just about gifts under the tree, it’s about serving the entire person.”
To learn about all of the ways one can assist, visit here.