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Detroit companies get brand exposure at SXSW festival

It's too early to say yet, but the brand exposure for Metro Detroit companies, plus the MEDC's booth at SXSW, could pay big dividends in terms of sales and attracting more young professionals to Michigan.

Excerpt:

"The crush of people, brands and bands at the  South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, creates brand exposure, and this year Detroit companies, musicians, attorneys and advertising agencies were there to capitalize on the opportunity...

Joe McClure, co-owner of Detroit-based  McClure's Pickles, said he was asked by San Francisco-based Internet lodging site  Airbnb  to provide a palette, 60 cases, of its Bloody Mary mix to serve during SXSW for free....

Leslie Hornung, senior vice president of marketing, communications  and public relations for the  Michigan Economic Development Corp., said the MEDC spent about $200,000 from its business attraction campaign to have a booth on the conference floor during the technology-focused days at SXSW. 

Hornung said more than 1,000 young professionals visited the MEDC exhibit, many of whom were interested in learning about working in Detroit."

More here.

Atlantic Cities catches wind of Detroit Drone's new technology

Much more than a fly-by-night operation, Detroit Drone has some neat new technology that could become a powerful force in public service.

Excerpt:

"When government officials in Detroit gathered to celebrate the demolition of the  Brewster-Douglass housing projects  downtown last week, they were joined by a few drones.

One belonged to Harry Arnold, a local drone enthusiast who's turned his long-held interests in videography and radio-controlled helicopters  into a marketable service  (he runs the company Detroit Drone now)....

He wants drones to become part of the typical fire-fighting experience, capturing images humans can't get near and providing ground commanders an aerial view they otherwise wouldn't have. Just last week, Arnold was invited out to  film a hazmat training session  in the city, showing response crews what it would be like to have an extra layer of technology in the case of something like a chemical fire.

Arnold is optimistic his vision will become reality soon. "It's a technology that can have a public service," he says. "It has a chance to save lives."

More here.


Detroit-filmed movie, "Misled," to premiere at Florida film festival

A new Metro Detroit-made flick will be under the marquee lights at a Florida film fest this weekend.

Excerpt:

"Misled" is to screen Saturday at the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa.

"Misled" is the debut feature of Detroit-based film company J Squared Productions.

The movie stars Detroit native Jonathan Stanley, who also is its co-writer and producer. It's a story about growing up on the streets of Detroit, based largely on Stanley's life, including him dropping out of high school and working as a stripper.

More here.

Students, recent grads invited to Live.Work.Detroit career event on March 28

The Live.Work.Detroit career event on Friday, March 28 looks to be a promising lead for students and new grads looking to pump up their job prospects. It's from 2:00-8:00 p.m.  at the Garden Theater in Detroit.

Excerpt:

"The  March 28  event is being co-hosted by D:hive and MEDC. Participating students will have the opportunity to network with a wide range of Detroit employers including Detroit Medical Center, Playworks, Quicken Loans, American Axle, and Shinola, among others. The event will include keynote speaker Marlowe Stoudamire from the Skillman Foundation, a panel discussion with some of Detroit’s young leaders from Detroit Young Professionals, Challenge Detroit and ChalkFly, networking, and a tour of some of the exciting small businesses, restaurants, museums, and affordable places to live.

Registration is required; cost is $15. The registration fee covers all activities including transportation, dinner and the tour of the city."

For more info and to register, click here.



Local breweries and meaderies get in on the next hot drink: Iced cider

After an icy cold winter, is ice cider the next magic elixir for Metro Detroit brewers and cider makers?

Excerpt:

"If there's anything most of us are tired of this winter, it's bone-chilling cold. It's enough to drive you to drink. 

Literally. Because frigid weather is just what some enterprising artisans need to make a dessert wine that has been showing up on trendy tables and menus...

...Maine,  New York,  Michigan, and  Washington  are starting to ride the ice cider wave, too. The question is not whether they have enough apples. The real test will be whether they have enough ice."

More here.

Click here for the full Michigan list, which includes Ferndale's B. Nektar Meadery, Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. in Warren, Motor City Brewing Works in Detroit, and the Northville Winery in Northville.

Detroit ranks no. 15 on national list of apartment boom towns

If you're looking to rent or build a rental property in Detroit, the gold rush is on. 

Excerpt:

"The conditions are right for rental housing in general and apartments in particular to remain popular for a while, said housing expert John McIlwain, senior resident fellow at the  Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit land-use research and education group.

“Housing prices are going to go up, and credit remains tight,” he said.

At the same time, unemployment remains relatively high for people in their 20s and 30s, and many of them are burdened with student debt, McIlwain added. So, many people are delaying buying homes. Meanwhile, construction costs are rising.

“The big challenge to industry is to provide rental housing at prices that middle-income people can afford,” he said.

That’s why, when we wanted to determine America’s Top 15 Apartment Boom Towns, we included a measure of affordability. We also looked at indicators of apartment availability, economic growth and population growth for the 100 most populated metro areas in the U.S.; the data covered 2009 to 2013, depending on the category."

More here.

Metro Detroit home prices up 34% year-over-year

Home-buyers in the tri-county area this spring will have to reach a little deeper into their checkbooks, if price increases reported through the end of February are any indication.

Excerpt:

"The median selling price of metro Detroit homes grew 34 percent year-over-year to $107,000 in February, marking the 12th straight month of double-digit growth, according to data released Monday by Realcomp."

More here.

Michigan has one of nation's largest unemployment rate drops in January

The job outlook is looking better all the time. Michigan fared better in its drop in the unemployment rate than most of the U.S., with the rate dropping .5% from Dec. 2013 to Jan. 2014, and 1.1% year-over-year.

Excerpt:

"The jobless rate fell significantly in 19 states, with the biggest declines in Louisiana, Michigan and Tennessee. Louisiana's slid to 4.9% from 5.4%; Michigan's, to 7.8% from 8.3%..."

More here.

Inc. magazine recognizes firm that bucked downward trend in Michigan real-estate

A local title agency focused on the principle that small service is better service, and Inc. magazine took note.

Excerpt:

"Monte Reinert is in the real estate business. What's more, he's in the real estate business in Michigan, where home prices have fallen about 60 percent since 2006. Yet his company,Transnation Title Agency of Michigan, has more than doubled its workforce in the last five years, grown revenues to $13 million, and continues to poach customers from big-name competitors."

More here.

Forecast 2022: Where the nation's best jobs will be

Employment sector trends are mapped out in this interesting article that forecasts where the nation's plum jobs will be. By 2022, the creative class will become an increasingly larger share of the job market in Metro Detroit.

Excerpt:

"...Between 2012 and 2022, the U.S. will add 15.6 million new jobs, according to BLS projections, with the overall workforce growing by 10.8 percent from 145 to 161 million. Of these, 5.6 million will be high-wage, creative class positions. The creative class will grow by 12.5 percent, the highest rate of all groups...

By 2022, blue-collar jobs will make up less and less of the workforce in the old industrial heartland – 19 percent in Buffalo; 21 percent in Pittsburgh; and 21 percent in Detroit."

More here

Sign up for the 2014 Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge

If you're an entrepreneur geared towards forming your business to serve a good cause, take heed and register for the Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge. 

Excerpt:

"The  Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge  invites individuals and teams to submit plans for an emerging idea or existing venture with a sustainable solution to a clearly defined social problem in areas including, but not limited to, chronic unemployment, health and nutrition, the environment, urban revitalization, and education. Participants will compete for more than $60,000 in prizes. Competition finalists will be granted admission to Michigan Corps’ Impact Investment Fellowship, a four-month training institute to ready top social entrepreneurs for investment at and above the $50,000 level.

...Applicants will be eligible to attend online classes, neighborhood tours, and networking events to support the development of their submission before the  May 30, 2014  deadline. A statewide Social Entrepreneurship Showcase & Summit Event will take place in June to announce winners and celebrate social innovation across Michigan."

Click here for more info and to register.

How to make Michigan a top-shelf travel destination

The Pure Michigan campaign just released its latest state tourism figures, and there has been a year-over-year upturn in visitation and spending from 2012 to 2013. Tourism had a $1.2 billion economic impact in 2013. In light of this, Free Press columnist Tom Walsh opines on what Michigan should be capitalizing on.

Excerpt:

"Eight years after the brilliant Pure Michigan campaign rescued the state’s tourism brand from irrelevance, it’s now time to ask: How does Michigan step up from middle-of-the-pack to become a truly top-tier destination for travelers?

Think food, farms, wineries and craft beer for starters. And think about appealing to China and Toronto and Britain and Germany.

That’s what more than 1,000 attendees at the annual Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism will be talking about in Traverse City, starting today. Prior to the opening reception tonight at the Grand Traverse resort, attendees were offered an optional wine-tasting tour of three nearby wineries. It sold out quickly, at $50 a pop.

"Travelers today are more interested in experiences than things," said Sarah Nicholls, a Michigan State University professor and co-author of the annual Michigan tourism outlook to be presented Monday at the conference." 

More here

And read the Pure Michigan report here

Farmington Hills-based Kybba makes Inc. "Build 100" list

Just out: Inc. magazine's list of companies that have consistently upped their headcounts every year, recession or not. IT and staffing firm Kybba is one of the very few that did so.

Excerpt:

"We began the Build 100 project by collecting  data  on more than 100,000 U.S. midmarket companies (those with 85 to 999 employees). We then looked at how many increased head count in every year from 2007 to 2012. Remarkably, fewer than 1.5 percent of the companies met that standard...We focused on head count rather than revenue because we found that increased hiring is more predictive of future sustained growth, and that’s what this project is all about."

More here.

Wallet Hub says Detroit is tops in nation for home-buying power & industrial variety

Detroit ranked 38th best out of America's 60 largest cities to find a job, beating out heavies like Chicago and New York. While there's plenty of room to keep powering up the job prospects, Detroit took the top spots in the categories of annual home-buying power and most industrial variety. 

Excerpt:

"More than 100 million people have moved within the past five years, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and 48% of unemployed individuals have picked up their roots in search of a job over that timeframe.   This societal mobility stands to be a major asset for job seekers as the economy improves.   In fact, 2014 is expected to be a strong year for hiring, with 27% of employers planning to hire, according to the  National Association for Business Economics, and a projected 8% bump in the number of recent college graduates who land jobs, per the  National Association for Colleges and Employers."

More here.

New office building construction, mixed-use projects on rise in Metro Detroit

After the demise of new developments during the recession, blueprints for major construction projects are getting the green light again throughout the Detroit region. Crain's Detroit has a regional survey of what's in the pipeline.

Excerpt:

"There are 23 proposed industrial construction projects of 100,000 square feet or more in metro Detroit, according to CoStar. 

"Fifteen to 20 percent of our business is now construction money," said Dennis Bernard, founder and president of commercial mortgage broker Southfield-based  Bernard Financial Group Inc.  "It was never that big."

...In addition to new office construction, several major mixed-use projects are also on the horizon, many of them in the city of Detroit.

There is the redevelopment, also by Redico, and the  Magic Plus LLC  investment group of the former  Michigan State Fairgrounds  site at 8 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, a mixed-use project valued at about $150 million."

More here.
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