DBusiness Daily Update: Canine to Five Acquires Business in Commerce Township, Now Has Three Locations, 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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Three dogs looking up at a camera
Canine to Five has purchased Dog City Daycare in Commerce Township and will operate it as its third metro Detroit location. // Courtesy of Canine to Five

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.

Canine to Five Acquires Business in Commerce Township, Now Has Three Locations

Canine to Five, which offers dog daycare, boarding and grooming services, has purchased Dog City Daycare on Haggerty in Commerce Township as its third location and will begin operations in the location immediately.

The deal included the 15,000-square-foot building, which opened in January 2020, and a 25-person Dog City team that will become part of the Canine to Five team. The purchase price was not disclosed.

“Over the last 16 years, I have strived to make Canine to Five a safe place to care for dogs,” says Liz Blondy, owner of Canine to Five. “Through Canine to Five, I have built such rewarding relationships with so many clients, employees, and of course dogs, and I cannot wait to do the same in Commerce Township.”

Like the other Canine to Five locations, Blondy will include increased capabilities for smaller breeds of dogs, the addition of a senior dog lounge, and a private play area for dogs that do not do well in groups or have special needs.

Canine to Five also hosts monthly Pack Walks for owners and their dogs and celebrates “Drinking with Dogs” in the summer at area bars and restaurant patios.  It also conducts an annual Halloween costume contest.

Founded in 2005, Canine to Five Detroit is located at 3443 Cass Ave. in Midtown Detroit. Canine to Five also has a second facility in Ferndale, located at 1221 E. Nine Mile Rd. For more information, visit here.

Aquinas College Receives $3M Gift, Largest Individual Donation in its History

Aquinas College in Grand Rapids has received a $3 million gift, the institution’s largest single donation ever from individual living donors, in support of the renovation and expansion of its new Gold LEED-certified Albertus Magnus Hall of Science.

Longtime supporters Peter and Carolyn Sturrus of Grand Haven were drawn to the project by the opportunity to support science and faith-based education simultaneously. While the college has received the support of private foundations, this is the largest gift from individual donors in the 135-year history of Aquinas.

More than 15 years in the making, the expansion of Albertus Magnus Hall created space for new in-demand programs including biochemistry and molecular biology, data analytics, environmental studies, health science, and geospatial technologies. The atrium, which bridges the renovated portion of Albertus Hall and the new addition, will be named the Peter and Carolyn Sturrus Atrium.

The Sturrus Atrium connects the Peter M. Wege Wing, recognizing a significant donation from The Wege Foundation, with the Sr. Mary Aquinas Weber, O.P. Wing, named by an anonymous gift to honor the college’s chancellor emerita.

The facility has earned LEED Gold certification for its many green features, including the only green roof on campus that can be used as an outdoor classroom or gathering space, energy-reducing features and more.

A dedication ceremony and open house will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 16 at Albertus Hall.

“Albertus Magnus taught that religion and science are not mutually exclusive,” Peter Sturrus explains. “That idea drew us to want to support this space for students in a significant way.

“Carolyn and I want to see more students have access to a solid, faith-based education. We also believe that our world will continue to be better as we make advances in science and technology. This project brought it together for us.”

The Sturrus gift supports the $58 million Contributing to More Comprehensive Campaign, or CTM. The campaign enabled the college to more than double the square footage of Albertus Hall for a total of 89,195 square feet. The gift also propelled the college past its CTM campaign goal with more than $59.3 million raised to date, another historic accomplishment.

“We are deeply honored and humbled by Peter and Carolyn’s extreme generosity,” says Kevin G. Quinn, president of Aquinas. “At Aquinas, we believe in the development of the whole person, which resonates with Peter and Carolyn.

“The new science facility is transforming the way we serve our students. It is a point of pride for all Saints and a symbol of the future of Aquinas College.”

Originally built in 1959, Albertus Hall underwent a transformation and expansion to better meet the needs of students and faculty as they prepare for graduate study or STEM careers. The facility now features:

  • 15 teaching laboratories, including a nursing simulation and observation area.
  • Six dedicated research laboratories, at least one for each science discipline.
  • 11 classrooms, 26 offices and eight study and collaborative spaces.
  • A new home for the Center for Sustainability.

“This is now one of the top science facilities in our region,” says Sr. Damien Marie Savino, dean of science and sustainability at the college. “As a private liberal arts college, we care about academics and the personal formation of our students. We want engineers, scientists, doctors, and nurses who are ethical, caring, and committed to doing good, and this building reflects that.

“We were intentional in taking a progressive approach to student spaces to promote interdisciplinary collaboration and active and experiential learning that is accessible to students from every background. Science comes to life here.”

This is not the first major gift Aquinas has received from the Sturruses. In 2008, they were lead donors for the construction of the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center, which sits at the opposite end of campus from Albertus Hall.

Michigan Strategic Fund Distributes $2M in Federal Funds for Export Assistance

Michigan has once again received the top award in the nation from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade Expansion Program for the upcoming fiscal year.

The state has received $2 million in federal grant funds — the maximum amount awarded by the SBA and a $650,000 increase from 2021 — to help Michigan small businesses grow in the state through increased access to global markets.

Administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s International Trade program, this year’s SBA award supports export development for small- and medium-sized businesses through financial assistance grants for virtual and in-person trade missions, international sales trips, and trade shows along with website translation, localization, and search engine optimization and more.

The Michigan STEP grant initiative (MI-STEP) is designed to spur job creation by empowering Michigan small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to export their products, providing financial assistance awards for eligible export development-related expenses.

The Michigan Strategic Fund is providing an additional $667,000 as the state match to support MI-STEP, now in its 10th year of supporting financial assistance for exporting activities of eligible Michigan businesses. To date, MEDC’s International Trade program has facilitated more than $4.1 billion in export sales through federal and non-federally funded programs. In fiscal year 2020, export sales generated a total of $592 million for Michigan businesses.

“Export sales help to diversify customer bases, provide longer term stability and support higher paying jobs that are critical to our long-term economic growth as a state,” says Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and president and chair of the MSF board. “These funds will allow for our International Trade program to support more businesses, especially growing small businesses, and accelerate our efforts to create a more equitable, inclusive and resilient economy for all Michiganders.”

Applications are accepted on an on-going basis for MI-STEP grants to small- and medium- sized businesses. For details on how companies can apply for assistance, including eligibility requirements and the application process, visit here.

Party City Announces Plans to Hiring Events Sept. 14 and 18

New York-based Party City, which has 13 outlets across metro Detroit, is conducting hiring events at all of its stores from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 14 and Sept. 18 in preparation for the Halloween season.

On-the-spot interviews and employment offers will be available on site. Interested applicants should visit here to find the nearest hiring location in their area. Candidates unable to attend in-person can apply online here or text PARTY to 51893.

“We’re both excited and proud to welcome new team members to the Party City team for the Halloween season, and beyond,” says Brad Weston, president and CEO at Party City. “We have the unique privilege of being able to inspire joy and make celebrations possible — whether they will be in person, at a distance, or virtual — at a time when the nation is craving them more than ever, and I know our employees across the country take that mission to heart.”

Families Against Narcotics’ Fall Fest Gala Planned for Oct. 5

Families Against Narcotics in Clinton Township is hosting its annual Fall Fest gala on Tuesday, Oct. 5, at the Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township. This is the nonprofit’s biggest fundraiser of the year and helps pay for the many programs FAN provides free of charge to individuals and families affected by substance use disorder.

Fall Fest is returning to an in-person format this year after FAN was forced to conduct the event virtually in 2020. The evening gets underway at 5:30 p.m. and will include dinner, entertainment, a silent auction, and raffles. Attendees also will learn about FAN’s latest initiatives and hear from speakers whose lives have been transformed because of FAN.

“We’re really looking forward to this year’s Fall Fest,” says Linda Davis executive director of FAN. “Last year’s virtual event was a success, but it wasn’t anything like the Fall Fest we’ve grown accustomed to. There’s just something special about seeing a thousand people in person, enjoying a lovely meal together and helping raise money that will allow us to keep saving lives. It’s so impactful. We’re also excited to be holding Fall Fest at the beautiful Palazzo Grande for the first time.”

Tickets for FAN’s Fall Fest are $125.00 each. There also are a variety of sponsorships available in a wide price range. For more information on the event, or to purchase tickets or sponsorships, visit here.

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