Category: Business - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Key Financial Services presents “Fundamentals of Small Business Ownership.” This 12-week course prepares you to be a successful entrepreneur. You will not only learn the fundamentals of starting a business, but will leave with a better understanding of what it takes to start and maintain a successful business.
The course is application driven with online participation, accompanied by both a class textbook and instructor access via weekly classroom webinars, phone and e-mail.
This is a course for those looking to start their own business. The entrepreneurship program is designed to help business hopefuls to first determine if small business ownership is a sensible and viable career option; if so, then we can help them develop skills to begin a new business or expand an existing one. In addition, our online segment enables students to be connected to electronic resources for marketing, i.e., Faceboook, business-to-business online marketing and affordable websites students can build themselves.
Requirements: Must be at least 17 and have a high school diploma or GED.
With experience as a paralegal with one of the largest corporations based in Michigan, work in the IRS tax department, adjunct professor teaching taxation, small business development and residential financing, Aaron Sanders has been informing and educating consumers thru his weekly radio program entitled “Path to Prosperity.”
Classes start June 22 and are held at 17515 W. Nine Mile Rd. in Southfield each Saturday for 12 weeks. The cost is $575. Attend the free “hands on” seminar on June 5, 2013 at the Comfort Suite Hotel in Southfield. For details, call (248) 569-9120.
The Entrepreneur Development Institute, is the educational platform owned by Sanders, that targets current successful and would-be entrepreneurs with regard to the trends, tax advantages and benefits of business ownership.
For more information about the Entrepreneur Development Institute, call (248) 569-9120.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 11:23
DEGC and REVOLVE Livernois to transform Livernois Avenue Leveraging private capital to help Michigan small businesses grow
Category: Business - Original Written by Michael Finney President and CEO Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes and in my business that requires a range of programs to keep Michigan’s economy growing. Too often when you hear about economic development the focus is on corporate names we all know.
But most of MEDC’s work is in helping smaller businesses to get beyond tough situations that can limit their progress. It’s what we call economic gardening – an entrepreneurial approach to economic development that seeks to grow the local economy from within.
New Center Stamping, Inc., in Detroit, illustrates one aspect of our economic gardening approach. It’s been serving the auto industry since 1992 with low-volume production, stamping steel and aluminum bumpers, hoods, doors, lift gates, body sides, fenders and radiator supports. The company employs 130 today and expects to add another 45 over the next five years with five new employeeds coming in the very near term.
Their growth has been fueled by rising new car sales that have increased demand for the various auto parts the company makes. But this doesn’t mean their path has been easy. We have helped NCS, through the MEDC Collateral Support Program, tosecure financing to purchase additional stamping equipment it needs to expand; which in turn, increases efficiencies, grows profits and creates new jobs as their sales volumes have increased.
Richard Monkaba, president and general manager, said the state’s assistance is crucial to his company’s growth prospects:
“The collateral support provided by MEDC was instrumental in facilitating our loan with Comerica Bank for a new sheet metal stamping press line. The resulting capital investment will allow New Center Stamping to become much more competitive, grow our business and create a significant number of new jobs for Detroit inner city residents.”
I’m happy to report Mr. Monkaba is also finding MEDC to be helpful beyond the collateral support. “The team continues to provide us with ongoing assistance and guidance as we execute our strategic growth plan,” he said.
Today we deploy the Collateral Support program in ways that are very different than when it was first started four years ago. Those days were a time of serious economic distress in our state. Michigan automotive suppliers suffered through some roiling financial ups and downs over the past few years. When trouble hit the auto industry, it didn’t discriminate and even hit many well-managed companies hard. Companies that had never missed a payment saw loans called in as the value of their equipment and property dropped, some by as much as half. This loss of collateral value spelled disaster as they needed loan support to maintain cash flow and operational needs.
To meet this crisis, the MEDC created the Collateral Support Program in the summer of 2009. It would provided loan support assistance to small businesses with little or no collateral when looking for financing to purchase new equipment, property, etc. The program enlisted Michigan banks in a public-private partnership to help sustain these companies during this period.
The program proved to be very successful. In fact, the U.S. Treasury launched its similar State Small Business Credit Initiative the following year. To date, this effort has allocated $1.5 billion nationally to all U.S States and territories, with Michigan receiving $79 million. Between our state-funded and SSBCI-funded programs, we have provided financing assistance to 131 companies and leveraged $249 million in private capital.
We at MEDC talk often about economic gardening and Collateral Support is one of many programs that provide big advantages to Michigan businesses at very little cost to taxpayers. It was started in a time of real economic difficulty and today is a working model of our public-private partnerships that help our businesses to grow and create new jobs.
For information about MEDC capital access programs, please visit http://www.michiganadvantage.org/Access-to-Capital/.
ArtPlace America recently announced the award of a $200,000 grant to Detroit Economic Growth Association for REVOLVE Detroit to activate empty storefronts along Livernois Avenue with art and related activities. The project was chosen from over 1,200 applications as an exceptional example of creative place-making.
REVOLVE Livernois will match world-class designers and artists with local university students, residents and entrepreneurs. Artists will create temporary and permanent installations for vacant storefronts and public spaces. Along with other art-related events, the installations will continue to revitalize Detroit’s historic Avenue of Fashion. This summer, a local panel will select five artists with national reputations, five local artists, and several university students to create original works inspired by the district and its rich legacy. The installations will be displayed early next fall.
ArtPlace America is a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies committed to accelerating creative placemaking — putting art at the heart of a portfolio of strategies designed to revitalize communities. This is ArtPlace America’s third cycle of grant awards, and Detroit was one of 54 organizations that earned an award.
“The Avenue of Fashion has and always will be one of Detroit’s premier cultural and entertainment districts,” said Olga Stella, vice president, business development, at Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). “Our goal is to show how the arts can serve as a catalyst for community and economic revitalization.”
Kim Swift, an artist with the studio We Came In Peace and creative director for the project said, “Detroit is rapidly evolving as a cultural hotbed for artists and young entrepreneurs from all over the world. The Avenue of Fashion is a perfect place for a diverse group of local and international artists, architects and designers to come together with the community and rediscover the greatness that’s already there. By connecting the emerging with the established to create spaces and art that engages, inspires and builds commercial interest, we aim to foster a climate of possibility and strengthen the fabric of the community.”
Kim Tandy, program manager at University Commons, said, “Livernois Avenue has a great tradition of art, fashion and music, and we are very pleased to be able to showcase the work of artists from other parts of the country and the world with some of the great work of Detroit artists. Detroit ArtPlace projects will help us continue the momentum we have built for reinvigorating this important district of Detroit. Watch for more to come.”
Virginia Stanard, director of Urban Design for the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, a nonprofit architecture and design firm that partners with University of Detroit Mercy commented on the revitalization initiative, said, “It’s been really great. There’s so much momentum with the announcement of REVOLVE Detroit initiative and the Light Up Livernois. Everything is happening really quickly. We are really excited. Working with the architect and design school at University of Detroit Mercy, we are really excited to have our students be a part of Livernois.”
Rip Rapson, chair of ArtPlace America’s Presidents’ Council and president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation said, “ArtPlace America recognizes the central role arts and cultural activities can have in the revitalization of American cities. With this grant award ArtPlace America is directing individual project support to scores of creative, high-impact projects throughout the country.”
REVOLVE activities along Livernois Avenue are part of a collaborative effort among government and nonprofit agencies, businesses, anchor institutions such as University of Detroit-Mercy and Marygrove College, and University Commons community organization. The initiative is supporting ongoing projects that are revitalizing this important district of Detroit.
One of the consulting project managers on the Livernois project is Mosaic Urban Partners, an advisory services firm that specializes in the regeneration of urban neighborhoods throughout the country. Mosaic has worked on a number of projects in Detroit and will also provide national best practices expertise on creative placemaking and arts-based revitalization projects.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 11:08
Category: Business - Original Written by Cathy Nedd
(Photo credit: Monica Morgan) The Sons of Italy Foundation, a leading Italian-American philanthropic organization recently honored three leaders in public service, business and entertainment at its 25th Anniversary National Education & Leadership Awards Gala held in Washington, DC. Sergio Marchione, chairman & CEO of Chrysler Group LLC and CEO of Fiat S.p.A., received the 2013 Award for Excellence in Global Business. Mr. Marchionne's savvy as a businessman is undeniable; he is responsible for turning around two major automobile companies, Italian auto manufacturer Fiat and American manufacturer Chrysler. In addition to his duties as head of the two auto companies, Mr. Marchionne serves on numerous boards of directors, including the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Italian Branch of the Council for the United States and Italy as chairman, Fiat Industrial S.p.A. as chairman and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association as president. General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service for his outstanding career in the military and diplomatic fields as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the 65th U.S. Secretary of State. Actor Gary Sinise received the Award Courage and Patriotism. As founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation, Mr. Sinise works tirelessly to assist the men and women who defend our country. Chrysler UAW vice president General Holiefield and his wife international photojournalist Monica Morgan were in attendance.
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 May 2013 12:51
Category: Business - Original Written by Charlene Mitchell Rodgers
It’s a product that everyone needs, toilet tissue. Every home, office and business spends millions of dollars a year stocking this personal bathroom necessity, giving little thought to the name of the label. The big name manufacturers like Charmin and Scott pretty much own the market. Smaller companies that make less plush bathroom tissue sell mostly to commercial companies.
Now comes Pleasant Paper Company, makers of Pleasant bathroom tissue. A newcomer to the marketplace, the company is actively seeking its niche. It’s a high-quality product that is soft, durable and less expensive than the major brands. The price and quality make it very suitable for the everyday consumer and commercial businesses. It may be new to the market, but it has been years in the development process.
Detroiter Norman Thrasher first came up with the idea to manufacture toilet tissue just over five years ago. He is well known in the Motor City as one of the top media advertising sales executives for a various radio and television stations. Thrasher is also a noted recording artist. He has earned a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
Regardless of his success in those two fields, becoming an entrepreneur has always been his passion. Despite numerous roadblocks, rejections and setbacks he never gave up. It is a wonderful story of success based on hard work and determination. It is also an exemplary example of three African American men working together to build a company from scratch, find a way onto retailers’ shelves, and obtain large orders from commercial businesses, schools, fast food vendors and others.
Although the core business itself is based in Detroit, the product is currently being produced at two factories outside of Michigan. The partners indicate that several locations in Detroit are being evaluated for suitability so that the entire manufacturing and distribution center can eventually be headquartered in Detroit.
“Our long-term goal is to have our plant right here in the city of Detroit so that we can train young people and provide good jobs for them at our facility” said Johnny Hardiman. His brother, Dorian, echoed those remarks, adding, “We want to make sure that Pleasant Paper Company employs Detroiters, particularly those young African American males who have a rough time finding good employment. We want this company to grow and prosper.”
Pleasant bathroom tissue is currently sold in small 4-packs at numerous party stores and gas stations in Detroit. Larger sized rolls are also available along with bulk purchases.
“We consider this product to be something that customers will benefit from because not only is it something they need, but they can also support a local company,” said Thrasher.
With the Hardimans’ financial support and business savvy coupled with Thrasher’s rapport with people, Pleasant Paper Company, LLC knows what it takes to become a very successful business. It is a minority owned and operated company. Its mission is to embrace diversity, vibrancy and originality while producing and providing a soft and durable bathroom tissue at an affordable price. The company’s goal is to become economically and ecologically sustainable by developing high quality products and jobs in urban communities.
To place orders, or inquire about pricing, call 313-483-3880 or fax
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 10:34
Category: Business - Original Written by Cathy Nedd
One-of-a-kind Hospitality & Entertainment venue offers Detroit jobs, inspiration
The most successful business ventures are the right blend of careful market research, smart timing, solid resources and clear vision. Entrepreneur Francois Wulu-Demonique, president and CEO of Urban Café corporation in Detroit, hopes to bring these elements together to create a 21st century hotel, conference and entertainment center--the first of its kind--designed and built exclusively through the talent of Detroit's African American population.
"Detroit is unique. It is home to the brightest minds, strongest skills and most dedicated efforts. A Development 10 stories High & over 100 thousands square feet From ground breaking to completion will be a “Yes We Can” because Never in the city of Detroit history with such a large African American population have we seen a development project being built by a majority of African American construction workers.
This project will serve as an inspiration, especially for Detroit's Youths and aspiring Entrepreneurs visiting a construction site seeing people that look like them work on such a big development project in a way no other New facility has before, we are creating this special employment also as an documentary that will inspire so many others across this nation" says Demonique, a 25-year Detroit resident and award-winning urban development professional who was born in Monrovia, Liberia. “Through “Urban Café Detroit”, Detroit is poised to become an even greater force as an entertainment city. “So for those who may say we have enough hotels rooms that are empty now, why another? I say lets build for Detroit future and anticipate more for city.
Scalable to the land site on which it will be built, the ”Urban Café Detroit” will incorporate a 100 suites hotel, a 1,500-seat multipurpose theater, a 2,000-guest banquet facility, and a themed upscale restaurant and lounge. Perfectly positioned to accommodate large and small conventions, out of town tourists and local diners and entertainment seekers, the “Urban Café Detroit” will serve as a destination venue that will boost tourism in Detroit, stimulating revenue, prosperity and excitement for the city.
Designed to educate and amaze visitors, the “Urban Café Detroit” themed restaurant will delight diners with the finest in world-class cuisine. With an all-glass design, the peak of the nine-story structure will feature a sky bar that will show off Detroit's distinctive skyline, offering panoramic views of Detroit’s beautiful downtown, the Detroit River and nearby Windsor, Canada.
Each hotel suite will represent a distinct world nation, showcasing that country's culture, art and history. "Guests can explore all aspects of a country they may know nothing about," says Demonique, who expects the venue to welcome a half million guests each year. "Each suite will be like a tiny documentary about that nation, showing guests what life is like in that country. In this way, we are building valuable partnerships and enhancing an understanding of dozens of nations across the world." five ambassadors from 5 countries who have committed their country commitment to invest a million dollar each per suite in our development and we are looking to form this partnership 100 countries.
Using an undisclosed third party negotiations working in our behalf, Several sites are being considered for the development, including the former Tiger Stadium area at Michigan and Trumbull, the historic Eastern Market district, Detroit’s riverfront and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation to launch the project. “We anticipate the project to cost between $75 and $100 million and take two years to complete. We’re currently in the land acquisition stage and are actively looking for investors,” says Demonique, adding that the ideal investor would be an athlete, entertainer or venture capitalist interested in profiting from a high-profile project. “The potential for success here is enormous, well worth an investor’s interest and commitment,” he says.
The “Urban Café Detroit” development, by design, will attract jobs, attention and financial prosperity back into the business district, reversing the downturn caused by an abrupt switch from development to acquisition in African American communities across the country, says Demonique. “This was when we put our talent as a people aside,” he says. “It’s been 50 or 60 years since then and we need to refocus our attention and tremendous talents, rather than waiting for someone else to build and develop our neighborhoods.”
Once established in Detroit, Demonique plans to spread the Urban Café concept to other cities across the country. "By proving the success of this concept in Detroit, we’ll then develop similar projects in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago and Cleveland, other cities that have a high African American population,” he says.
A project that began as vision and was boosted by a rally cry from President Obama is on track to become a successful, inspiring centerpiece of Detroit life, says Demonique. “When Barack Obama became president, he advocated for people like me to take my vision to the next level,” he says. “I felt personally inspired about all the growth that is possible, and I put my passion for development into the concept that has become “Urban Café Detroit”. Now is the perfect time to move “Urban Café Detroit” forward.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 May 2013 20:07
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