DBusiness Daily Update: Midtown Makers Market to Make its Debut Nov. 25-Dec. 17, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Shinola Detroit’s Home Store will transition into a marketplace where customers can shop and support local business for the Midtown Makers Market. // Courtesy of Shinola
Shinola Detroit’s Home Store will transition into a marketplace where customers can shop and support local business for the Midtown Makers Market. // Courtesy of Shinola

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Midtown Makers Market to Make its Debut Nov. 25-Dec. 17

Retailers in Midtown Detroit have assembled to debut the first Midtown Makers Market, a seasonal celebration of craft highlighting local artists and vendors.

Opening to the public on Nov. 25, and continuing to run every Saturday through Dec. 17, the Midtown Makers Market will transform Detroit’s West Canfield block into a holiday activation with live entertainment and unique shopping opportunities.

Shinola Detroit’s Home Store will transition into a marketplace where customers can shop and support local business. The first level will feature vendors and makers including: Mesh Detroit, SMPLFD, Dos Jefes Garments, Ilera Apothecary, Dabls African Beads, Atelier Detroit, and Hamtramck Ceramck. On the second level, guests can get a reprieve from the cold as they sip on cocktails from Two James Spirits.

Complimentary gift wrapping for goods purchased at the market and participating retailers will be available at Shinola Detroit’s flagship store. Guests also can have their gifts wrapped with custom wrapping paper made on-site by Detroit-based artists including Mike Han, Tony Whlgn, India Solomon, and Martyna Alexander.

“In partnership with our neighbors on Canfield, we wanted to kick off the holiday season with an initiative at the intersection of craft and community,” says Ruthie Underwood, vice president of creative design at Shinola Detroit. “The Midtown Makers Market was a collective idea that came to life in order to bring new experiences and opportunities to our guests this holiday.”

Participating businesses within the Canfield retail block include Bon Bon Bon, City Bird, Motor City Brewing Works, Nest Housewares, Nora Detroit, Mongers Food Wares, The Mushroom Hub, RUNDetroit, Shinola Detroit, Source Book Sellers, and Third Man Records.

Citizens Survey Finds Young Homeowners Most Likely to Apply for HELOCs

As interest rates continue upward, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) remain a popular tool for U.S. homeowners looking to access a flexible borrowing option, according to a recent survey from Citizens.

The new study, which measures homeowner sentiment around HELOCs, cash-out refinances and other issues impacting homeowners, shows that 84 percent of homeowners have some level of familiarity with HELOCs, and, of those familiar, nearly half (46 percent) consider themselves likely to apply in the next three years, with younger generations as the most likely. Current homeowners also ranked personal loans side by side with HELOCs (69 percent) and personal bank loans (69 percent) among their preferred loan alternatives.

“Homeowners are following their home’s equity more closely as prices fluctuate, and the growing HELOC space is a testament to that,” Adam Boyd, head of home equity lending at Citizens. “We are fully committed to the HELOC space as demonstrated by our leading offerings and this survey, which shows Millennials and Gen Z are continuing to adopt the HELOC product or consider applying as rates change their homeowner goals and ambitions.”

Among the key findings:

  • Younger generations are far more likely to consider applying for a HELOC, including 60 percent of Gen Z and 77 percent of Millennials, citing that they were likely to apply in the next three years.
  • As homeowners navigate today’s fluctuating real estate market, Citizens also found that 68 percent of those surveyed do not plan to sell their home in the next five years, indicating hesitation and the slow-moving inventory the U.S. continues to face.
  • Amid fears of a potential economic downturn, many homeowners surveyed felt confident in their ability to pay their mortgage over the next 12 months, with 52 percent feeling completely confident and 6 percent feeling not too confident or not at all confident.
  • As refinancing wanes due to rising interest rates, many consumers also are considering HELOCs as an alternative to draw cash funds. Among those who previously used a cash-out refinance, homeowners most often put the funds toward a renovation (33 percent), debt consolidation (31 percent) or savings funds (27 percent).
  • Regarding mortgage interest rates, more than one-third (35 percent) of those surveyed said their current rate was between 2-4 percent. Only 8 percent of homeowners surveyed have a rate assigned at 6 percent or higher and 22 percent have a rate between 4-6 percent.

For more survey detail, visit here.

Oakland County Promotes Shop Small and Local Campaign

Oakland County Economic Development Director Ingrid Tighe joined small business leaders at Dearborn Music in Farmington recently to encourage holiday shoppers to purchase gifts and other items locally, especially on Small Business Saturday Nov. 26.

The visit was part of the county’s “Shop Small and Local” campaign for the 2022 holiday season.

“Small businesses are the backbones of our communities, providing residents and visitors with a welcoming and vibrant environment for shopping, dining and visiting with family and friends,” Tighe says. “These are the businesses that employ our neighbors and continue to contribute to a robust and thriving economy.”

The county has created a webpage at www.OakGov.com/ShopSmall where shoppers can search for community holiday activities and businesses and community partners can discover resources to support shopping locally.

Oakland County’s Local Gems sweepstakes also continues through Nov. 26. The program is designed to increase visibility and foot traffic in the county’s small businesses during the holiday shopping season. Anyone can submit a selfie photo taken at an Oakland County small business that they consider to be “local gems” for a chance at winning a $1,000 first prize or $500 second prize. The prize money is being provided by Genisys Credit Union, which also supplied Main Street Oakland County communities with shopping bags, community banners, and posters for the holiday shopping season.

Entries should be submitted to www.OakGov.com/ShopSmall.

With each entry of a different Oakland County small business, participants increase their odds of winning.  To be eligible, participants must be 18 years or older. Any person who wants to participate, including business owners, does not have to be in the photo, but can enter each business only once. Prizes will be distributed on Dec. 15.

Partners in the Local Gems sweepstakes include Main Street Oakland County, local chambers of commerce, and the county’s Business Forward team.

Blackford Capital Named Private Equity Firm of the Year by M&A Advisor

Blackford Capital in Grand Rapids was named Private Equity Firm of the Year at the 21th Annual M&A Advisor Awards Nov. 15. This is the third time Blackford has received this distinguished honor; the first in back-to-back years.

“We are extremely honored to be named the M&A Advisor Private Equity Firm of the Year once again,” says Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital’s. “This repeat recognition is wonderful validation of our focus on growth, and creating value with our portfolio companies and for our investors.”

In addition to its nomination for PE Firm of the Year, Blackford’s add-on acquisition of INYO Pool Supply to Boston, Mass.-based Aqua Leisure was named a finalist in three separate Deal of the Year categories including M&A Deal of the year, Private Equity Deal of the Year in 10MM – $25MM category, and Consumer Discretionary Deal of the Year in $10MM-$100MM category.

“Our team has completed 34 transactions within the manufacturing, industrial, and retail distribution industries, and, under our investment and management oversight, Blackford’s portfolio companies are growing to become industry leaders, thriving in each of their industries across 10 U.S. states, Germany and China,” Stein says. “I would like to thank everyone on the Blackford team for their hard work to make this achievement happen.”

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan Announces Inaugural Grant Recipients

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has approved the inaugural round of Michigan Central/Church Street Community Impact Fund microgrants to support organizations that strengthen the Detroit neighborhoods of Corktown, North Corktown, and Hubbard Richard.

The 2022 microgrants will promote neighborhood improvement activities on a variety of issues, including youth, arts, public spaces, economic development, and housing. Projects this year range from providing barista job training for Latinx youth to funding a neighborhood street hockey league to creating a brick-and-metal art installation to beautify the community.

The Michigan Central/Church Street Community Impact Fund, which the Community Foundation manages, will continue to invest in community projects as the area grows and develops. The fund’s value is expected to increase over time, providing support in perpetuity through microgrants totaling approximately $35,000 to $40,000 each year.

The 2022 Michigan Central/Church Street Community Impact Fund grants totaled $42,070. The recipients are:

  • Mexicantown Community Development Corp. – $9,760 for training Latinx individuals with employable skills and providing on-the-job experience in the food industry.
  • Spread Art Inc., fiscally sponsored by Arts & Scraps – $10,000 for an artist residency with performances for both a neighborhood festival and a live-streamed audience.
  • North Corktown Neighborhood Association, fiscally sponsored by Heritage Works – $10,000 for a brick-and-metal art installation at the North Corktown Commons Park.
  • Train Station Neighbors Block Club, fiscally sponsored by Detroit Hispanic Development Corp. – $6,310 for a weekly street hockey game for youth in a local park.
  • United Community Housing Coalition – $6,000 for increasing tenant participation in housing council meetings at Clement Kern Gardens in Corktown.

Visit cfsem.org/michigan-central for more information on next year’s round of funding.

Express Employment Professionals Will Match $20K for Grace Centers of Hope on Nov. 29

Michigan-based Express Employment Professionals will match all Giving Tuesday (Nov. 29) donations — up to $20,000 — to support Grace Centers of Hope’s (GCH) comprehensive homeless and life skills programs.

Donations will help provide food, clothing, and shelter for more than 120 men, women, and children who are currently enrolled in the one-year life skills programs at GCH.

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of Giving Tuesday, a global movement that has inspired millions of Americans to give of their time, talents, and resources to support local nonprofits and charities,” says Kent W. Clark, CEO of GCH. “At Grace Centers of Hope, we are truly blessed by the generosity of the those who come alongside our mission at such an important time of year and are very grateful to once again have the wonderful support of our friends at Express Employment Professionals.

“Thanks to last year’s ‘Giving Tuesday’ challenge gift, they helped us raise more than $80,000 to support our life-changing programs.”

Individuals interested in supporting GCH and the Express Employment Professionals Giving Tuesday matching challenge can visit gracecentersofhope.org to make their donation. Donations also can be made by calling 1-855-HELP-GCH or via mail at 35 E. Huron St., Pontiac, MI, 48342. The Giving Tuesday matching challenge campaign will end at midnight Nov. 29.

Great Wolf Lodge Gearing Up for Annual Snowland Celebration

Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City is gearing up for what it calls one of its most highly anticipated events of the year, its annual Snowland celebration.

From Nov. 18-Jan. 6, 2023, guests will be immersed in a winter wonderland, with daily snow showers, visits from Santa, seasonally themed crafts, holiday stories and songs, and a variety of other festive activities.

During this seasonal celebration, families can enjoy an escape from the chilly winter weather at the resort’s 84-degree indoor water park while also experiencing time together as a family.

Much of the holiday décor is centered around the Grand Lobby, which is home to the nightly Snowfall Celebration. This interactive show provides plenty of holiday joy as families gather to ring jingle bells, sing seasonal melodies, and participate in a festive dance party to conjure magical snow flurries inside the lobby.

Guests also can capture their memories at Snowland Selfie Stations in the Grand Lobby with various props to help create a festive family photo. There will be a number of other activities included as part of an overnight stay, those include: “Twas the Night Before Snowland,” Yoga Tails, seasonal games, the Great Wolf Lodge Snowland Scavenger Hunt, visits with Sant, seasonal crafts, and the Frosty Fest Family Dance Party.

For more information, visit greatwolf.com.