DBusiness Daily Update: Sunset at the Zoo to Return Aug. 27, LaunchDETROIT Accepting Applications from Entrepreneurs, 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.
The Detroit Zoological Society will be hosting its Sunset at the Zoo fundraiser on Aug. 27. // Courtesy of The Detroit Zoo
The Detroit Zoological Society will be hosting its Sunset at the Zoo fundraiser on Aug. 27. // Courtesy of The Detroit Zoo

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.

Sunset at the Zoo to Return Aug. 27

The Detroit Zoological Society is bringing back its annual fundraising gala, Sunset at the Zoo: The Future is Bright on Friday, from 6:30-10:30 p.m. on Aug. 27.

This year’s Sunset, for adults 21-and-older, is presented by Strategic Staffing Solutions and will support the Detroit Zoological Society’s commitment to the future, including high-impact programs that advance wildlife conservation, environmental sustainability, and humane education. Guests also will learn more about the Zoo’s newest residents and exciting plans for the future.

Guest you can expect food and drinks, live entertainment, access to the Detroit Zoo’s animal habitats, and live and silent auctions with one-of-a-kind “zoonique” prizes.

For tickets, visit here.

LaunchDETROIT Accepting Online Applications from Metro Area Entrepreneurs

LaunchDETROIT currently is accepting online applications from local entrepreneurs interested in receiving education, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

Spearheaded by Rotary International volunteers from Rotary District 6400, this multi-faceted program has assisted nearly 80 entrepreneurs since it began in 2012.

“Just as businesses and organizations have had to pivot since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve done the same,” says Margaret Williamson, chair of LaunchDETROIT. “While meeting virtually and providing online education opportunities, we continued this program in 2020 with the selection of 12 entrepreneurs.”

Williamson shares how several alumni of the program, including Willie Brake of All About Technology, Dazmonique Carr of Deeply Rooted Produce, and Latricia Wright of Olive Seed LLC, were able to expand their businesses despite the pandemic and shared their experiences with the current class of LaunchDETROIT entrepreneurs.

Online applications are available here for the entrepreneur class of 2021, scheduled to begin in October. The deadline to apply for this year’s program is Aug. 20.

According to Williamson, the LaunchDETROIT committee thoroughly reviews the applications to invite a select number of applicants to be interviewed about their business goals and interests in participating.

In addition to business training, mentorship and networking, qualifying participants are eligible to apply for a micro-loan of up to $2,500.

“As our program has evolved, recent participants have expressed their greatest interest in mentorship and networking,” adds Williamson. “Participants also receive access to the wealth of information and variety of expertise from our Rotary volunteers.”

State Rolls Back Mandatory COVID Testing for Farm and Food Processing Employees

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has rescinded its order requiring COVID-19 testing for agricultural employees. This change is being made in light of increasing vaccination rates, declining COVID-19 cases, expanded access to testing and vaccinations, and enhanced housing and worker protections currently in effect to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“With COVID-19 transmission numbers low and increasing vaccination rates, we are removing the requirement for testing for these workers,” says Elizabeth Hertel, director of MDHHS. “The most important tool we have is the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine and we encourage everyone to join the nearly 62 percent of Michiganders who have already been vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Other protections for agricultural workers remain in effect. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Feb. 25 emergency rules continues to require that agricultural laborer housing camps establish COVID-19 preparedness and response plans, and provide quarantine housing for workers who were exposed to COVID-19, among other protections.

“I am thankful for the steps taken by our food and agriculture community to safeguard the health of this vital workforce throughout the course of the pandemic,” says Gary McDowell, director of MDARD. “Keeping the established response plan requirements for this growing season provides our growers and processors guidance should a positive employee be identified.”

The latest information about COVID-19 from the state is available here and from the CDC here.

Detroit Credit Expert Releases First Black-owned Credit Management Planner

Detroit native Tierra Jae, founder of New Beginnings Community Consulting & Restoration, has launched The Credit Calendar, one of the first Black-owned credit management planners, which now is available for purchase.

This tool, which Jae says is easy to use, is the first of its kind, helps users focus on improving and maintaining their credit status and achieving any future goals. In addition to keeping track of various credit lines, the planner is a tool to help users execute necessary steps to stay on track and remember critical dates needed to improve credit.

As an experienced credit repair specialist and tax expert, Jae set a goal to help her current clients and others independently restore and manage their credit scores. According to Debt.org more than 191 million Americans have credit cards, and the average household debt is more than $5,000.

Since launching NBCCR, Jae has serviced more than 300 clients nationwide.

For more information, visit here.

MSU Health Care Announces Affiliation with Everside Health in Colorado

MSU Health Care in East Lansing and Everside Health of Denver have partnered to provide employers throughout Michigan with what they are calling “a better, more innovative health care solution.”

The collaboration is in response to growing employer concerns regarding ongoing increases in health care costs and barriers to quality health care for their employees.

“Until now, employers in Michigan had few choices when it came to health care delivery options,” says Chris Miller, CEO of Everside. “They had to rely on solutions created by large insurance companies or health systems. But our new partnership with MSU Health Care is designed to change the status quo in employers’ favor by bringing together our proven direct primary care model and advanced technology with MSU’s strong innovation and research capabilities. The result is expected to be measurable cost savings with improved access to quality care.”

Everside has a history of successfully collaborating with various health care organizations to deliver accessible, high-quality care while lowering costs for employers and patients. This collaboration with MSU Health Care, however, marks the first time the organization has partnered with a medical school.

Everside’s direct primary care model is positioned as an alternative to America’s current fee-for-service health care delivery model. Under the Everside model, employers or other plan sponsors pay a fixed cost per employee for nearly 24/7 unlimited access to primary care providers. It is not a replacement for an employer-sponsored insurance plan, but rather a complementary service focusing on keeping employees well.

Patients receive convenient, low- or no-cost access to physicians and 24/7 virtual care, reducing the need for costly ER use. On average, employers on the Everside program save 20 percent on claims costs by year four, largely as a result of Everside’s ability to treat health issues early on before they become catastrophic or require a more expensive urgent care or emergency department visit. The model also is poised to benefit individuals through the Everside model of care.

“The collaboration with Everside is another example of working with like-minded organizations to fulfill our mission to improve the health of all communities in Michigan,” says Seth Ciabotti, CEO of MSU Health Care. “The pandemic highlighted the need for every individual to have a medical home supported by a robust relationship with a primary care team for maintaining health. Telehealth visits proved to be a viable delivery mechanism for increasing access to health care in rural and underserved areas in Michigan.”

Based on initial feedback to the new offering, Rosin confirmed that the two organizations are exploring real estate options in the Lansing and Grand Rapids areas for their inaugural employer-based health center.

Interested employers and sponsors of this program available through MSU Health Care and Everside can call 844-205-6403.

Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency is Hiring

The Detroit-based Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency is hiring for more than 50 full- and part-time positions including administration and education.

Wayne Metro employees use their individual strengths to help solve some of Wayne County’s toughest challenges and empower the community through collective impact.

Employees can make a lasting impact in the fight against poverty and deliver tangible results that empower people and strengthen Wayne County communities. Employees teach independence and provide hope to the most vulnerable part of the population.

Benefits include health care, education funding, professional development, and a 401(K) plan with employer match and financial planning services.

For more information on available jobs and to submit an application, visit here.