Chase for Business Honors and Highlights Black Businesses During Free Virtual Black Entrepreneurs Day Event, Oct. 14

The second annual Black Entrepreneurs Day, presented by Chase for Business, returns to the world-famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, Thursday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. The free event to honor and highlight Black entrepreneurs and businesses will be streamed over Facebook Live and feature celebrity speakers, performers, and grant winners.

Black Entrepreneurs Day will be hosted by Daymond John, founder and chief executive officer of clothing brand FUBU and co-star of ABC’s four-time Emmy Award-winning show, Shark Tank. He will engage in insightful one-on-one conversations, or “Game Changer Conversations,” with Black business leaders and cultural icons, including Tyra Banks, Shaquille O’Neal, Marcus Samuelsson, Rev Run, Michael Strahan, and Janice Howroyd.

Comedian Kevin Hart will also participate in Black Entrepreneurs Day, hosting a “Hart Felt Conversation.” Hart will speak with John about how J.P. Morgan Wealth Management supports entrepreneurs to become financially savvy through financial resources and more, demystifying the topic of wealth management and encouraging entrepreneurs to follow their dreams.

In addition to the featured conversations, the event will feature a musical performance by Khalid, and various roundtables, panels, and forums, including:

  • The Magenta Edge Roundtable. T-Mobile for Business and Magenta Edge will present an exclusive roundtable discussion and interview, showcasing business owners and experts who share their stories and expertise on Magenta Edge. The Magenta Edge platform has a foundational focus on Black-owned small businesses that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Health Equity and Innovation Roundtable. The roundtable will comprise Seema Kumar, global head of the Office of Innovation and Global Health and Scientific Engagement; Dr. Uché Blackstock, founder and chief executive officer at Advancing Health Equity; and Dr. Del Smith, chief executive officer and co-founder of Acclinate. They will discuss Johnson & Johnson’s Health Equity and Innovation Challenge, which addresses chronic health care challenges in underserved communities.
  • Black LeadHERship—A Black Women’s Roundtable. This roundtable will feature business leaders Elicia Azali, Telisa Yancy, Sherina Smith, and Lauren Powell.
  • Chase for Businesses’ Empowering Entrepreneurs Forum. The forum will feature John alongside Brian Lamb, JPMorgan Chase’s global head of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and Byna Elliot, JPMorgan Chase’s head of Advancing Black Pathways. They will discuss JPMorgan Chase’s $30 billion racial equity commitment to support Black-owned businesses and communities.
  • Klaviyo’s From Startups to Stars Roundtable. John will sit down with Kady Srinivasan, senior vice president of global marketing for Klaviyo, and Amanda Johnson, chief marketing officer at Underlining, to discuss the tools Klaviyo has for businesses to build their brands.
  • Intuit QuickBooks’s Prepare Your Business for Capital Panel. The informative panel will discuss what small businesses should do from day one to best position themselves to address common challenges and access capital that can open new growth opportunities. John will moderate the panel, and the panel will comprise QuickBooks’s Sheldon Cummings and small business owners.
  • Build Black Roundtable with Shopify. The roundtable will discuss the ways Shopify has reshaped how minorities are supported on its platform and how diverse-owned businesses are given a platform to be seen. Shopify will also showcase success stories focused on Black-owned businesses who have leveraged the platform and tools to catapult themselves into success.
  • Facebook’s Giving Power Roundtable. Alvin Bowles, Facebook’s vice president of business ecosystem partnerships, will join John to discuss the brand’s support of Black-owned small businesses, creators, and nonprofits in the U.S. They will also discuss ways to support businesses that have been most adversely impacted by the pandemic, including its recent launch of the Facebook Invoice Fast Track Program, which gives minority-owned small businesses the ability to access the liquidity that they need right now through a $100 million program.

Viewers of Black Entrepreneurs Day can also ask Daymond John questions about their businesses and entrepreneurial ideas. Submit a question via Yappa. Questions will be featured as part of the live-streamed Q&A with Daymond John session.

Livestream the event here.

US to open land borders with Canada, Mexico to vaccinated foreign tourists in ‘early November’

Along with our Canadian and U.S. partners the Chamber advocated for the opening of the border to vaccinated Canadians. In a statement issued today, Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Sandy K. Baruah shared, “Reopening the land border to vaccinated Canadians is an important step in returning our economic and social lives to a greater level of normalcy.  The Chamber appreciates the Biden Administration announcement, which will benefit businesses throughout the Detroit region – and the Chamber looks forward to welcoming our neighbors back to Michigan. Allowing for safe travel across the U.S.-Canada border will accelerate the economic recovery in both nations and enhance North American competitiveness in the global marketplace.”

Detroit Free Press
Oct. 12, 2021
Bailey Schulz

Starting next month, the United States will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to cross its land borders for non-essential purposes such as tourism or visiting friends and family.

The change would allow foreign tourists to enter the U.S. through land or ferry ports for the first time since March 2020. Government officials have not yet announced a date for the policy change but said it will take place in “early November,” in tandem with the country’s updated international air travel system.  

“This is an important step that will further enhance the safety of international travel and the safety of Americans at home,” senior administration officials said in a call with reporters. “These new vaccination requirements deploy the best tool we have in our arsenal to keep people safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

How does it work?

Wednesday’s update follows the White House’s Sept. 20 announcement saying the U.S. would implement a new international air travel system in “early November,” allowing foreign travelers with COVID-19 vaccines approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration or World Health Organization to enter the country.

“We want to have a consistent approach to both land and air entry into this country. And so this is the next step to bring those into alignment,” senior administration officials said.

The new land border travel restrictions will be broken into two phases, both of which introduce vaccine mandates:

  • Phase 1: The first phase will go into effect in “early November” and allows fully vaccinated travelers to enter the U.S. for nonessential reasons. Unvaccinated travelers can only travel to the U.S. for essential purposes in this phase.
  • Phase 2: The second phase will begin in “early January” and will only allow travelers to cross the land border for both essential and nonessential reasons if they have been fully vaccinated. There will be no testing requirements in either phase.

“This phased approach will provide ample time for essential travelers such as truckers and others to get vaccinated, enabling a smooth transition to this new system,” senior administration officials said.

Specific dates for each phase have not yet been released. The current travel restrictions – which are set to end on Oct. 21 – will be extended until the new policy goes into effect. Currently, U.S. land borders are only open to “essential travel” such as work and trade.

How can travelers show proof of vaccination?

U.S. Customers and Border Protection will enforce the new travel requirements and will spot-check travelers’ proof of vaccination documents. Foreign nationals will also need appropriate travel documentation to enter the country.

Foreign travelers will be able to show vaccination status in either a paper or digital format. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to give an update on what sort of paperwork will be accepted at the borders in the coming days.

Which vaccines will be accepted?

Government officials haven’t announced which vaccines will be accepted at the borders.

If the land and ferry borders follow the new air travel system’s lead, foreign nationals should be able to cross with vaccines that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or World Health Organization. This includes:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca/Covishield
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

It’s not clear whether travelers who have received mixed doses will be able to enter the U.S., but officials said the CDC is “working through” that question for both land and air travel.

Why now?

The actions from U.S. officials come months after Canada’s decision to reopen its land borders to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents on Aug. 9.

The U.S.’s hold on its American travel restrictions on Canada has drawn backlash, given Canada’s high vaccination rates. Canada has about 73% of its population fully vaccinated, compared to 57% in the U.S. and 38% in Mexico, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Medicine.

“We’ve been working for weeks … on a plan to do this safely and not increase the risk to Americans,” a senior administration official told reporters. “We have seen increased vaccine availability – obviously in Canada, which now has very high vaccination rates, as well as in Mexico.  …  We think this system will make it safer both for Americans over the long run.”

View the original article.

Wayne Co. recovered most jobs it lost since pandemic started, UM report says

The Detroit News
Oct. 11, 2021
Charles E. Ramirez

Michigan’s largest county based on population has recovered most of the jobs it lost from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released Monday by the University of Michigan.

As of July, Wayne County’s jobless rate fell to 4.5%, representing a nearly 90% recovery of pandemic-induced job losses, according to the Wayne County Economic Outlook for 2021-23. The report was written by economists with UM’s Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics.

“A strong economy and tight labor market tend to reduce economic disparities by boosting the prospects of lower-income workers,” Gabriel Ehrlich, director of the research seminar and one of the report’s authors, said in a statement.

“We hope that the economic recovery we are forecasting for Wayne County will eventually lead to more broadly shared prosperity in the county, although there are challenges in the near term.”

Economists Jacob Burton, Tina Dhariwal, Donald Grimes, Owen Kay and Michael McWilliams, also co-authored the report.

The study attributes Wayne County’s recovery to the end of pandemic restrictions on the service economy, federal income support, rising personal comfort levels and reopening of schools for in-person instruction.

Furthermore, the report said the economists expect the county to nearly recover its pre-pandemic payroll jobs count by the end of 2023, somewhat stronger than the state as a whole.

The report also projects the city of Detroit will resume the promising economic trajectory it was on before the pandemic struck.

Among the report’s other findings:

► The outlook for the county’s finance and insurance, transportation equipment manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing industries are positive, but hotel and food services, along with the arts, entertainment and recreation industries will lag well behind their pre-pandemic levels by 2023’s end.

► Average inflation-adjusted wages in Wayne County rose 7% in 2020 as more lower-wage workers lost their jobs than their higher-wage counterparts. In 2021, that is predicted to slip and hold roughly flat in 2022 as lower-wage workers return to jobs before moderate growth returns in 2023.

► Real wages in the county’s blue-collar industries are forecast to be about 2% lower over the period.

County officials Monday hailed the news about its bright outlook.

“The pandemic has been difficult for everyone and we haven’t defeated this virus yet,” Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said in a statement. “But we are regaining our pre-pandemic economic momentum.”

He said the county’s growth was aided by its response to the pandemic, which included $70 million in federal grants for nearly 5,000 small businesses, $3 million in $25,000 federal grants to 117 nonprofits, $6 million in $500 federal grants to 12,000 county workers affected by the state’s December 2020 health and safety order.

Despite the positive news, no segment of Wayne County’s population can be left behind in its recovery, the county executive said.

“Wayne County is committed to making this economy work for everyone in our 43 communities,” Evans said. “We will continue to work with the state and federal governments as well as private-sector partners to ensure opportunity is equitably distributed.”

View the original article.    

Apple, MSU open app developer academy in downtown Detroit

Crain’s Detroit Business
Oct. 8, 2021
Nick Manes

Tech giant Apple Inc. and Michigan State University have officially opened their joint development academy in downtown Detroit.

The project — announced early this year and housed in the First National Building in Detroit’s central business district — makes for Apple’s first developer academy in the United States, according to a news release from the maker of the iPhone. The goal of the academy is to “prepare its students for jobs in the thriving iOS app economy,” and will teach fundamentals of coding, as well as design, marketing and more, according to the release.

The first class in Detroit, which began this week, consists of 104 students between the ages of 18 and 60. The cohort will receive 10 months of app development and entrepreneurial training. Enrollment for the academy is free, according to the release.

The academy is expected to reach close to 1,000 students per year through the full 10-month program and a shorter four-week foundation course, the release stated.

As part of the partnership with Michigan State, the East Lansing-based university will provide the mentors within the academy and Apple provides the equipment. The academy is in downtown’s First National Building at 660 Woodward Ave., owned by real estate company Bedrock, which is providing the space.

Specific costs for each organization were not provided.

“Six months ago, for me, this was a vision and people talked about getting an Apple developer academy in Detroit,” MSU President Samuel Stanley told Crain’s during an interview Thursday. “I think the mission really is to give people the technology tools so they can develop apps for the Apple system, so they can find jobs doing that.”

The Gilbert Family Foundation, headed by billionaire Dan Gilbert and his wife Jennifer, in partnership with Detroit-based Rocket Companies Inc., provided a gift to MSU in support of the academy’s efforts in Detroit, and the financial services firm. The Gilberts will also continue to contribute support to the academy as it grows and evolves, according to the release.

“We believe apps for everyone should be designed by everyone, and that all aspiring developers and entrepreneurs should have the opportunity to be a part of the thriving app economy,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said in the release. “Detroit has an incredible entrepreneurial spirit, powered by creativity and inclusion, and we’re thrilled to welcome this inaugural class of creators as we start classes at the Apple Developer Academy, the first of its kind in the US. Through the power of technology and innovation, we are proud to be helping prepare these innovators for new opportunities.”

View the original article.

Walsh hosts virtual Doctor of Business Administration information sessions

Troy, Mich., Oct. 12, 2021 – Walsh will host virtual information sessions about its Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program on Nov. 18, 2021 and Jan. 12, 2022 from 6-7 p.m. Jenny Tatsak, Ph.D., director of doctoral programs, will lead the session, which will include a program overview, admissions process, financial aid, career opportunities and a Q&A period. Advanced registration is recommended.

The Walsh DBA is a professional doctoral degree focused on research and the practical application of theory and knowledge to solve real world business problems. Candidates will generate practical solutions to the complex and dynamic challenges facing leaders, executive decision-makers, and managers of both people and processes in today’s environment of global change. Consistent with Walsh’s tradition of providing a strong business education rich in practice, applied research and relevant theory, candidates will be able to apply the business and leadership best practices learned at work while completing the DBA program.

Walsh’s DBA is designed for working professionals, with a part-time pathway offered through a combination of online coursework and Zoom-enabled remote delivery. Connected classroom technology allows students to interact in real time with faculty and others in their cohort. On-campus engagement opportunities are also available for local students.

“Walsh’s DBA program is taught by faculty with years of industry experience, many of whom also earned a doctoral degree while balancing careers and families. The program enables deep knowledge of business administration for candidates seeking executive leadership, consultancy or teaching roles. Walsh’s approach to education has always been to offer rigorous programs that are flexible and accessible, so people with busy lives can pursue a degree at a pace that meets their needs,” said Tatsak.

To learn more and register, visit

# # #

Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of Southeast Michigan’s largest graduate business schools, offering classes in several locations and online. Our internationally and nationally-ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, human resources, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (

Michigan’s Draft Redistricting Maps Approved

On Monday, Oct. 11, Michigan’s independent redistricting commission voted to take 10 newly drawn political maps to the public in a series of hearings. The commission believes these maps represent the best possible balance between equal representation, community interests, civil rights, and partisan fairness.

The commission approved four congressional maps, three for the state Senate and three for the state House. The public hearings for these maps will begin in the middle of October.

Proposed maps

The 13 U.S. House draft districts

The commission has proposed four draft plans for what will be Michigan’s new 13 U.S. House of Representatives districts, all of which suggest changes that could lead to contentious matchups in 2022 as incumbents find themselves essentially playing a game of musical chairs.

The draft plans generally propose the following 13 districts:

  • 1 – a Detroit-based district: This district would include most of Detroit except for a portion of the city on the west side. Like the current Detroit congressional district represented by U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, large portions of central Detroit would be linked with downriver communities, including River Rouge and Ecorse. But it would also link those areas with the Grosse Pointes, currently represented by Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield. From there, the versions of the maps differ: In one, the district would be paired with Warren and Madison Heights. Another would incorporate more downriver communities, including Romulus and Wayne. Tlaib lives within this proposed district — but it would separate her from several western Wayne County communities she currently represents. This district would be strongly Democratic leaning.
  • 2 – a Western Wayne County district: This district, also strongly Democratic, would pair a portion of the west side of Detroit with Dearborn, Westland, Livonia and Redford. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, currently lives in this district, but it links her hometown with other parts of Wayne County currently represented by Tlaib and robs Dingell of what has become a base of support in Ann Arbor, which would become part of a new district. Another version of this proposed district would run further north, adding Lawrence’s hometown of Southfield. That would increase the likelihood of this district electing a person of color, since Southfield is majority Black. But that, in turn, could raise questions of fairness to the Arab-American community in Dearborn.
  • 3 – a southern Oakland County district: This Democratic-leaning district would include Farmington Hills, Novi and Pontiac. One version would add Ferndale and Royal Oak to the mix while another would add Milford to the district. Levin currently lives in this district. One version would also include Southfield and Lawrence, however. And it would also, in some iterations, strip areas away in Oakland County from the current district represented by Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Rochester Hills.
  • 4 – a Grand Rapids-based district: One configuration of a Grand Rapids-based district would mostly be confined to Kent County while a second configuration would place Grand Rapids in a long and skinny district that would include Democratic-leaning Kalamazoo. Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Grand Rapids, currently lives in this district. Under the proposals, it would remain Republican leaning, though by how much depends on the Kalamazoo question.
  • 5 – a Lansing-based district: Both configurations of the commission’s Lansing-based district would include all of Eaton, Ingham and Livingston counties. One configuration would include part of Barry County while another would include part of Ionia County. No member of Michigan’s congressional delegation currently lives in this district, but it’s a fair bet that Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, who has represented Lansing for two terms, could move to run in it. As drawn, this would be slightly Democratic leaning but could clearly be contested.
  • 6 – an eastern Oakland County and southern Macomb district: This district would include parts of Macomb and Oakland counties, including Clinton Township, Rochester Hills, St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights. One version would add Troy to the district. Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Rochester Hills, currently lives in this district, but it has more in common with the district currently represented by Levin, while Stevens would be losing much of the Oakland County/western Wayne County electorate she now represents. It could be safely Democratic — or not, depending on how far north it goes into Macomb County.
  • 7 – an Ann Arbor-based district: This district would place Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti with some of western Wayne County, including Canton and Plymouth, as well as parts of Downriver. No member of Michigan’s congressional delegation currently lives in this district, which would be strongly Democratic.
  • 8 – a southern border district: Both configurations of this district would encompass most of Michigan’s southern border counties. One version includes a portion of Berrien County. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, currently lives in this district, and it’s easy to see him holding on to this district. It would, however, be drawn to include Battle Creek. That might make it marginally more Democratic but it’s hard to see it not going Republican.
  • 9 – a western lake shore district: One configuration would include counties in southwestern Michigan that border Lake Michigan, including part of Allegan, Berrien, Muskegon, Ottawa and Van Buren counties. Another configuration would include inland portions, including parts of Barry and Kalamazoo counties. Both versions of the district are currently home to Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Holland Township, and Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph. One argument that has come up is whether Ottawa County, the fastest growing in the state, should be split, as it is in at least one of these maps. It would be Republican leaning.
  • 10 – a Thumb district: This district includes much of Michigan’s Thumb, encompassing Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac and St. Clair counties along with portions of northern Oakland and Macomb counties. Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Bruce Township, and Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, currently live in this district. This district, however, would be strongly Republican leaning as proposed.
  • 11 – a Flint-based district: This district would include Bay City, Flint, Midland and Saginaw and extend south to Flint and Grand Blanc. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, and Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, currently live in this district. As drawn, it would be Democratic leaning.
  • 12 – an Up North district: This district would include all of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and much of the northern Lower Peninsula. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, currently lives in this district and it would remain safe territory for Republicans.
  • 13 – a mid-Michigan district: This district would encompass many of mid-Michigan’s counties. One version of the map would extend to include Muskegon County and a portion of Ottawa County. Another version would extend to include Clinton and Ionia counties. No member of Michigan’s congressional delegation currently lives in this district, but it’s possible Moolenaar would seek to represent it as it includes much of his current district, if not his home in Midland.

Michigan Senate draft districts

The draft Michigan Senate districts would make a number of dramatic changes to the current districts:

  • Lansing and East Lansing would be divided into separate districts. The two cities currently share a district.
  • Bay City, Midland and Saginaw would be included in the same district. The Tri-Cities are currently separated into three different districts.
  • Battle Creek and Kalamazoo would continue to have separate districts. Some had urged the commission to place them in the same district, but commissioners cited conflicting comments that sought to keep the cities separated.
  • Ottawa County would be split into three separate districts. The entire county currently makes up a single state Senate district. The commission has received numerous public comments urging the group to keep the county intact.
  • Oakland County is currently home to five state Senate districts, but the commission’s draft maps would split the county nine ways.
  • The draft districts would largely separate the Grosse Pointes from Detroit’s east side neighborhoods and completely detach the Pointes from Hamtramck and Highland Park.

Michigan House draft districts

  • There are some improvements for large sections of central Detroit with downtown and Midtown being consolidated and Hamtramck and much of the close-in east side/Eastern Market being consolidated.
  • But where in the Republican-made map from 2011 Detroit voters were contained largely inside the city south of Eight Mile, the commission has lots of districts in its current collaborative map linking neighborhoods in the city with its suburbs.
  • In one map, the new 5th House district, for instance, would run from a strip along Detroit’s west side around Outer Drive with Southfield and Farmington/Farmington Hills in Oakland County. The new 21st would run from I-96 and Grand River north through Fitzgerald and other west side neighborhoods into Huntington Woods, Berkley and Royal Oak north of 12 Mile.
  • The new 18th would connect the rest of Royal Oak south through Ferndale into Detroit’s Palmer Woods, Palmer Park and State Fairgrounds neighborhoods. On the east side, the new 6th connects Detroit’s East English Village, Morningside and Denby areas north and east into Macomb County running as far as 12 Mile in St. Clair Shores.
  • In other parts of the state, there are big changes as well. In Flint, for instance, the current map splits the city in half. A new one splits it as well, but keeps more of the city in one district. And where the current state House map twists and turns, the new one is far more compact.
  • Meanwhile, all new House maps cut Grand Rapids into multiple House districts, whereas the old one largely kept it together.

This article is based on reporting by Clara Hendrickson and Todd Spangler from the Detroit Free Press.

Macomb County Receives Grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Launches ‘Macomb Next’ Programming Aimed at Advancing Local Manufacturing

Registration now open for grant-funded Industry 4.0 workshop

Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) today announced the receipt of an Industry 4.0 Regional Programming Grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The grant, which totals $115,000, will fund programming aimed at helping businesses understand and navigate the importance of Industry 4.0 and the convergence of traditional manufacturing with technology.

“The next industrial revolution is here and it’s going to change the way our manufacturers and other businesses conduct operations,” said Vicky Rowinski, director, MCPED. “But Industry 4.0 shouldn’t be something we fear, it’s something that can help organizations stay competitive in an ever-evolving global economy. However, understanding and implementing Industry 4.0 technologies like artificial intelligence, 3D printing, robotics, virtual reality and cybersecurity can be challenging. And this is why we applied for the MEDC grant. The county wants to assist local businesses in their efforts to adapt and thrive in today’s changing marketplace. We want to give them the tools they need to succeed.”

The grant will enable the execution of a comprehensive promotional and educational strategy developed by MCPED called Macomb Next, which includes the creation of a website, targeted social media campaigns, printed and digital marketing materials and videos that highlight collaborative partners and local success stories.

It also includes two workshops, the first of which will be held virtually and in-person on Wednesday, October 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Macomb Community College University Center (44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township, MI 48038). Attendees will learn about trends in Industry 4.0, hear from businesses in the community that are using it today, link up to available resources and see live technology demos. There will also be a panel discussion and a keynote presentation from Tom Kelly, executive director and CEO of Automation Alley.

“The smart and connected technologies of Industry 4.0 are impacting all businesses. To stay competitive, companies must start operating with a software-first mindset,” Kelly said. “I would encourage Macomb County-based companies to take advantage of this new grant and the many other economic development resources available in Michigan to ensure they do not get left behind.”

Macomb County Planning and Economic Development was one of 10 nonprofit organizations and educational institutions across the state to receive the Regional Programming Grant from the MEDC. The grants are part of its larger Industry 4.0 initiative, which aims to drive 4.0 readiness in small and mid-sized manufacturers statewide and ensure that 50 percent  of Michigan manufacturers are prepared to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies at some level by 2025.

In addition to the $115,000 awarded to MCPED, the county will supply an $11,000 match to fund its efforts. The department will also work with several partners to ensure a wide reach for Macomb Next, including Automation Alley, the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), Lawrence Tech University, LIFT, Macomb Community College, the Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD), Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC), Oakland University, Wayne State University and The Velocity Center.

Collaborations of this level are important, as Macomb is home to a large number of manufacturing facilities and innovators, but it is also ready for additional investment. Currently there are more than 1,200 companies in Macomb that integrate design, prototyping, production and supply chain management to create shorter product development cycles and increased manufacturing efficiencies. Collectively, these organizations employ almost 40,000 highly-skilled workers across fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Through Macomb Next and its Industry 4.0 programming, county leaders want to set the stage for increasing those numbers and continuing job growth within the sector.

“These organizations create high tech and high demand jobs for our community, and when applied, Industry 4.0 practices provide a greater return on investment and future growth,” said Rowinski. “Macomb County is a manufacturing powerhouse, but in order to continue that level of prowess, our companies need to make investments in their talent, technology and operations. This sounds intimidating, but that’s why our department stands ready to help. We’re here to be the guides in this next evolution of industry.”

View the original article.

Chamber Advocacy In Detroit Leads to Improved River Protection Ordinance

Detroit City Council passed the Detroit River Protection Ordinance at the end of September, which changes Chapter 8 of the Detroit City Code on building construction and property maintenance along the Detroit River. The Chamber’s government relations team worked closely with multiple stakeholders, including businesses, the city council, and environmental groups to significantly streamline and improve the ordinance.

“From the introduction of the ordinance, the Chamber assembled a group of commercial stakeholders, ranging from bulk storage sites to residential, to help craft our proposed amendments that council implemented,” said Bernard Parker, director of Government Relations for the Chamber. “Council took a wide array of input, the ordinance improved throughout the process, and the Chamber appreciates the hard work that went into it.”

Confusing Provisions in the Original Introduced Water Protection Ordinance

  • All waterbody barriers must be registered
    • Exempt properties are public properties and one and two-family residential
  • Registration requires engineer reports and a fee
  • Establishes processes for sale and transfer of property on the waterfront
  • Requires regular inspections of the seawalls
  • Prescribes specific reporting guides for owners in the event of a breach

How Chamber Advocacy Streamlined the Process

  • Engage all members of the council with private meetings to discuss concerns
  • Engaged our environment and energy committee several times with meetings, letters, and informational sessions
  • Engaged the Detroit Building Safety Engineering and Environment Department (BSEED)
  • Formed workgroups with members and non-members to write letters, provide testimony to city council
  • Wrote two letters to outline important changes that would improve the ordinance

Important Changes Made by the Chamber to Improve Ordinance

Original Provision Chamber Amended Provision
Property owners must provide a report of land-use ownership history for the property extending to 1920 or first developed use. Amended this requirement to allow for flexibility. Owners need to provide this information that is easily accessible and relevant to seawall integrity.
Every two years, an inspection report by a licensed engineer is required. With proper documentation and maintenance inspections can be waived by BSEED.
Every five years, a geotechnical inspection is required for all seawalls. Amended to only apply to bulk storage sites and the inspections can be waived by BSEED.
Included definitions that are not in line with existing state and federal statutes. Amended to line up definitions with existing laws.
Vague in definitions in the original ordinance. More clearly defined a breach to include specifics of catastrophic events.
The reporting process was overly burdensome. Amended to be one notification to BSEED, who then takes care of the rest of the process.
All waterbody barriers were treated the same, regardless if they are a 200-year-old piece of wood or a state-of-the-art system developed last year. Amended reporting and inspection requirements to allow BSEED to determine if inspections are required.
BSEED was not capable of administering this ordinance due to staffing shortages. Amended to change effective date to July instead of April and worked with BSEED to ensure they have enough staff and to establish inspection guidelines.

Chamber COO Tammy Carnrike Featured in Forbes, Fortune, and Entrepreneur

The October Midwest print editions of Forbes, Fortune, and Entrepreneur feature a profile of Tammy Carnrike, chief operating officer for the Detroit Regional Chamber. The profile is part of a Leading Women in Business series that each magazine does, and it outlines the Chamber’s role in expanding economic prosperity, advancing Michigan’s signature automotive industry, and supporting racial justice and economic equity.