DBusiness Daily Update: Derby Day in The District Set for Saturday Outside Little Caesars Arena, 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.
Little Caesars Arena will host Derby Day in The District on Saturday. // Stock Photo
Little Caesars Arena will host Derby Day in The District on Saturday. // Stock Photo

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.

Derby Day in The District Set for Saturday Outside Little Caesars Arena

Little Caesars Arena, in the heart of The District Detroit, will be the home of Derby Day in The District, Presented by Stella Artois and supported by Woodford Reserve, on Saturday.

The event, which costs $10 for entry, will be hosted in the Chevrolet Plaza and Budweiser Biergarten from 3-7:30 p.m. Guests will be treated to a red-carpet entrance, live music, photo opportunities, Best Dressed and Best Hat contests, and specialty food and beverage options. Derby Day in The District is a 21-and-over event.

“We’re excited to welcome guests to Little Caesars Arena for one of the marquee events of the year,” says Emily Neenan, chief marketing officer for Ilitch Sports + Entertainment. “We encourage you and your friends to dress for the occasion, and to wear your fanciest hat. It’s going to be a tremendous celebratory afternoon in The District Detroit.”

The $10 price of admission includes one drink, with additional food and beverages available for purchase. In celebration of Derby Day, a barbeque station and bourbon bar will be available, with specialty cocktails on the menu.

Visit DistrictDetroit.com to purchase tickets, and for more information.

Verizon Offering Small Business Digital Ready Online Courses

Digital Ready is Verizon’s online curriculum designed to give small businesses the personalized tools to succeed in today’s digital world.

Learning modules, expert one-on-one coaching, peer networking, access grant opportunities throughout the year, and more are part of the company’s goal to provide resources to help 1 million small businesses thrive in the digital economy.

The first round of 2022 $10,000 grants from the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready program, in partnership with StartupNation, has just launched. Signing up is free and grant applications are open to all eligible members.

To apply, complete two courses or coaching events by and apply by June 30 here.

Anyone that needs help registering can email digitalready@verizon.com or call 800-916-4351.

TAG MultiMedia’s New Avatar Service Helps Small Business Market in the Metaverse

In conjunction with national Small Business Week, ad-tech agency TAG MultiMedia in Clawson is focusing on helping small businesses explore what it means to chart their course in the next marketing landscape by leveraging the Metaverse.

In late April, TAG MultiMedia launched what it calls a practical approach to this emerging space with conversational AI Avatars (CAI-Avatars). CAI-Avatars are trainable, digital entities that provide a branded customer service and sales prospecting experience to online users. It lives on a website and assists visitors with a humanized engagement offering immediate answers about products and services. This digital tool works 24/7/365, giving business owners the time to focus their efforts into other areas of their business.

To help business owners learn more about how CAI-Avatars are an effective tool, TAG MultiMedia is hosting an in-person and online event — The Metaverse and Your Business — from 3-4 p.m. on May 19 at Bamboo Royal Oak. The event is free but registration is required by visiting TAGMultiMedia.net to opt-in and receive a link to the presentation.

“Early adopters of this technology will reap the biggest rewards,” says Michelle Armstrong, president of  TAG. “The more the avatar is engaged, the better it performs. Using it now on a website means it will be polished and ready to go so small businesses can have the first sales personas in the Metaverse.”

CAI-Avatars engage visitors in a friendly, service-to-sale conversation, while saving business owners money by offsetting the cost of repeated employee training and coaching. Armstrong adds that it also improves website performance and conversion rates. “It essentially allows the business owner to be in two places at once,” Armstrong says.

Among some of the technologies that make this happen are machine-learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and natural language processing (NLP). Once trained with custom content, a unique code is generated and placed on the website. The proprietary software enables users to collect, organize, analyze, edit, and automate data.

Motor Information Systems Launches Affiliate Marketing Program

Motor Information Systems, a Troy-based supplier of data and solutions for businesses across the automotive industry, has launched an affiliate program, in which marketing partners can earn commissions by promoting Motor’s FleetCross products for the commercial transportation industry.

In affiliate marketing, one company promotes another company’s product using a link that is unique to the promoter. The links can be placed in numerous locations, including banners on websites, newsletters, video content, social media, forums, diagnostic tools, product reviews, and tutorials. The company promoting the product then earns a commission from each product sale originating from the promotions.

It is estimated that 80 percent of brands have affiliate programs and they currently account for more than 16 percent of all e-commerce orders in the United States and Canada. Software as Service (SaaS) affiliate programs alone are estimated to grow to $8 billion this year.

Motor’s affiliate marketing program allows partners to earn revenue from sales of FleetCross by Motor, one of the industry’s leading tools for medium- and heavy-duty parts numbers and truck part cross-references, labor times and repair information. Partners earn up to 25 percent commission for each sale generated from a unique link placed on their digital platform.

“FleetCross is used by thousands of service and repair providers, parts distributors and fleets every day,” says Jeff Nosek, president of Motor. “Our new program offers partners a chance to tie into an exploding method of marketing with an industry-leading product.”

Media outlets, software providers, influencers, and anyone else who engages with industry professionals needing access to parts, labor, and service information now can capitalize on the value and trust offered by the FleetCross by Motor brand.

Citizens Bank Awards $10K Grants to Two Area Small Business Community Champions

Citizens Bank in Providence, R.I., today announced that two companies in metro Detroit are among the 30 nationwide winners of its Fifth Annual Small Business Community Champion Award, which includes a $10,000 grant.

Commerce Township’s Bundled, which assembles gift packages using Michigan products, and Imagine Center, a mental health clinic in Detroit, were drawn from nearly 11,000 entries that described how businesses would utilize the grants to further build their enterprise, bring valuable products and services to customers, and strengthen the communities in which they operate.

“Participation in this year’s Small Business Champion program was nearly triple that of last year, which is especially gratifying because it underscores how businesses are critically engaged with us and more important, their respective communities,” says Sarah Lindstrom, head of business banking at Citizens. “We’re pleased this year to again offer the opportunity to support and strengthen small business success, as well as economic vitality in the expanded Citizens geography, and congratulate all the winners on their achievements.”

For more information about the program, the winners, and their proposed initiatives, visit here.

National Business Leaders Join Traverse Connect for May 17 Event

Traverse Connect’s Leadership Roundtable program in Traverse City will present a professional development event on May 17 to impart leadership lessons for organizations of all sectors and sizes.

Leaders from nationally recognized sports, entertainment, and financial organizations, including Key Bank, the Minnesota Vikings, Ilitch Sports + Entertainment, and the Oklahoma City Dodgers, will speak about their career journeys and strategies to create inclusive cultures to drive growth.

Leadership Lessons from the Field: Driving Growth and Building Inclusive Cultures will take place at the Delamar Traverse City on May 17. Registration will open for attendees at 2 p.m., and the program will begin at 2:30. Tickets are $35 for Traverse Connect investors/members and $75 for future investors.

Networking will follow the program’s conclusion at 4 p.m. The event is presented by Cherry Capital Airport with additional support from Deviate.

Attendees will hear a panel discussion on the adjustments and things they’ve learned and used leading teams in the past two years, supporting and elevating women at work, and their approach to leadership and creating change.

Panelists include:

  • Kathleen Coyle, Minnesota Vikings.
  • Kelly Reitnour, Key Bank.
  • Molly Wurdack-Folt, Ilitch Sports + Entertainment.
  • Jenna Byrnes, Oklahoma Dodgers.

For more information, visit https://traverseconnect.com.