Opinion: Metro Detroit a Hotbed for Small Businesses

November 17, 2019

The Detroit News

Mark S. Lee

According to the 2012 U.S. Census data, the City of Detroit is home to more than 62,000 small businesses. Regionwide, it seems there’s a new business opening every time you turn around, and this trend is gaining momentum.

As I’ve considered the entrepreneurial and business ecosystem here, a couple of questions emerge:

Is Metro Detroit a good place to relocate a business? If so, what’s the “state of this region” when it comes to attracting newcomers looking to grow their businesses?

“It was not that long ago,” says Glenn Stevens, executive director, MICHauto, Detroit Regional Chamber, “that Detroit and Michigan had a global perception (and, in many cases, a reality) that we were a city, region and state that was the “rust belt” and would never revive.”

But over time, the perception continues to evolve and change.

“Today’s reality could not be farther from that perception,” Stevens continues. “While we have our challenges, there is a collective focus that is synergized to address what we need to do to continue to make this a place where companies and people with ideas from around the world can come to find opportunity, live, work and play.”

Stevens also points out “the business climate, cost of living, quality of life, access to talent and the unique and special combination of culture and spirit of our people make the region and state more than a potential destination for startups and businesses to locate here.”

Read the full article here 

Parkshore Capital LLC – Competitive Financial Solutions for Business Development

Small businesses are the backbone of the local, regional and national economy.  No place is this more evident than in Michigan.

Yet many small businesses are essentially “financial orphans” who don’t fit the lending standards of local banks or investment criteria of private equity or venture capital firms.

Parkshore Capital helps small businesses seeking capital to operate or expand.  Founded by Jamal Mosallam, Parkshore Capital works with its clients to tailor financing solutions that fit specific goals and needs.

Parkshore Capital can customize financing options fit for small, medium, and large sized businesses with a broad portfolio of financial products to provide strong working capital solutions, with attractive terms and rates.

Parkshore Capital offers access to a variety of lending products including:

  • Working Capital Solutions
  • Accounts Receivable Financing
  • Purchase Order Financing
  • Factoring
  • Unsecured Lines of Credit
  • Heavy Equipment Leasing & Financing
  • Asset Based Lending
  • Medical Financing
  • Bridge and Hard Money Loans
  • SBA Financing
  • Business Acquisition Financing
  • Hotel Financing
  • Franchise Financing
  • Commercial Real Estate Loans
  • Private Equity

For further information, please visit parkshorecapital.com, email:  info@parkshorecapital.com, or call: (248) 562-6424 or (313) 573-8728.

Understanding Cash Flow

Understanding Cash Flow is designed for individuals who need a better understanding of the cash demands required to successfully start and manage a business. The use of Startup Cash Analysis and Cash Flow Projections will be discussed.
Forecasting cash flow more accurately and maintaining liquidity are two of the biggest issues facing businesses today. Having a good system in place to manage cash flow will contribute to your organization’s success.
“This may be the most important class a small business owner will ever take!”
Presented by One Stop Shop Business Counselors
Cost: $40 per person  Registration Required

‘The Secrets of Starting a Successful Business’ will be the focus of Butzel Long’s free webinar on January 23

DETROIT, Mich. – More than 90 percent of startup businesses fail. While a variety of factors go into this failure rate, it usually involves a combination of factors including lack of a proper business plan and start-up checklist; the failure to properly utilize and comply with legal requirements; a bad core product/idea and, the wrong “team” involved. With that, how can entrepreneurs and business owners increase their chances for success and get into that elite 10 percent?

Butzel Long is hosting a free webinar titled, “The Secrets to Starting a Successful Business: How to Increase Your Chances of Start-up Success from Idea to Launch (and Beyond)” from 12-1 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23, 2019. To register, please visit www.butzel.com/event.
The webinar, will be presented by both a successful entrepreneur and a nationally recognized business attorney who will provide the SECRETS to starting and operating a successful business, including a 20-step start-up checklist from the initial idea through the actual launch of the business (and beyond). Webinar participants will learn key business tips from successful entrepreneurs themselves, but also the best ways to navigate the frustrating legal and administrative requirements of starting a business.

Webinar presenters include:

• Bernie Fuhs, a nationally recognized Butzel Long business attorney. He has litigated and counseled clients in nearly all 50 states on a variety of business disputes, including non-compete/trade secrets, franchise disputes, and shareholder disputes. He also regularly advises start-ups and closely-held businesses, as well as sports and fitness industry members. Fuhs also is a successful entrepreneur in his own right, having founded FuhsFit, LLC (an online fitness and nutrition company), served as President/Co-Owner of Fastdater, Inc. of Michigan and works as a Color Analyst for College and High School Basketball.

• Trey Zackery, President and Owner Corporate Elevator Asset Management, which helps building managers and owners manage their elevators from design to finished product, and service thereafter. He also is the founder of “Mogul Secrets,” a podcast for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners. http://mogulsecrets.com/.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing and Shanghai. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter:https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s leading marketing event returns in 2018 with Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed, March 22 at Greektown Casino-Hotel. Focusing on advanced digital marketing strategy, this event will provide a glimpse into the industry’s future as well as tips on hiring and managing digital marketing talent. Speakers will focus on cutting-edge topics such as online reputation management and influencer marketing. Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed targets marketers with intermediate or advanced digital marketing knowledge.

LIFT and The Center Launch “LIFT Off” Webinar Series to Highlight Small Company Innovations

Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) today announced the launch of a new webinar series, “LIFT Off.” Held on the third Thursday of each month at noon EST, “LIFT Off” will highlight a small to medium-sized manufacturer and the newest technologies being developed to advanced lightweighting or manufacturing processes.
“LIFT Off” webinars are designed to showcase valuable innovations that can positively impact lightweight manufacturing, design and implementation in the region and beyond.

The speakers and topics scheduled to-date are:
• August 17: Multi-Material Riveting – Dan Radomski, Optimal Inc.
• September 21: Breakthroughs in Low-Cost ADHSS Heat Treating – Gary Cola, Flash Bainite
• October 19: Lightweight Metals Enabling Software – Ravi Kunju, Altair

“These are people who have a great idea and have taken the risk to begin their own business because they believe so passionately in what they are doing and the difference it will make,” said Larry Brown, executive director, LIFT.

Future webinars will cover topics such as Multi-Material Friction Stir Welding, Cryogenic Machining, Morphing Software, Smart Virtual Prototyping, and Lightweight Metallurgy.

“Our goal is to give these innovators a platform to share their work with the rest of the industry and showcase some of the breakthroughs taking place at small companies,” said Gregg Peterson, The Center’s Principle Materials Engineer who works on-site at LIFT’s Detroit headquarters as part of a pilot program to propel the use of lightweight materials in manufacturing.

Manufacturing industry members, small company innovators and all others interested in lightweighting technology and innovation are welcome to join the webinars.

For more information on the webinars and LIFT’s technology work, please visit www.lift.technology/liftoff.

LIFT is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes in the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research. Visit www.lift.technology to learn more.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center is an organization dedicated to supporting Michigan manufacturers to work smarter, to compete and to prosper. The Center offers personalized consulting services to meet the needs of clients in virtually every aspect of their businesses. The Center is affiliated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and is part of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP Program). The Center also is closely affiliated with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) with the shared goal of making Michigan businesses vibrant, driving GDP growth and creating new and lasting jobs. For more information, visit the-center.org.

Joe Steele

Venerable Detroit Law Firm Berry Moorman PC Turns 90

Like many of its clients, Berry Moorman is an iconic Detroit brand. During its 90-year history, the law firm has served the automotive industry, diverse businesses, charitable and philanthropic organizations, and notable citizens and families that together comprise our city’s rich tapestry of commerce and culture.

As Detroit rose to prominence during the first half of the Twentieth Century, the firm’s founders contributed to that growth:

  • 1926: As streetcars carried Detroiters up and down busy streets, Raymond Berry and other enterprising attorneys formed a new law firm in the city’s Penobscot Building. The Detroit Red Wings, then known as the Detroit Cougars, are officially added to the NHL. Harry Houdini gives his final performance at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit. Babe Ruth launched his longest career home run at Detroit’s Navin Field.
  • 1928: When the Bureau of Internal Revenue, later renamed the Internal Revenue Service, suspected Ford Motor Co. withheld profits from shareholders, Raymond Berry formed an association with former U.S. Tax Court Justice James S. Y. Ivins and past Yale President Kingman Brewster to argue on behalf of minority shareholders, including the John F. Dodge Estate Trust, before the U.S. Supreme Court. Ultimately, the young tax attorney from Detroit scored a significant victory for his clients, returning home triumphant and built his law office into a Detroit institution. At various times, Mr. Berry represented Henry Ford, Edsel Ford, and the Ford Motor Company, and served as Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and President of the Detroit Board of Commerce.
  • 1949: Business litigation and tax attorney A. H. Moorman joined the practice, which later became Berry Moorman. The firm recruited additional attorneys to expand its services to include employment and labor law, estate and trust work, and civil and commercial litigation.

When the future of Detroit Institute of Arts’ world-class collection was called into question during the city’s recent bankruptcy, some prized art objects were protected. Robert Hudson Tannahill (1893-1969) was a renowned art collector and Detroit patron of the arts. In his will, he donated over 400 works of art to the DIA with the stipulation that the works not be sold. A predecessor firm that became a part of Berry Moorman prepared a no-sale agreement confirming the will provision and obtained Detroit City Council approval. The firm represents the Robert Hudson Tannahill Foundation, a charitable foundation now affiliated with the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, which benefits eight named area charities.

Berry Moorman’s current and former clients include some of our region’s most recognized and important names:

  • Vernors – maker of Detroit’s signature ginger ale, created in 1866 and now the oldest ginger ale sold in the United States.
  • The Detroit Athletic Club – a Detroit institution and landmark housed in a building designed by the renowned architect Albert Kahn, now in its 129th year.
  • Kelsey-Hayes – established in 1927, a major supplier of wheels, brakes, and other components to the worldwide automobile industry.
  • Pewabic Pottery – nationally acclaimed ceramic studio founded in 1903 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1991.
  • Cadillac Coffee Co. – purveyor of premium coffee, tea, and related merchandise to cultured Michigan clientele since 1888.
  • A. Raymond – 150-year old international expert in fastening and assembly solutions, clipping systems, fluid connection and bonding applications.
  • Belle Tire – this tire retailer, established in 1922, now provides a variety of automotive repair services at more than 90 locations throughout the Midwest.
  • R. Hirt Jr., Co. – a distributor of cheese and specialty foods throughout Michigan, this fourth-generation family business dates back to 1887.
  • Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc. – a financial and professional services firm founded in London in 1783 that specializes in commercial real estate services and investment management with more than 62,000 employees around the globe.
  • NSK – 100-year old global manufacturer of ball bearings and linear motion and control products.

Reflecting on the firm’s milestone anniversary, President Randy Wright noted, “We are all proud of the long-standing tradition and success of Berry Moorman in representing stalwart Detroit businesses and families.” In addition to its Detroit presence, the firm’s reach extends across Michigan and around the world; since 1990, Berry Moorman has been supporting diplomatic relationships with Russia and, in 1994, it became the first Russian-American joint venture law firm in St. Petersburg. The firm also represents ZYNP International Corp. and Incodel Michigan LLC – key partners in a China-based supply line to the global automotive and truck industry.

Generation Z and Snapchat: The Future of Advertising

By Nick Mattar
Director of Marketing
Detroit Regional Chamber

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

Every generation is scrutinized more than the last, reviewed tirelessly and considered to be lazier than all others. Millennials are currently the targets of studies, articles and blog posts that aim to point out some flaw in the way they live. However, the generation following millennials is beginning to finally pick up some traction in the internet world – Generation Z.

Generation Z is commonly referred to as the crop of people born after millennials, beginning in approximately 1997 and ending sometime after 2010. Different scholars use different years as the generation’s advent, but the common ground appears to be the late 1990s. These people have lived their entire lives with the internet, coming of age as Facebook and Google ruled. Their number one source of communication has been texting and their number one method of purchasing (or pirating) music has been online.

While millennials were awkwardly learning social media and determining how “social” to allow their personal information to be, the younger Generation Z watched in amazement as the early 2000s teenagers moved from AOL Instant Messenger to MySpace to Facebook. Each site offered the ability to show more user information and provided less privacy. Enter Snapchat. In late 2012, Snapchat gained notoriety as the first app that allowed users to send photos or videos to individuals without saving them first. The files would be instantly deleted unless the recipient had the wits to screenshot the photo. Essentially, Snapchat re-introduced privacy to the world of social media. Millennials, Generation X and baby boomers all thought the same thing when Snapchat hit the market: explicit photos. The question everybody over the age of 18 thought was, “why wouldn’t you want something available to the masses that could potentially go viral?”

After all, the chance to go viral and gain internet fame was all the rage in 2012, with YouTube and Google acting as catalysts for sharing millions of videos. New internet stars were made daily, culminating with Psy, a Korean singer whose hit “Gangnam Style” topped the charts after becoming the first YouTube video to amass one billion views. Internet success like this began spilling into mainstream business, as well, as social media marketing positions opened with the hope that whoever was hired would help make the company “go viral” and thus gain more awareness and subsequent revenue.

But Snapchat changed that notion. People began thinking about what they could do with photos and videos that did not save to their mobile devices.. First adopted by teens and younger millennials, Snapchat began processing 700 photos per second one year after launch. As the app became more popular, features were added with new, goofy options to change your photos or videos. To explore the most recent iteration of Snapchat technology further, consider the options users have when taking photos or videos:

  1. Users take photos/videos and add a “filter,” often changing the background color or adding a pre-loaded, geo-targeted graphic, sometimes sponsored by major brands
  2. Users take photos/videos and use “lenses” to morph their faces from a pre-loaded set of options, sometimes sponsored by major brands
  3. Users send the final, stylized photos/videos to friends

With all of these new options, the desire to act more random and strange is elevated due to the heightened sense of privacy.

MORE: Learn about Snapchat and other upcoming social media innovations at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.

Snapchat is expected to surpass both Pinterest and Twitter in terms of total unique users in the United States. Despite trailing Facebook in terms of total users, Snapchat boasts more unique teenagers using the app plus exponential growth in the under-12 age group. While millennials and Gen Xers are now adopting at a more rapid pace, it is clear that usage among teenagers is the highest, with anywhere from four to six billion videos being viewed daily.

With Snapchat so popular among Generation Z, what does that say about this younger generation?

It is clear that Generation Z values their privacy more than past groups. Witnessing the social media failures of those before them, Generation Z took cues and found solace in the social network that did not necessarily include the “social” part: Snapchat.

Having said all of that about Generation Z and Snapchat, what does that mean for business?

The ability for businesses to advertise on Snapchat has only been available for less than a year with tangible returns still somewhat unknown. Taco Bell has provided the single most successful Snapchat campaign thus far, offering the ability for users to turn their heads into tacos during Cinco de Mayo. It was used over 220 million times, providing more brand awareness than any television ad short of the Super Bowl. Moreover, Taco Bell’s latest campaign aims squarely at Generation Z more than any other group. The company publicly stated that the youngest group of people with buying power is their target audience, especially with their new Quesalupa product launch in early 2016.

Television is still the most powerful advertising avenue for brands but Snapchat is quickly becoming a valuable advertising asset. Pricing can be steep, but for Taco Bell, which spent $750,000 on their Cinco de Mayo ad, the expense has proved to be a worthwhile endeavor. Revenue numbers have not been released for the 2016 fiscal year, but when one considers the additional publicity from the Snapchat lens and the ability to call Taco Bell an innovative marketing company, it is clear the lens has provided the company with a tremendous value add.

The expectation is that Taco Bell’s 2016 revenue will climb and a large part of that will be thanks in part to their recent investment in Snapchat. With Generation Z now having buying power from allowances and part-time jobs, Taco Bell has become the first company to capitalize on it by reaching their target audience in an easily accessible method. The long-term results can be difficult to quantify today, but the ability to reach out to the newest generation with buying power is something that will undoubtedly pay dividends in the future.

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More from Nick Mattar:

The Must-Know Digital Marketing Tools Every Business Needs