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.
Ford Fireworks to be Broadcast-only Event June 28
The 63rd year of the Ford Fireworks will take place on Monday, June 28 in a broadcast-only show on WDIV-Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit from 9-11 p.m.
This year’s 26-minute fireworks show, made possible by Ford Motor Co. and produced by The Parade Co., is one of the largest shows in the event’s history and the 2021 Ford Fireworks will take to the sky just after 10 p.m.
For the second year, due to the pandemic, the fireworks show will not take place in the traditional downtown Detroit location. It is expected to return to normal in 2022.
The Parade Co. has partnered with Huron-Clinton Metroparks at the Lake St. Clair Metropark location for this year’s broadcast-only show. The park will not be open to the public.
“We are incredibly proud to bring our region the 2021 Ford Fireworks and have created one of the most spectacular shows in our history to celebrate what is so special about our community,” says Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company. “This event has brought us together as one for over six decades and we are grateful to Ford and all of our remarkable partners including WDIV Local 4 and Huron-Clinton Metroparks.”
As part of this year’s show, the automaker’s philanthropic arm, the Ford Fund, will honor and thank teachers, professors, and school counselors who have gone above and beyond for students throughout the COVID pandemic.
“Ford is honored to be a longtime supporter of this annual event that celebrates and unites people and communities across southeast Michigan,” says Mary Culler, president of the Ford Motor Co. Fund. “During this year’s fireworks, we are hosting teachers and educators throughout metro Detroit who have done so much to help our youth get through this challenging year.”
The 2021 Ford Fireworks is themed, Turn the Page. Zambelli Fireworks and international choreographer Patrick Brault are staging more than 10,000 pyrotechnic effects.
For more information, visit here.
Emagine Woodhaven Opens with New Ticketing and Concessions Packages
Troy-based Emagine Entertainment Inc. is reopening its Emagine Woodhaven location, formerly the AMC Woodhaven, today.
Emagine originally owned and operated the theatre at 21720 Allen Rd. from 2009 to 2017 before it was sold to AMC.
The facility features 10 state-of-the-art auditoriums that offer leather luxury recliners paired with stadium style seating, enhanced concessions, self-serve Coke freestyle machines, gourmet popcorn, and private event and theatre rentals.
Emagine Woodhaven will be the first theater in the country to offer an all-inclusive ticketing and concession package. Emagine All-Inclusive allows guests to purchase a ticket to see a film and receive all-you-can-eat concessions for one price. Individual tickets for customers that do not want concession items also will be available.
“We think customers are going to love this new concept,” says Jon Goldstein, partner in Emagine Entertainment.
This is how the All-Inclusive process works:
- Buy your All-Inclusive ticket (online or in person) and pick your seats.
- Come to the theater and get a wristband.
- Grab a tray to eat whatever you want and as much as you want from the concession stand. Concession stand items include hot food, popcorn, soda, and various sweets including a selection of popular candies. Alcoholic beverages and bottled drinks must be purchased separately.
The All-Inclusive packages are between $15 and $20 on most weekdays, $20 to $25 on weekends, and $15 on Tuesdays.
For additional information, visit here.
Pet Supplies Plus Opens in Ypsilanti
Pet Supplies Plus will open a new location on June 25 at 2064 Whittaker Road in Ypsilanti.
The new location offer amenities such as self-pet wash stations, a knowledgeable pet care team, and carry-out service where team members carry heavy items to customer cars.
As a community partner, Pet Supplies Plus in Ypsilanti will team up with local animal shelters, rescue organizations, and non-profits to host year-round adoption events, fundraisers, and pet food and product drives.
The new location is operated by Michigan native Chelsea Pavuk, who has worked with Pet Supplies Plus on and off for close to 20 years.
“The best part about Pet Supplies Plus is the mom-and-pop feel and neighborly love it gives to the community,” says Pavuk. “We are excited to serve the Ypsilanti area to our fullest potential by offering our local neighborhood pets and pet parents tremendous customer service while providing exceptional and affordable products.”
Pet Supplies Plus Ypsilanti will be open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, visit here or call 734-838-4196.
BuyDetroit Program to Host In-person Networking Event
The BuyDetroit procurement portal is hosting its first in-person “Meet the Buyer” networking event connecting Detroit small- and mid-sized businesses with major buyers on July 28.
“Meet the Buyer” is designed like a trade show, with vendors promoting their goods and services, and buyers visiting designated suppliers based on their specific needs. After the event, eligible companies will be selected to move forward to attend a “Pitch the Buyer” event. Networking opportunities also will be available.
To attend the event, suppliers must first apply online at degc.org/BuyDetroit. The application period ends June 30. For a supplier to be approved to participate, they must:
- Be registered in the BuyDetroit Portal
- Be an existing Detroit-based business
- Have an Employer Identification Number
- Have a Data Universal Numbering System number
- Be in good standing with the state
- Have a manufacturing facility (not home-based)
- Have licensed trades (if applicable)
- Be in business for a minimum two years
- Provide references
BuyDetroit is also inviting buyers who need the following services:
- Information Technology (IT)
- Food product and produce
Buyers must be a valid company for at least five years and be headquartered in the United States.
Air Lift Co. Releases New Kits for Midsize GM SUVs
Lansing-based aftermarket air suspension supplier Air Lift Co. has engineered its debut product — the Air Lift 1000TM — to fit the Chevy Equinox/Blazer/Trailblazer, GMC Terrain/Acadia, Buick Envision/Encore GX, and Cadillac XT5.
By working with the vehicle’s existing suspension, Air Lift 1000 does away with squat, poor headlight aim, unresponsive steering, trailer sway, body roll, and bottoming out. By properly leveling the load, squat is eliminated, braking is improved, and the vehicle is returned to a level and stable state, allowing users to tow and haul with safety and comfort.
“We expect outdoor activities to be even more popular this summer than last summer,” says Matt DeWitte, director of marketing at Air Lift. “Now, just in time for hooking up the boat, taking trips to the cabin, and loading up the vehicle with the whole family, we’ve provided a solution to eliminate vehicle squat and make these trips safer and more enjoyable for everyone.”
The Air Lift 1000 system is air adjustable from 5 to 35 PSI, allowing them to be calibrated to the weight of the load. Whether the vehicle is loaded or unloaded, the volume of the air springs will improve the overall ride quality.
Installation requires no drilling and can be completed with common mechanics
Tools, according to the company.
For more information, visit here.
Generator Z Announces $4M+ in Grants for 1,000 Teen-generated Ideas
Generator Z, a Detroit ideas platform that launched in 2020 for teens to reimagine the future of afterschool programs, announced 93 grants totaling $4,093,181 for nonprofit afterschool providers serving teens in southeast Michigan and western New York.
Generator Z is a philanthropic initiative driven by teens and powered by Lakeshore Connections with support from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. Grants ranging between $10,000 and $100,000 were awarded to providers with the strongest teen-centered afterschool ideas.
“To actually have influence over afterschool opportunities was really important,” says Charles D. age 18, of southeast Michigan. “A wise person once told me to never trust someone who says they work in your best interest but never invites your opinion. The participation of so many teens of so many different ages and places built trust and led to these grants. When I helped select grantees, I paid attention to language and how they spoke to me. That really helps me believe in an organization and what they have to offer.”
In late 2020, more than 1,000 teen “Generators” across southeast Michigan and western New York (the foundation’s two regions of focus) were invited to share their vision for the future of afterschool on generator-z.org. In January 2021, their stories were published on the public platform, providing these 13- to 18-year-olds with a podium during a time when their everyday lives were disrupted by a global pandemic, racial injustice, and political tension.
Nonprofit afterschool providers were then invited to apply for grants that responded to the Generators’ stories. A committee of teens, adult allies, and near-peers served as judges to recommend and prioritize grant support. Over three-phases of engagement, teen “Generators” are collecting up to $1,000 for their participation, valuing them as the ultimate experts of their own lives.
“Generator Z is nothing without the teens that drive it,” says Abir Ali, director of the Generator Z Initiative. “They collaborated on its design, set the tone through their story contributions, and provided a reality check on afterschool provider ideas.
“They took full ownership of this public platform and made sure that those applying for grants were listening to teens. From the beginning, the demand for teens to be heard for what they genuinely had to say was non-negotiable. They used this lens to ultimately select the most relevant and responsive afterschool ideas and opportunities.”
For the full list of grants, visit here and search by “2021 Grantees.” Each will have one year to bring their afterschool ideas to life.
For behind-the-scenes insight into Generator Z, visit here.
Kettering University Team Debuts in Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition
Flint’s Kettering University Bulldog Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition Team was named the best rookie team, took second place in the function and track test, and finished fourth overall at the annual competition.
The competition took place June 4-7 at Oakland University and featured two challenges — the AutoNav Challenge and the Self Drive Challenge.
“I was so proud when I witnessed the hard work of my students paid off,” says Mehrdad Zadeh, the team’s faculty advisor.
It was the first time the university had a team at the competition, in which students design, develop, document, test, and sell systems engineering projects.
Kapnick Unveils New Logo During 75th Anniversary Celebrations
Kapnick Insurance in Ann Arbor has unveiled a new logo as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations, which have been occurring throughout 2021.
The modernized logo, a stylized compass image, simplifies the firm’s name and incorporates Kapnick’s primary brand colors. It was inspired by Kapnick’s tagline: Strength. Knowledge. Direction.
“An essential part of celebrating our past 75 years is looking forward to the next 75 years,” says Jim Kapnick, owner and CEO of Kapnick Insurance. “Which is why the logo and overall rebrand is a key component of our celebrations. It’s not just about where we’ve been, it’s about where we’re going.”
Other anniversary celebration events include:
- A company-wide goal of 7,500 random acts of kindness completed by Kapnick team members
- Sponsorship and participation in the annual Firecracker 5K, with an additional 7.5K race length added
- A weekend trip to Mackinac Island for current employees
- An internal well-being goal of 75 million tracked steps
The new Kapnick logo and branding refresh is currently being rolled out in stages. It can be seen on Kapnick’s website, social media pages, in various marketing materials, and soon will be replacing the signage at the company’s Troy, Ann Arbor, and Adrian offices.