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.
Hour Media Subsidiary Acquires Minnesota Events, Publishing Business
Greenspring Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hour Media in Troy, has acquired the Meetings + Events and Custom Publishing divisions of Tiger Oak Media in Bloomington, Minn.
The portfolio includes eight meetings and event titles serving the California, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Mountain, Northeast, Northwest, and Texas markets, as well as a few related custom titles.
Greenspring Media is adding the print and digital titles to its existing portfolio of Minnesota Monthly, Midwest Home, Real Food, the Official Visitors Guide to the Twin Cities, Bloomington Mall of America Visitors Guide, Experience Rochester, Live Play AAA, Drinks, Meeting Planners Guide, Twin Cities Living, b Mag, and Western Prairie Minnesota Visitors Guide, the Food & Wine Experience, GrillFest, the Luxury Home Tour, Fine Spirits Classic, and the Midwest Home Design Awards.
“We have worked closely with the hospitality, meetings, and events industry along with their suppliers and partners throughout our 55-year history, so we understand the challenges they have faced and the bright opportunity that lies ahead,” says Tammy Galvin, publisher of Greenspring Media. “We will continue to do what we do best: Provide authoritative editorial content packages across multiple channels to reach the key decision-makers for our advertising partners.”
John Balardo, president of Hour Media, says, “This acquisition represents an ideal opportunity to extend Hour Media’s portfolio in these new markets and to firmly secure Greenspring Media’s position as the leader in the Minnesota market. Adding this business-to-business channel to our leading consumer print, digital, and event portfolio will create incredible packaging opportunities for our business partners.”
Greenspring Media and Hour Media say they will focus their resources to enhance client service, reader experience, and product distribution of these brands.
Hour Media and its related entities are multi-media companies that publish and produce more than 150 magazines and custom titles, 40 consumer websites, and 70 shows and events throughout the United States. Hour Media Group is the largest publisher of city and regional magazines in the country, and publishes DBusiness, Hour Detroit, Detroit Design, and Weddings magazines.
The company has offices in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio, with more than 300 employees across the country
Motor City Match Announces $500K in Cash Grants
The Detroit Economic Growth Corp. (DEGC) and Mayor Mike Duggan announced the first round of awards since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to aspiring entrepreneurs through the Motor City Match program.
A total of 63 winners were announced and will be receiving various forms of support from MCM, including cash grants or technical support with design, development, or planning. Thirteen of the Round 18 business owners received cash grants totaling $500,000.
Motor City Match, which is celebrating its first round of awards since January 2020, has continued to support businesses throughout the pandemic, offering workshops and business services, and facilitating additional grant and loan support. Over the past two years, 37 MCM awarded businesses have opened their doors with an additional 10 businesses expected to open before summer of this year.
“Motor City Match continues to help Detroit entrepreneurs strike new pathways toward success and economic mobility,” says Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of DEGC. “Considering the challenges presented by COVID-19, it is more critical than ever that we support a strong small business community and thriving neighborhood corridors that can serve the needs of all Detroiters.”
National Citizens Business Conditions Index Remains Expansionary
The quarterly national Citizens Business Conditions Index was 54.4 for the fourth quarter of 2021, down from 57.8 at the end of September, but still in expansionary territory. The bank released its findings Thursday.
Following particularly high readings in the second and third quarters, the latest index value still reflects the demand momentum that is driving business conditions, Citizen says. The CBCI has been in expansionary territory (above 50) for five consecutive quarters.
“The vast majority of companies have successfully adapted to the pandemic,” says Eric Merlis, managing director of corporate risk solutions at Citizens. “This quarter we started to see some overheating. That’s prompting an adjustment back to a more moderate pace of growth. A slight pullback will help the supply chain continue to normalize and allow the labor market to keep adjusting, both of which are constructive for confidence levels.”
With increasing concerns about inflation and a new COVID variant surging late in the quarter, there was considerable volatility. Supply-chain issues continued, something the omicron wave could further aggravate. Still, the strong demand seen throughout the year carried economic activity along at a fast pace, according to Merlis. The Federal Reserve announced changes to its policy outlook in an effort to stave off excessive inflation. Against this backdrop, three of the five underlying components in the CBCI were additive, while one was neutral, and one had a moderating effect.
High readings in the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) indexes for manufacturing and non-manufacturing contributed to the positive CBCI value this quarter. As of December, the manufacturing index reflected some progress in supply chain and labor issues. The services index hit an all-time high in November. These indexes also capture sentiment, reflecting the broad-based confidence that continued this quarter throughout the economy.
Employment markers were neutral during the period, neither boosting nor pressuring the CBCI. Hiring activity continued on its trendline, driving the unemployment rate down, while wage inflation ticked upward. New-business applications were an area of relative weakness in the fourth quarter. However, we saw strength in the proprietary activity data of Citizens’ commercial banking clients, which is an underlying component of the CBCI as well.
A number of trends solidified the recovery in 2021 and even drove the economy toward early indications of overheating. Excess savings have been a key driver of the high demand level. In the fourth quarter, we saw signs that excess savings have finally tapered off and households are slowly returning to pre-pandemic behaviors.
Another key theme we saw in the index data this quarter was that business activity pulled back modestly from second and third quarter peak levels, but remained steady. As policymakers work toward removing support, a moderating trend in business activity should help ease inflationary pressures. Though the pandemic’s impact continued, the fourth quarter brought signs of continued strength alongside reassuring markers of normalizing trends in the economy.
The index draws from public information and proprietary corporate data to establish a unique view of business conditions across the country. An index value greater than 50 indicates expansion and points to positive business activity for the next quarter.
Volunteer Registration Opens for Detroit Grand Prix
Volunteer registration is now open for the 2022 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, with organizers looking for approximately 500 more people for the June 3-5 race, the last on Belle Isle before returning to the downtown streets.
All volunteers will become members of the Detroit Grand Prix Association (DGPA) — the official volunteer organization of the Grand Prix — and there are opportunities to assist in many key areas for the 2022 event.
The DGPA hopes to recruit a total of approximately 1,000 volunteers for this summer’s Grand Prix with more than 500 members already registered for 2022. New member registration began last week and nearly 100 first-time members already have signed up with more than 400 returning members committed to supporting the summertime motorsports festival on Belle Isle.
DGPA members assist in almost all aspects of the Grand Prix, including serving as ushers and tickets scanners, working in information booths, providing hospitality shuttle services, and more. Volunteers have the opportunity to experience the Grand Prix from behind the scenes and support a positive community event that continues to give back to Belle Isle Park and its surrounding communities.
Anyone interested in learning more or signing up to become a DGPA member and volunteer for the 2022 Grand Prix can visit here and select the Volunteer link.
“We are so thankful for the continued support of the Detroit Grand Prix Association members and all of our volunteers for their help and dedication to the Grand Prix,” says Bud Denker, chairman of the Detroit Grand Prix. “Our volunteers are simply the best and our event, Belle Isle and the city of Detroit could not ask for better ambassadors as they greet all of our guests with smiling faces, enthusiasm and excitement throughout our race weekend. The DGPA and its members are essential to our team as we host this world-class event in Detroit each and every year.”
Departments that still need volunteers for 2022 include Circuit Marshals, Customer Relations, On-Track Services, Ticket Scanners, and more. The DGPA will continue to provide an enhanced scheduling program that offers more flexibility and shorter shift times for new volunteers working at the Grand Prix. New members have the option to work one, two, or three days during race weekend, while most departments are looking for volunteers to work a shift on both Saturday and Sunday of the Grand Prix.
Wayne County, Gilbert Foundation Announce Detroit Tax Relief Program
The Wayne County Treasurer’s Office and Gilbert Family Foundation announced a new program to assist families who have received the City of Detroit’s Homeowner’s Property Exemption (HOPE) by automatically enrolling them in Pay As You Stay (PAYS).
This enrollment also will automatically make them eligible for the Detroit Tax Relief Fund (DTRF), a Gilbert Family Foundation program that pays off the back property tax debt of low-income homeowners, granting them greater economic mobility and financial freedom.
“By eliminating the need for residents to seek out enrollment in Pay As You Stay on their own, we are streamlining their path to becoming free of their back property tax burden,” says Eric Sabree, treasurer of Wayne County. “I’m grateful to Dan and Jennifer Gilbert and the Gilbert Family Foundation for their support in this endeavor and ongoing commitment to Detroit’s residents.”
This new program is expected to benefit approximately 3,000 Detroit homeowners, who represent HOPE recipients and are unaware of PAYS or who have not yet taken advantage of the program. The Gilbert Family Foundation established the Detroit Tax Relief Fund, which pays off the entire back property tax burden of PAYS recipients, as part of a joint, $500 million commitment to Detroit alongside the Rocket Community Fund.
“Our goal at the Gilbert Family Foundation is to break down systemic barriers, like those that force Detroit residents to choose between paying their property taxes and providing for themselves and their families,” says Laura Grannemann, executive director of the Gilbert Family Foundation. “This new program will allow residents to access the help they need, but may not know how to go about applying for.”
Hollingsworth Enrolls in DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program
Hollingsworth, a Dearborn-based third-party logistics business for manufacturing and distribution companies has joined DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program.
MIGreenPower enables DTE Electric customers to attribute more of their energy use to the company’s wind and solar parks and is now one of the top three voluntary renewable energy programs in the country. Hollingsworth has enrolled three metro Detroit locations in the program, totaling 4,000 megawatt hours annually. This has the environmental benefit equivalent to avoiding the greenhouse gas emissions from 616 passenger vehicles driven for one year.
Hollingsworth is a Native American-owned and minority business. It provides complex order fulfillment strategies, detailed assembly and kitting operations, and other supply chain solutions to optimize the effectiveness, accuracy, and cost of logistics to drive business for its customers. A key focus for Hollingsworth has been expanding its sustainability initiatives, including recycling hundreds of tons of materials each year.
“As a supplier with 29 locations across the country and more than 8 million square feet of warehouse and production space, we know that sustainability is imperative to our company’s success,” says Michael McNamara, president of Hollingsworth. “Taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint will minimize the harmful impacts that come with the modern supply chain and significantly benefit the environment. We’re proud to enroll in MIGreenPower and know that we’re helping create a cleaner future for all.”
ACG Detroit Extends Deadline for M&A All Star Award Nominations
The Detroit Chapter of the Association of Corporate Growth (ACG) has extended its deadline to nominations for its 7th Annual M&A All Star Awards program to Feb. 3. The awards, for 2021 activity, include Deal, Dealmaker, Advisor, Investment Banker, or Rising Star in Michigan.
To nominate someone, visit here. For additional information, call Amber Dunn at 248-760-8333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MIBA to Host Israeli Defense Market Webinar Feb. 1
The Michigan Israel Business Accelerator is hosting a webinar from 9-10:15 a.m. on Feb. 1 that will discuss opportunities for Michigan companies in the Israeli defense sector.
Multiple speakers from the U.S. and Israel are scheduled to give participants a better understanding of the Israeli defense market, how to gain access, and to understand the roles of various stakeholders and partners.
Scheduled speakers include:
- Vicki Selva, Michigan Defense Center
- Mike Calvert, U.S. Commercial Service in Tel Aviv
- David Manrrique and Nate Sherwood, Office of Defense Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Israel
- Michael Alexander and Nitzan Bachar, from Israel’s New York Mission Office
- Barry Zebrak, IMOD SIBAT, of the International Defense Cooperation Directorate
- Eve Lerman, U.S. Commercial Service, Michigan Office
To register, visit here.
Pleasantrees Opens Lincoln Park’s First Recreational Dispensary
Harrison Township-based Pleasantrees is opening the doors today to its fourth retail location, which will be licensed for both medical and recreational cannabis, at 1504 John A. Papalas Dr. in Lincoln Park.
The brand serves as Michigan’s largest wholesaler of medical and recreational cannabis and also operates retail establishments in Hamtramck (recreational), Houghton Lake (medical), and East Lansing (dual).
Pleasantrees will serve as the first recreational dispensary housed in Lincoln Park, one of the few adult use dispensaries in the downriver area. The 3,500-square-foot retail store will serve its common goal of providing quality service from its knowledgeable guides, high-quality cannabis, along with products and offer adult use and Michigan medical marijuana sales.
Seth Meyers to Perform Live at Forgotten Harvest Benefit April 29
Oak Park-based Forgotten Harvest has announced that Seth Meyers will headline its 29th Annual Comedy Night fundraiser live at the Fox Theatre in Detroit on April 29.
Proceeds from tickets, sponsorships, and auction sales will benefit Forgotten Harvest’s distribution efforts to their network of more than 180 agencies in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. Tickets for the event, which range from $35-$175, go on sale today here.
Seth Meyers is the host of “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and an alumnus of “Saturday Night Live.”
Forgotten Harvest’s goal is to raise funds to provide more than 2 million meals for those in need in metro Detroit.
For questions about sponsorship packages, which begin at $1,000, contact Erica Marra at email@example.com. To donate items to the auction, contact Hank Wolfe Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blood Markers Can Predict Depression in Pregnancy
Signs of inflammation in the blood reliably predict and identify severe depression in pregnancy, reports a new study led by scientists at Van Andel Institute and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Grand Rapids.
The team’s analysis established a set of 15 biological markers found in the blood that can predict if pregnant women will experience significant depressive symptoms with 83% accuracy. The findings could give physicians a much-needed tool to identify women who may be at risk for depression and better tailor their care throughout pregnancy.
Nearly one in five new mothers experience severe depression during or after pregnancy and an estimated 14 percent have suicidal thoughts. Inflammation can lead to worsening depressive symptoms, and pregnancy is a major inflammatory event.
“Depression isn’t just something that happens in the brain — its fingerprints are everywhere in the body, including in our blood,” says Dr. Lena Brundin, a VAI professor and co-senior author of the study. “The ability to predict pregnancy-related depression and its severity will be a gamechanger for protecting the health of mothers and their infants. Our findings are an important leap forward toward this goal.”
The study, published in Translational Psychiatry, is among the first of its kind and followed 114 volunteers from Spectrum Health’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics throughout their pregnancies. Participants provided blood samples and underwent clinical evaluations for depressive symptoms in each trimester and the postpartum period.
“Having an objective and easily accessible method associated with depression risk, such as a blood test, provides a unique tool for helping identify women who may develop depression during pregnancy,” says Dr. Eric Achtyes, staff psychiatrist at Pine Rest, an associate professor at Michigan State University, and co-senior author of the study. “Our findings are an exciting development and an important first step toward using these types of methods more widely to help patients. Our next steps include replicating the results in additional patient samples to verify cut-offs for depression risk.”
“A Starry Sky Above the Roman Ghetto” Film Airs Sunday at Maple Theatre
The Consulate of Italy in Detroit, in collaboration with the Dante Alighieri Society of Michigan, presents the screening of the movie, “A Starry Sky Above the Roman Ghetto,” directed by Giulio Base, in commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The film will be presented on Sunday, January 30, 2022, at 3:30 pm at the Maple Theatre located at 4135 W. Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301.
Registration is required at the following link: https://www.dantemichigan.org/event/il-giorno-della-memoria-holocaust-remembrance-day/
“Never like in a pandemic is it relevant to talk about a virus. And today we will also talk about one, a more subtle one, because there is nothing as scary and repugnant as the virus that is hate, that is racism and that is antisemitism.” These will be the opening words of Consul of Italy in Detroit, Allegra Baistrocchi, at the event in commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, organized by the Consulate and the Dante Alighieri Society of Michigan.
According to data from the American Jewish Congress, 1 in 4 Americans thinks that antisemitism is not a problem in today’s society, and 80 percent of the Jewish community here would differ and rather think that it is a phenomenon on the rise. The recent attack at the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, TX, are still fresh and we should fight the normalization of such events that is going on globally.
Italy has always been in the forefront in the defense of human rights, in the fight against xenophobia, and any form of discrimination. The Italian Parliament proclaimed the 27th of January a “remembrance day” five years before the UN decided to designate it as such internationally in 2005.
Why January 27th? Because that is when the gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, were finally opened. A camp that alone saw the death of 1 million people out of the estimated 6 million Jews that lost their lives during the holocaust. This was the day that the first account of the atrocities came to light and it became an international symbol for genocide.
It has been said that “to remember is to possess.” To remember is to protect the memory from oblivion. In a couple of years, there will be no more first-hand recollections. Only the books, the films, the testimonies, and the memory will remain to accompany us. And this is why today is so important. To remember. To possess. A day to remember what happened, with the hope that this will preserve future generations from the scourge of war and to help prevent acts of hate, acts of racism and acts of discrimination.
The event will give much food for thought. After the welcome remarks of Consul Baistrocchi and of the President of Dante Alighieri Michigan, Lia Adelfi, there will be the projection of an interview carried out by the two with author, Dacia Maraini (a Nobel prize in literature nominee), who gave a first-hand recollection of her life in a concentration camp. Then, prior to the screening of the movie, Director Giulio Base will explain his relationship with the movie and what brought him to film it. And finally, the movie. An inspiring interfaith story which injects with the youthful energy of its protagonists the themes touches upon: the importance of memory and coexistence, to which one can also add the topic of reconciling of generational friction.