DBusiness Daily Update: Survey: Inflation, Supply Chain, Labor Shortages Remain Top Small Business Issues, 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.
Supply chain disruptions are one of the major obstacles facing Michigan’s small businesses, according to a new survey released by SBAM. // Stock Photo
Supply chain disruptions are one of the major obstacles facing Michigan’s small businesses, according to a new survey released by SBAM. // Stock Photo

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.

Survey: Inflation, Supply Chain, Labor Shortages Remain Top Small Business Issues

Workforce shortages, inflation, and supply chain disruptions remain the main obstacles Michigan’s small businesses are facing, according to a new survey released by the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) in Lansing.

“Though there is more optimism among small business owners, the struggles that are plaguing small businesses are still very prominent,” says Brian Calley, president and CEO of SBAM. “Every day, small business owners are working hard while having to deal with inflation, supply chain disruptions, and workforce shortages at the same time.”

Survey respondents identified workforce shortages (52 percent), inflation (61 percent), and supply chain disruptions (55 percent) as the biggest problems facing their businesses. The survey, conducted April 19-27, of 500 Michigan small businesses, also revealed that:

  • 68 percent of small businesses reported having a hard time finding and keeping their businesses staffed, indicating no improvement since January.
  • 70 percent of respondents have increased wages to attract and maintain employees this year.
  • 57 percent of small businesses said supply chain shortages have had a significant impact on their businesses, a slight improvement from January’s 61 percent.
  • 60 percent of small businesses said the rising cost of energy is impacting their business.
  • 87 percent of small businesses reported that costs are increasing more than in usual times.
  • 60 percent of respondents are optimistic about their business in the next six months.
  • 73 percent of small business owners are optimistic about the long-term survival of their businesses, a slight increase from January.
  • 75 percent of small businesses said compensation costs have increased by more than 5 percent.

Detroit’s Allied Eagle Supply Acquired by New Jersey Company

Allied Eagle Supply, a Detroit-based janitorial supply company, has been acquired by Imperial Dade, a New Jersey distributor of food service packaging and janitorial supplies. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Allied Eagle is a full-service provider of JanSan and hygiene products, services, and solutions with sales covering all of Michigan and northern Ohio.

“We are excited about the future of Allied Eagle under the leadership of Imperial Dade,” says Natalino Scappaticci, CEO of Allied Eagle Supply. “On behalf of the Allied Eagle team, we look forward to joining the Imperial Dade organization and entering into this next chapter of growth.”

Robert Tillis, chairman of Imperial Dade, says, “Allied Eagle is a market leading distributor in Michigan, and has an established reputation for customer service, which makes it a great addition to the Imperial Dade platform.”

United Physicians in Bingham Farms Partners with Texas Doctors Organization

Bingham Farms-based physician organization United Physicians Inc. has entered a long-term partnership with agilon health inc., a company based in Austin, Texas that offers a care model that helps health care groups focus on delivering quality care.

Through the partnership, United Physicians will work with agilon health to transform its primary care delivery system for Medicare Advantage patients to a sustainable, full-risk value-based care model that will improve quality outcomes within southeast Michigan’s health care system.

“Our partnership with agilon health provides us a partner with a proven track record for building a new primary care delivery system for our senior patients,” says Dr. Michael Williams, CEO of United Physicians. “We look forward to working with agilon to rapidly transition to this value-based model of care for Medicare Advantage, which will enable our providers to improve the patient experience and outcomes.”

United Physicians represents more than 1,900 providers, including 400 primary care providers, with medical staff privileges at hospitals throughout southeast Michigan.

KeyCorp Issues 2021 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report

KeyCorp has released its 2021 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report, which includes expanded commitments from Key to help drive climate action as well as increase representation of people of color in its senior leadership ranks.

Key also announced as part of the report that it has surpassed the five-year goals of its National Community Benefits Plan. Through the plan, Key has provided more than $26 billion focused on economic access and equity. The scope of these investments and lending included affordable housing, home lending, small business lending, and transformative philanthropy targeted toward workforce development, education, and safe, vital neighborhoods for underserved communities and populations.

Since 2017, KeyBank has invested more than $239 million in the Michigan Market through the plan. This includes investments made through Dec. 31, 2021:

  • More than $107 million in affordable housing and community development projects.
  • More than $50 million in small business loans to businesses that are part of low- and-moderate income communities.
  • More than $81 million in mortgage lending to low- and moderate-income communities.
  • More than $720,000 in transformational philanthropic investments in neighborhoods in Michigan.

“At Key, being a responsible corporate citizen is central to who we are and how we do business. We are committed to delivering value for all stakeholders by focusing on our purpose – to help our clients, colleagues, and communities thrive,” says Chris Gorman, chairman and CEO of KeyCorp.

The full report can be viewed here.

Lakeland Fresh Farms Goes Green with $500K Rebate from DTE Program

Lakeland Fresh Farms, a Chesterfield Township producer of hydroponically grown greens, has been rewarded a rebate of more than $500,000 from the DTE Grow Energy Efficiently Pilot Program.

The financial incentive, issued to participating indoor agricultural organizations in southeast Michigan, will enable Lakeland Fresh Farms to further its energy conscious footprint.

“We saw DTE’s Grow Energy Efficiently Pilot Program as an integral investment in our energy conscious company,” says Joe Corace, president and CEO of Lakeland Fresh Farms. “This program gave our startup a leg up and helped us build on a firm economic footing. We are grateful to partner with DTE on this program, which will change the projection of startups in the indoor agriculture space.”

Launched in 2021, the DTE Grow Energy Efficiently Pilot Program offers energy efficiency solutions to indoor agricultural growers like Lakeland Fresh Farms, which grows a blend of greens from its 80,000-sqaure-foot indoor facility. Lakeland Fresh Farms sells directly to grocers and restaurants throughout metro Detroit. Its hydroponically grown greens are harvested and packaged hands-free year-round. The products go straight from harvest to stores and restaurants in just hours, allowing them to be enjoyed at the peak of freshness. The products include:

  • Pure Romaine – smooth and crisp red and green baby romaine leaves.
  • Crisp ‘n Clean – crunchy, sweet and serrated baby green leaves.
  • Always Aromatic Basil – fresh and flavorful large-leaf basil.

Lakeland’s process employs hundreds of LED grow lights and a computer controlled indoor weather system that uses 90 percent less water than open-field growing and allows for hands-free automation, significantly enhancing food safety, according to the company.

“When like-minded businesses unite to create change, our land, people, and wildlife are better for it,” Corace says. “I am looking forward to the continued success Lakeland will experience by participating in this energy-conscious program.”

For more information, visit here.

RAPID + TCT 2022 3-D Printing Trade Show to Feature 400+ Exhibitors

More than 400 of the additive manufacturing industry’s leading companies will come together in Detroit at Huntington Place to share the latest processes, materials, and technologies in additive manufacturing at RAPID + TCT, May 17-19.

“As the preeminent AM event in North America, RAPID + TCT is the place to be to show off and experience the technologies that continue to shape modern manufacturing,” says Robert Willig, executive director and CEO of SME, which produces the event. “Each year, exhibiting companies push the limits of what’s possible through interactive demonstrations, large-scale models, and an immersive experience you cannot find anywhere else. With over 400 exhibiting companies and 30 OEMs scheduled for this year, attendees will be blown away by the level of innovation at the event.”

For a complete list of exhibitors and to register for the event, visit here.

City Relaunches Detroit ID Municipal Card Program After 2-Year Pandemic Hiatus

The City of Detroit Municipal Identification Program is being relaunched and is available once again after being idled for the past two years due to the pandemic. The Detroit ID card provides all Detroiters (regardless of immigration status, age, or gender identity) with a photo ID so they are able to access city services, open a checking/savings account, gain entry to city buildings, or establish a utility account with providers such as DTE Energy and Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

The Detroit ID card is available to all Detroiters, including those who are experiencing homelessness or who may be a returning citizen. The cost is $25 for a new card application for adults ages 18-62; and $10 for youths ages 17 and younger, seniors ages 62+ and for former and existing cardholders whose card is expired and want to renew. Applicants younger than 18 must have a legal guardian present during their application appointment. Fees are waived for the first 5,000 Detroiters who sign up.

There are two locations for obtaining a Detroit ID card: Detroit Health Department (100 Mack Ave.) and Patton Recreation Center (2301 Woodmere). Hours for both locations are — Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday:  9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wednesday:  10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Greektown, Detroit Bus Co. Partner to Provide Free Courtesy Shuttle in Downtown Detroit

Greektown has partnered with the Detroit Bus Co. to provide free courtesy shuttle service to all Greektown patrons to select sporting and concert events in downtown Detroit. Starting in May 2022, the free shuttle service will take patrons from Monroe Street to select events at Little Caesars Arena, Ford Field, and Comerica Park.

Greektown was the first neighborhood in Detroit to offer free courtesy shuttles to patrons more than 20 years ago with its iconic “Ouzo Cruizo” and “Opa” buses. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Greektown had to suspend shuttle services. This marks the restart of those free community services and a new partnership with the Detroit Bus Co. to meet public need for transportation.

“We are excited to again offer a free courtesy shuttle to those who visit Greektown, supporting community events, small business, and more transportation options for those who visit downtown,” says Melanie Markowicz, executive director of Greektown Neighborhood Partnership.

The monthly shuttle schedule will be available on the Greektown website and advertised on social media and through community partners. Shuttles begin one hour prior to event start times and runs continuously until one hour after the event ends. Pick up is approximately every 20 minutes.

Fifth Third Aims to Provide 360K Meals to Fight Hunger in Eastern Michigan

Employees of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, will recognize Fifth Third Day by working to provide 360,000 meals to people facing food insecurity. The meals will be donated to three hunger relief organizations across metro Detroit as part of the bank’s annual companywide community celebration in May, centered on May 3. The bank recognizes the date, 5/3 on the calendar, as Fifth Third Day.

“We are honored to serve our community by helping to provide meals for those who are dealing with food insecurity,” says David Girodat, regional president of Fifth Third Bank, Eastern Michigan. “We are proud to play a part in fulfilling the Bank’s commitment to serving our communities.”

Customers also will have an opportunity to support hunger relief by purchasing shields for $1 at all Fifth Third locations.

During the month of May, Fifth Third employees in eastern Michigan will be participating in various volunteerism efforts to benefit:

  • Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan
  • Forgotten Harvest
  • Kingdom Apostolic Ministries (KAM) Food Pantry, in partnership with the Southwest Detroit Community Development Corp.

Today, Fifth Third employees will be packing and loading food into vehicles at the Gleaners Mercado Food Hub pantry in southwest Detroit. Employees will be joined by Detroit native and Cincinnati Bengals player Khalid Kareem who will volunteer at the event. Kareem is also the son or Phillicia Kareem, a Financial Center manager of the bank’s Southfield branch. Similar employee volunteer events are planned for May 10 and 11 at the Forgotten Harvest Oak Park Warehouse.

Also, throughout May, Fifth Third employees will donate and collect non-perishable food items to benefit the food pantry of Kingdom Apostolic Ministries (KAM) Food Pantry, in partnership with the Southwest Detroit Community Development Corp.

For more information, visit here.

Detroit Jazz Festival Announces 2022 Lineup

The Detroit Jazz Festival presented by Rocket Mortgage, the world’s largest free jazz festival announced its lineup for Labor Day weekend during a livestream preview event that included a live performance from the 2022 Artist-in-Residence Chucho Valdés. The festival is expected to be back live, in-person in downtown Detroit.

“It’s extremely befitting we announce the 2022 Festival lineup on what is considered a global day of unity in the jazz community,” says Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation. “As we look forward to pivoting back to an in-person format, this year’s lineup reflects our renewed mission to feature legacy artists, propagate and nurture the next generation of jazz performers and audiences, and showcase the diverse tapestry of jazz in one festival.”

Some of the acts lined up are:

  • Chucho Valdés “The Creation” with the Yoruban Orchestra, Hilario Duràn, and John Beasley, Musical Directors.
  • The Soul Rebels
  • The New Orleans Groove Masters with Herlin Riley, Jason Marsalis, and Shannon Powell
  • Roosevelt Collier
  • Julian Lage
  • Harriet Tubman featuring Brandon Ross, Melvin Gibbs & JT Lewis
  • Donny McCaslin
  • Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band with special guest Marquis Hill
  • Bill Frisell Trio featuring Thomas Morgan and Rudy Royston
  • José James presents Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday
  • Georgia Anne Muldrow

To see a replay of the announcement livestream, visit here.

New Loja Saarinen Film to Premiere Virtually During a House Party at Cranbrook

The Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research in Bloomfield Hills will debut a new film about the life and work of Loja Saarinen during its annual House Party at Cranbrook fundraiser on May 21.

The film, “Room for a Lady: Loja Saarinen at Cranbrook,” brings to the spotlight the many contributions that the Finnish immigrant, entrepreneur, and designer, and her pioneering weaving workshop, Studio Loja Saarinen, made to Cranbrook and the world. It will premiere virtually at 7 p.m.

Loja Saarinen headed the Department of Weaving and Textile Design at Cranbrook Academy of Art while also leading Studio Loja Saarinen, a commercial weaving studio. Studio Loja Saarinen began with a single loom at Cranbrook in October 1928, and grew to encompass 35 looms, three of which were master looms 12 feet in width requiring three weavers to operate.

The 30-minute film will take viewers on a journey through the architectural spaces around Cranbrook’s National Historic Landmark campus where Loja’s designs are found. Utilizing the resources of Cranbrook Archives and new, high-definition video of Studio Loja Saarinen rugs, hangings, and other textiles, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research will bring forward the rich woven traditions that are so deeply connected to the Cranbrook story.

Guest speakers in the film include Loja’s grandsons, Robert Saarinen Swanson and Eric Saarinen, as well as the internationally known fiber artist Gerhardt Knodel, who also headed the academy’s Fiber Department and served as the academy’s seventh director.

Tickets for the virtual film premiere start at $75 per household and are tax-deductible as allowed by law. A limited number of in-person opportunities are also available for guests to experience the film while surrounded by some of Studio Loja Saarinen’s most notable textiles and designs at Kingswood School. Proceeds benefit Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and the work of Cranbrook Archives.

For more information and to register for the virtual Loja Saarinen film premiere, visit here or call 248-645-3307.

Beyond Basics Literacy Summit Set for May 5

The literacy nonprofit Beyond Basics is hosting its virtual 2022 Literacy Summit on May 5 from 11 a.m. to noon to learn the truth about illiteracy and the solutions that are available to combat the crisis.

Liana Loewus, managing editor of U.S. News & World Report, will moderate the discussion that will focus on the available solutions.

“It’s time to stop talking about the literacy crisis and start implementing proven solutions to bridge the literacy gap and improve the lives of every child in America,” says Pamela Good, co-founder and CEO of Beyond Basics. “We need to ensure that all children can access the education they’re offered so they can have a better future.”

Panelists include Good; Nick Nanton, director of The Truth About Reading; and Kenneth C. Williams, a nationally recognized trainer, speaker, coach, and consultant in leadership and school culture serving K-12 schools and author of “Ruthless Equity.”

To register, visit here.

New Albert Kahn Exhibit Opening at Detroit Historical Museum

Albert Kahn: Innovation and Influence on 20th Century Architecture, a new exhibit in the Robert and Mary Ann Bury Community Gallery at the Detroit Historical Museum, tells Kahn’s story through a wealth of artifacts and architectural models. It is open through July 3 and included with museum general admission.

Perhaps Detroit’s best-known architect, Kahn was a German-born Jewish immigrant who moved to Detroit as a child and went on to change the skyline of his adopted city and influence design around the world.

“We are excited at the opportunity to share with the community how Albert Kahn and his team’s innovations changed the world,” says Heidi Pfannes, president of the Albert Kahn Legacy Foundation. “We are hoping this exhibit tells the story of how one person has the ability to impact so many people and will inspire a new generation of architects and engineers who will continue to change the world, making it an even better place to live, work and play.”

The museum will host a panel discussion on Kahn from 2-4 p.m. on May 15. To register, visit here.

JVS + Kadima to Host Frame of Mind Benefit and Arts Showcase May 15

The third annual JVS + Kadima Frame of Mind Benefit and Arts Showcase will take place May 15 from 5-8 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

The event is a theatrical immersive evening with singing, music, dance, acting, and art. It will showcase the talents of JVS + Kadima members who take part in Creative Expressions, an artistic enrichment program run by the organization for individuals who have serious mental health challenges, or intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Professional musicians, singers and actors with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Opera, and Matrix Theatre have been collaborating with more than 20 JVS + Kadima members to create the content for Frame of Mind and will perform alongside them.

“We are incredibly lucky to have the support of partners from some of the foremost creative institutions in Detroit,” says Paul Blatt, president and CEO of JVS + Kadima. “They willingly devote time and resources to the clients we serve, allowing them to explore and develop their own artistic expression which we are now so happy to share during the Frame of Mind event.”

For more information, visit the events page here.

Palmer Park Art Fair Expands with Michigan Arts and Culture Council Support

The Palmer Park Art Fair, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. June 4 at the Palmer Park Log Cabin, is adding many new elements this year thanks to a grant from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council.

The fair already is known for its curated selection of juried artists as well as the largest emerging artist section of any area event.

“We’re kind of a hybrid of traditional art fairs and a showcase of the artists that are just starting out,” says Mark Loeb, event coordinator. “While some shows may include six or eight emerging artists, we have far more.”

Mint Artists Guild features talented teen artists, many in their first public art event. The Detroit Fine Art Breakfast Club returns with more than 20 emerging artists from their 20s to their 70s. The Detroit Art teachers Association includes both professional and emerging artists in their space, highlighting the talent of those teaching our kids.

The new grant allows the festival to expand on its other offerings, too. One of the first visual art fairs to also feature writers, the author tent has been expanded to more than 20 local writers in a variety of genres. Many will be reading portions of their books. A selection of poetry readings enhances the literary section.

For more information, visit here.

Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac Gets $10K Matching Grant from CAPS Remodeling

After a successful matching grant campaign in 2021, Grace Centers of Hope (GCH) in Pontiac has announced that CAPS Remodeling in Madison Heights will once again match all donations in May – up to $10,000 – to support the nonprofit’s comprehensive homeless and life skills programs for men, women, and children.

To participate in this year’s matching grant challenge, GCH is encouraging local residents, businesses and organizations to make their donations any time beginning through May 31.

“We are truly blessed by the generosity and ongoing relationship with owner Jeff Cates and CAPS Remodeling,” says Kent W. Clark, pastor and CEO of Grace Centers of Hope. “Men, women, and children greatly benefit from the life changing programs GCH provides. We hope community members feel inspired by supporting this wonderful matching gift, helping us repeat the level of success that we experienced last year.”

Donations can be made by visiting www.gracecentersofhope.org, by calling 1-855-HELP-GCH, or via mail at Grace Centers of Hope, 35 E. Huron St., Pontiac, MI, 48342.