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.
MEDC, DBusiness Partner to Publish ‘Michigan: At the Intersection of Mobility and Innovation’ White Paper
Michigan Economic Development Corp. and DBusiness magazine have partnered to publish a white paper entitled “Michigan: At the Intersection of Mobility and Innovation,” which provides case studies with inside information and strategies on how companies have leveraged MEDC resources and others to achieve success.
Among the topics covered in the white paper are “Startup Capital Is Available: Here’s How to Get It.” There’s also tips from Fred Molar, MEDC’s vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation, for startups hoping to raise investment capital.
Case studies contained in the white paper highlight the work of and the entrepreneurs behind:
- Alerje, which is leveraging a dream into a successful business.
- Orbion Space Technology, which has notched some serious investment wins.
- Invest Detroit, which communicates common mistakes startups make when seeking funding.
To receive a copy of the white paper, visit here.
Rosedale Park’s Good Cookies Opens Today
Good Cookies, a café and bakery that serves fresh-baked cookies, breakfast goods, and beverages, is celebrating its grand opening in Detroit’s North Rosedale Park neighborhood today.
Owner Jeffrey Gisstennar is a Detroit resident who is passionate about his community and is committed to hiring local residents. His goal is to create a place within walking distance for residents to socialize, study, enjoy music and poetry, enjoy his treats, and more.
Gisstennar started working on the complete remodel of the 1,400-square-foot building in 2019. He currently has four employees and plans to hire three more in the coming years.
Good Cookies is a Motor City Match Round 12 cash grant awardee of $45,000 and is among several Detroit resident and minority-owned businesses receiving support from MCM, the city of Detroit and the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.
Good Cookies is located at 19007 W. McNichols Road in Detroit.
MotorCities Relaunches Website Detailing the African American Experience
MotorCities National Heritage Area has relaunched its Making Tracks website, which chronicles the experiences of African Americans in the auto industry during the first half of the 20th century.
The original site was developed in partnership with The Wright Museum in Detroit and the Ford Motor Co. Fund and first went live in 2010.
MakingTracks.org is produced by MotorCities with its website provider Grigg Graphics of Southfield. The relaunched site includes all of the photos, videos, teacher resources, and links featured on the original site. The new framework and navigation allows MotorCities to expand on the original content and continue bringing the site up to the present day.
“The original Making Tracks tells the story of African Americans from the beginnings of the automotive industry around the turn of the 20th century, the Great Migration triggered in part by the $5 Day wages first offered by Ford Motor Co., and continuing through wartime production ending in 1945,” says Brian Yopp, director of programs at MotorCities. “Now, we are undertaking the necessary research, conducting in-person interviews, and compiling content to ensure Making Tracks provides a much more complete picture as we stand two plus decades into the 21st century.”
Visitors to the current site can watch videos telling the story of automotive trailblazers like:
William Perry, the first African American employed by Ford in 1914; C.R. Patterson, founder of the first African American-owned automaker; Rev. Charles Hill, a key figure in the civil rights and labor movements in Detroit; George Washington Carver, who came to Dearborn in 1942 to do research and collaborate with Henry Ford on the use of plants like peanuts, soybeans, cotton, and rubber in industry; and Ed Davis, one of the first African Americans to own auto dealerships in the city of Detroit.
‘Still Going On’ Motown Mile Installation Opens Saturday
The 50th anniversary celebration of Marvin Gaye’s iconic “What’s Going On” album continues with the “Still Going On” Motown Mile Walk, a new outdoor, walkable installation from Motown Museum. This installation, sponsored by SONY Music Publishing, opens to the public on Saturday, June 19.
Each stop along the “Still Going On” Motown Mile installation is a pairing of historical and contemporary photographs with selected tracks from the album meant to inspire introspection and conversation about what has — and hasn’t — changed since the groundbreaking album was first released in 1971. Visitors can scan the code on each image to enjoy a track from the album and experience Marvin’s words for themselves as part of the installation. Guests must bring a headset or earbuds to enjoy the individual experience of the album.
The free, open to the public installation will remain available for the community to enjoy through September.
“This year, we’re celebrating the prolific and iconic artist Marvin Gaye, with global recognition of his legendary album that was released 50 years ago but still holds meaning and relevance today,” says Robin Terry, chairwoman and CEO of the Motown Museum. “As part of our continued recognition of Marvin’s words and his work, we’re incredibly proud to welcome the public to our ‘Still Going On’ Motown Mile installation this weekend, creating the opportunity for Detroiters and visitors to the city to take a thoughtful journey with tracks from this meaningful album and consider what Marvin’s words mean today.”
For more information, visit here.
Coalition Launches Effort to Reduce Child Poverty in Detroit
Nine organizations are launching an outreach and engagement campaign designed to lift nearly 20,000 Detroit children out of poverty by availing eligible families to the expanded child tax credit within the American Rescue Plan.
The one-year expanded provision of up to $3,600 per child under the age of 18 for qualifying families is available as a monthly payment starting in July — provided they file taxes. Although the tax filing deadline this year was May 17, there is no penalty for filing late if you do not owe taxes or are due a refund. If you do owe taxes, filing sooner will minimize any potential late fees.
Participating entities include United Way for Southeastern Michigan, City of Detroit, Community Development Advocates of Detroit, Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, Accounting Aid Society, Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, the Kresge and Skillman Foundations, and Ballmer Group.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cut childhood poverty in half across America, and the city has come together with dozens of partners to ensure Detroiters do not miss their chance,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, citing federal projections of the impact of the child tax credits alongside enhanced unemployment insurance and other provisions of the American Rescue Plan. “We anticipate reaching those families that otherwise would not have taken advantage of the credit unless assisted on the process.”
Duggan, human-IT Launch New Effort to Help Close Detroit’s Digital Divide
The city of Detroit, human-IT, and other partners announced a four-month campaign designed to help close the digital divide for at least 1,000 low-income families this year while creating jobs for Detroiters and reducing the amount of electronic waste headed to area landfills.
The Empowering Digital Detroit campaign calls on Detroit businesses and individuals to donate used, unwanted, or obsolete technology, and electronics. Donations will be assessed for functionality before they’re securely refurbished by a team of local IT professionals and redistributed back into the community. Technology that can’t be reused will be sustainably recycled, which keeps toxic metals and chemicals away from landfills.
“Opportunity in Detroit is increasing by the day, whether employment, education, affordable housing, or a range of critical assistance programs,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “However, in many cases, accessing those opportunities require a computer and internet access and if you can’t access an opportunity, it may as well not exist. I can’t thank our partners enough for their commitment to bridging the digital divide to open the doors of opportunity to every Detroit family.”
The campaign’s goal is to collect 500,000 pounds of used technology and distribute 1,000 refurbished and updated laptops to low-income Detroit residents by October 2021. For more information, visit here. Additionally, Detroiters seeking guidance and assistance to meet their family’s technology needs also can call 313-241-7618, where they can learn about low-cost or no-cost internet access.
Apparrallel Pop-up Shop Opening in Downtown Detroit
Apparrallel, Detroit’s newest pop-up shop owned by Detroit’s Amber Chene and her business partner Rome, is opening today at noon in The Cary Building at 1301 Broadway.
Apparrallel is a creative collective, retail space, and event production company that bridges high fashion with social and cultural intentionality. It serves as a platform to empower BIPOC and LGBTQ+ professionals in the city of Detroit, as well as independent entrepreneurs looking to reach new audiences, Apparrallel is committed to radical inclusion, innovative creativity, and environmental responsibility.
The shop will feature exclusive vintage clothing items, handbags, and other accessories.
Buddy’s Pizza Partners with Pizzerias Nationwide for National Detroit-Style Pizza Day
To celebrate its 75th anniversary and National Detroit-Style Pizza Day on June 23, Buddy’s Pizza is partnering with pizzerias around the U.S. to give back to local communities. Each participating Detroit-Style pizzeria from around the country is donating a portion of its June 23 sales to an organization local to them whose mission is to fight hunger and/or homelessness.
Buddy’s will donate $1 from every pizza sold at all 19 locations that day to three Michigan nonprofit partners fighting hunger and homelessness: Community Housing Network in metro Detroit, Haven House in mid-Michigan and Housing Resources Inc. in west Michigan.
“This year, we’re celebrating not only 75 years since creating Detroit-Style Pizza, but we’re also celebrating how far the style has grown ever since it started out of a single location in the Motor City in 1946,” says Wes Pikula, chief brand officer of Buddy’s Pizza. “Buddy’s has been giving back to the communities we serve for decades, and we want to encourage other Detroit-Style Pizza restaurants to make community giving part of their mission, too. We’re proud to join forces with these other pizzerias to collectively help people in need.”
In Related News: Buddy’s Pizza will kick off the company’s 75th anniversary celebration June 22 by supplying animals at the Detroit Zoo with specially prepared Detroit-Style Pizza. All pizzas were approved by animal care staff and were created special for each animal’s diet. Menu items include:
- Grizzly bears: Fresh vegetables and fish atop Detroit-Style Pizza crust.
- Wolves: Meat lovers pizza.
- ArcticFoxes: Meat and fresh veggies.
The pizza party will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 22.
Ford Customer Experience Leader to Speak at Marketing Webinar
The Direct Marketing Association of Detroit continues its monthly webinar series with Kim Reedy, who is helping to lead Ford Motor Co. in its transformation from CRM – customer relationship marketing – to CXM – customer experience marketing.
The webinar will take place at noon on June 24. Register by visiting here.
“A big focus in marketing has traditionally been on CRM,” says Reedy, “including how customers are nurtured and cultivated from the top of funnel through ownership experience. With the fairly recent emergence of customer experience as a field, the concept of CRM has evolved to CXM, which emphasizes using every interaction with a customer and the brand throughout the customer journey or lifecycle.”
Butzel Long Hosts Webinar on Avoiding Mistakes in Running Retirement Plans
Detroit law firm Butzel Long is hosting a free webinar from noon-1 p.m. on June 22 titled “Avoiding Mistakes in Running a Retirement Plan.”
Butzel Long employee benefit attorneys will share cringe-worthy mistakes they’ve seen retirement plan administrators and plan sponsors make — again and again — during the course of their decades spent helping clients with retirement plan compliance.
Featured speakers include Lynn McGuire and Thomas Shaevsky, whose practices are concentrated on employee benefits law and related issues.
To register, visit here.
MSU Foundation’s Conquer Accelerator Selects Six Teams for Summer Program
Michigan State University Foundation’s Conquer Accelerator in East Lansing has selected six teams to participate in its 2021 summer program.
This year’s startups include CrossBraining, Fizzmo, Nickels, Rebound AI, SafetySit, and Tandem.
For six years, Conquer Accelerator has provided $20,000 of seed funding to young entrepreneurs while offering guidance through 10 weeks of intensive programming. Additionally, teams are mentored by more than 40 entrepreneur and business leaders and focus on fundraising, longevity, and technology.
What to Expect at the 95th National Cherry Festival in Traverse City
The National Cherry Festival in Traverse City has taken many forms over the last 95 years. This year, the festival is back with a safe, family friendly event that will allows everyone to participate no matter how ready they are to fully enter back into “normal” life.
As the National Cherry Festival sets up its many white tents in Traverse City’s Open Space Park, it may appear that the festival is back to 100 percent normal, and while masks will not be required and there will be remaining a non-ticketed events, safety is the first priority.
Here’s what festival goers can expect at the National Cherry Festival July 3-10:
Things will be more spread out, the open space layout will be different in years past, the most notable change will be the beer tent, where the Bayside Music Stage was previously.
Although there will be no Bayside Music Stage, there will be the National Cherry Festival Music Stage in our Beer Tent Area will local music acts from around Michigan performing.
The Farmer’s Market will be in one tent, providing more local products and taking the burden of staffing from local stores.
On July 4, the Arts and Crafts Fair as well as the Old Town Car Show will be at the Grand Traverse Commons, with extra room to walk and park this venue will provide the leisurely experience.
The National Cherry Festival Kids Club and all Kids Events will be at F&M Park, usually home to a majority of kids events, the park allows Kids a safe place to enjoy all the cherry activities offered.
The parade will not march down Front Street this year, the DTE Foundation Cherry Royale Parade Experience will be a standing parade at the Grand Traverse Resort to highlight the school floats from around the area.
Some events will continue to be virtual, like the Virtual Grand Traverse Pie Make and Bake, the Consumers Energy Very Cherry Porch Parade, virtual and in person race options, along with many events streamed on the festival’s social media sites.
The National Cherry Festival will continue to focus on the health and wellness of the community hosting yoga, Zumba, bike rides, and the Grand Traverse Health Department will be hosting a vaccine tent during the National Cherry Festival, so anyone can get their vaccine while on the festival grounds.
To register for any event, find more details on dates and times, or to see a full schedule, visit www.cherryfestival.org.