DBusiness Daily Update: Domino’s Announces 16.7% Sales Increase in 1Q, Jeep Introduces Lift Kit for Plug-in Hybrid EV, 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.
map of Michigan coronavirus cases by county
Courtesy of Bridge, as of April 29

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.

Domino’s Pizza Announces 16.7% Sales increase in 1Q
Ann Arbor-based Domino’s Pizza Inc., the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, reports that its sales increased 16.7 percent in the first quarter of 2021, or 14 percent excluding foreign currency impact.

U.S. same store sales grew 13.4 percent during the quarter compared to the same period last year. The international business also posted same store sales growth of 11.8 percent during the quarter, which marked the 109th consecutive quarter of international same store sales growth and the 40th consecutive quarter of U.S. same store sales growth.

The company had first quarter global net store growth of 175 stores, 36 in the U.S. and 139 international store openings.

“It was a strong first quarter for the Domino’s brand, with balanced growth across all areas of our global business,” says Ritch Allison, CEO of Domino’s. “I applaud our franchisees and operators all across the globe, who once again demonstrated why they are the best in the restaurant business.”

As a result of the first quarter results, the company’s board of directors declared a $0.94 per share quarterly dividend on its outstanding common stock for shareholders of record as of June 15, to be paid on June 30.

Domino’s revenues increased $110.6 million, or 12.7 percent, in the first quarter. This increase was primarily due to U.S. and international same store sales growth and increases in global store counts during the trailing four quarters, resulting in higher supply chain, U.S. stores and international franchise revenues.

Net Income decreased $3.8 million, or 3.2 percent, in the first quarter. This decrease was driven by a significantly higher provision for income taxes resulting from lower tax benefits from equity-based compensation due to fewer stock option exercises in the first quarter of 2021 as compared to the first quarter of 2020. Income before provision (benefit) for income taxes increased $32.3 million in the first quarter of 2021 due to higher income from operations resulting from the increases in revenues described above.

Jeep Performance Parts Introduces Lift Kit for a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Jeep Performance Parts in Auburn Hills is introducing a 2-inch lift kit specifically engineered and tuned for the new Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

JPP also is offering new Jeep- and Mopar-branded 240-volt at-home electric-vehicle wall chargers that the company says charges more than five times faster than a standard cordset cable.

The lift kit retails for $1,495 and includes four springs, four FOX shocks, front lower control arms, front and rear stabilizer links, front and rear bump stops, various fasteners, and the JPP badge, all packaged in a custom, reusable wooden crate complete with the JPP logo.

The wall chargers are available with branding from Mopar or Jeep in hardwired ($621.50) or plug-in ($647.90) versions for at-home use.

These two products are part of a portfolio of factory-backed, quality-tested parts and accessories available for the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe available at the Mopar Parts and Accessories eStore.

“With an industry-first lift kit for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, Jeep Performance Parts from Mopar will give owners of the new 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe the opportunity to amplify the 4×4 capability and the fun-to-drive, open-air experience of the most capable, technically advanced, eco-friendly SUV,” says Jim Morrison, vice president of Jeep Brand North America. “The 2021 Wrangler 4xe is trail rated with solid front and rear axles, a full-time 4×4 two-speed transfer case, a fully articulating suspension and 30 inches of water fording capability.”

For more information, see the complete JPP catalog at mopar.com/jpp or the Mopar Parts and Accessories eStore at store.mopar.com.

GrindGrind Celebrates Grand Opening in Detroit’s Rivertown District
GrindGrind, the Detroit-based inspirational clothing brand, celebrated its COVID-delayed grand opening this week. The event was attended by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and other officials.

One of 117 businesses that have received support from the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.’s Motor City Match program, GrindGrind opened in July 2020. It received a $40,000 Motor City Match grant.

“Motor City Match is helping to bring the kinds of goods and services neighborhoods and commercial districts need to thrive and that give residents a sense of community,” says Duggan. “GrindGrind is a great example of that in the Rivertown district. (Owners) Eddie and Destine (Kidd) have launched a brand that speaks to Detroiters and conveys the passion they have for the city where they were born and raised. We’re so glad they chose to open their business in Detroit.”

Located at 1805 Franklin St., GrindGrind is a MCM Round 12 cash awardee. The owners Eddie and Destine Kidd used the funding to open their first brick-and-mortar just blocks off of Detroit’s active Riverwalk.

“It’s a dream come true to have a storefront in Rivertown,” says Eddie Kidd. “Through our lifestyle brand, we want to encourage others, especially Detroiters, to chase their dreams — no matter their age, race, background, or obstacle — just as we have.”

Burton, Shinola Create Limited Edition Gift Set
Burton and Shinola have unveiled the Jake Burton Carpenter Shinola Gift Set — a tribute in honor of Jake, the late founder of Burton Snowboards and widely deemed the godfather of snowboarding.

Created in collaboration with many of Jake’s closest friends and family, the gift set features one-of-a-kind items with a special connection to Jake, including a Shinola Duck Watch custom-detailed in Jake’s honor, a replica of Burton’s first production board and a hardbound coffee table book with an eclectic mix of images and stories gathered from family, friends and world-class photographers. This commemorative gift set became available on April 29 in celebration of Jake’s birthday at Burton.com, Shinola.com, and select Burton and Shinola stores.

“After losing Jake to reoccurring cancer over a year ago, a small group of family and friends poured their hearts into creating this gift set as a tribute to my husband,” says Donna Carpenter, owner of Burton. “It all started with my youngest son, Timi, talking to Shinola founder and Jake’s close friend, Tom Kartsotis, about dedicating a Shinola Great Americans Series watch to Jake. The vision for the project grew exponentially from there.

“We were all deep in the grieving process, so working on this together was cathartic and helped us stay close to Jake. The end result is a true reflection of Jake’s passion, creative spirit, and pure love of life.”

The gift set retails for $1,200.

State Awards $4.7M to Develop Scrap Tire Market
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has issued more than $4.7 million in grants to develop new uses for used vehicle tires.

When illegal dumping in the environment occurs, scrap tires pose both a fire hazard and a human health risk as a mosquito breeding ground. These grants help reduce or eliminate instances of illegal dumping, support proper collection and handling, and begin to define scrap tires as a commodity, rather than a waste material.

These scrap tire grants support building sustainable markets for recycled tire materials in Michigan. Grants have traditionally included support for essential equipment and materials that aid in the establishment of new markets, including various manufacturing processes, implementation and testing of paving materials, energy generation, and other innovative approaches.

Companies and organizations receiving grants include:

  • Entech Inc.: $1,303,120
  • I Do TDA Inc.: $1,155,000
  • Ingham County Road Department: $450,000
  • Dickinson County Road Commission: $410,000
  • MTU: $396,031
  • Cobalt Holdings: $298,521
  • Clair County Road Commission: $209,300
  • Porous Pave: $150,000
  • Ingham County Road Department: $80,000
  • Paving Research/Market Development Study: $250,000
  • Into the Outdoors: $15,000

For more information on the program, visit here.

Brownie’s on the Lake Opens for Season Today
The Joe Vicari Restaurant Group announces the 2021 season grand opening of Brownie’s on the Lake in St. Clair Shores today at 3:00 p.m. with a live musical performance by Jennifer Christiansen and Bootsie Cradle starting at 6:30 p.m.

Brownie’s on the Lake with its view of Lake St. Clair offers drinking and dining at three bars; outside tiki, covered waterfront room, or inside at the main bar. Brownie’s is known for its live nightly entertainment that takes place on the Tiki patio. Local artists will play all season long, and there is never a cover charge. A full list of performers can be found here.

The restaurant will be open Monday through Saturday 3-11 p.m. and Sundays 3-9 p.m. with plans to open at noon for lunch on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in the near future.

Brownie’s on the Lake is hiring full- and part-time bartenders, servers, bussers, hostess, line cooks, and dish washers. Interested applicants can apply here.

Detroiter Opens Environmental Protection Consulting Firm
Native Detroiter Jalonne L. White-Newsome has opened Empowering a Green Environment and Economy, in West Bloomfield Township.

The new firm is a strategic consultancy committed to delivering people-centered solutions to transform communities.

White-Newsome has experience in state government, environmental philanthropy, nonprofit, grassroots, academia, and private industry.

“Environmental protection and the protection of people has been the thread of my life since middle school,” she says.

The firm is committed to advancing equity by creating solutions that will always prioritize the needs of the people by empowering and delivering optimal service to the communities so they can adapt to change in our natural and social environment.

“I quickly learned and appreciated, while working for over 20 years in different organizations, that I have perspective and experiences that position me to effectively work on projects that will create equitable outcomes when it comes to climate change, environmental justice, and public health,” she explains.

For more information, visit here.

Oakland County Publishes CARES Act Dashboard
Oakland County has published a dashboard that shows how communities shared in $256 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and state of Michigan funding in support of pandemic response this past year.

Using an interactive map highlighting all of the program funding, residents are able to learn more about each program and view which grants helped stabilize and support small businesses, residents, schools, and nonprofit organizations in their cities, villages, and townships.

“The pandemic has affected our residents, businesses, and communities on so many levels,” says Dave Coulter, Oakland County executive. “That is why we were deliberate about making sure support reached communities in all corners of Oakland County.”

Oakland County awarded grants to more than 15,000 local businesses, which employ 65,000 people; 22 local chambers of commerce; 57 cities, villages, and townships; 278 nonprofit and 31 veterans services organizations; 28 local school districts as well as retailers, restaurants, community centers, and more.

DTE Retro-Commissioning Offers Power Savings
DTE’s Retro-Commissioning Program offers incentives and resources to businesses wishing to reduce energy use, lower cost, and improve efficiency.

The program works in the following way:

  • DTE provides provide specialists and engineers who will evaluate a facility based on available incentives and determine customized, energy, and money saving targets and procedures.
  • DTE’s dedicated project team sticks with a company throughout the process, providing resources, knowledge, and assistance as the work is completed and verified.
  • After completion, the project team is helps a company fill-out any forms and applications to receive your incentives.

For more information, visit here.

Gage Cannabis Opens Battle Creek Dispensary
Detroit-based Gage Growth Corp. has opened a new provisioning center in Battle Creek. It is the company’s eighth retail outlet in Michigan.

Located at 48 Main St., Gage Battle Creek currently is serving patients with a valid Michigan Medical Marijuana ID and expects to begin welcoming adult-use customers in the coming weeks. The newest location will carry Gage’s entire selection of products, as well as Cookies branded offerings that are exclusively available at Gage locations.

The 4,600+ square-foot location is expected to create more than 20 new jobs in Battle Creek. The company aims to build a robust cannabis business community in Michigan through its social equity program that awards $50,000 to cannabis entrepreneurs in 20 social equity cities designated by the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency. The application process is open to Michigan residents year-round.

“Michigan’s cannabis market continues to experience unprecedented growth, especially after sales topped $146 million in March alone, and Gage is determined to continue expanding our retail presence in order to meet this growing demand,” says Fabian Monaco, CEO of Gage. “Our Battle Creek team is eager to work with new patients and consumers, as well as community stakeholders, to showcase the mental, physical, and social benefits of cannabis.”

For more information, visit here.

Community Foundation Awards $100K to Brightmoor Leaders Program
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, with support from the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, has provided a fifth year of funding for staff training and professional development for Brightmoor neighborhood leaders tackling economic and neighborhood revitalization.

Through the “Supporting Brightmoor Leaders” program, individuals from 27 social impact organizations are receiving a collective $100,000 to support staff participation in capacity building workshops, trainings, peer exchanges, and conferences.

Since 2017, the Community Foundation and Fisher Foundation have distributed $500,000 to 35 community-based organizations and early childcare providers, including more than 100 executive leaders, staff, and student leaders that have made Supporting Brightmoor Leaders possible.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with such transformational leaders in Brightmoor,” says Meredith Freeman, director of alignment and impact investing for the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation. “Since ‘Supporting Brightmoor Leaders’ began five years ago, these leaders and their organizations have grown considerably. Each year, they further their impact and strengthen their ability to realize change in their community.”

United Way Looking for 20K people for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Challenge
United Way for Southeastern Michigan is inviting the community to join in its first-ever 21-Day Equity Challenge launching on May 21.

The challenge is designed to be a shared experience. Learning, conversation, and active growth around racial justice and equity issues will be the focus. United Way hopes to enlist more than 20,000 people to join this journey of collective growth and conversation.

Each weekday during the challenge, participants will engage with content designed to bring awareness to issues of systemic racism, institutional bias, and inspire activation on racial equity solutions. They will also have an opportunity to join five events: a kickoff event on May 21, three mid-challenge roundtable discussions, and a closing event on June 18. All challenge events will take place virtually on Fridays from noon to 1 p.m.

“Everyone is on their own journey of understanding the importance of equity and inclusion.  We recognize we have work to do as an organization as well,” says Darienne Hudson, president and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “The deep racial scars and tensions permeating southeastern Michigan and across our country have to be addressed if we’re going to successfully move forward.

“The racial disparities highlighted by the pandemic, combined with horrific images of violence against Black and brown people over this last year, have intensified the nation’s focus on racial injustice. We’re at a critical moment where we have an opportunity to come together to address the problems that have plagued us for far too long, and we must seize it.”

Supporting partners for the challenge include:

  • Borg Warner
  • Honigman
  • Johnson Transformative Equity Group
  • OneMagnify
  • Penske
  • Stellantis
  • Strategy Community Partners

To learn more about United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s 21-Day equity challenge or to become a sponsor of the event, visit here.

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