The Oakland County area has an abundance of opportunities for existing businesses and new ventures.
When the going gets rough, the entrepreneurial spirit gets creative and resourceful.
The Oakland Press has gathered upcoming events, news and links to help business owners and professionals succeed.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Small Business Saturday reminds shoppers to keep it local



Black Friday might be more accurately called "Big Business Friday," as chain and department stores compete for shoppers, with price cuts and deals on the same products. The following day belongs to small businesses, many of which offer unique items not found in big box stores.  
The fifth annual Small Business Saturday is Nov. 29.  To help encourage more neighborhood participation, American Express partnered with national advocacy organizations to recruit Neighborhood Champions in more than 2,000 communities. The champions served as ambassadors, organizing Small Business Saturday events in their neighborhoods. Visit ShopSmall.com

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Entry deadline extended for Oakland County 40 under 40

The deadline for nominations for the Oakland County Executive's Elite 40 under 40 Class of 2015 has been extended until 5 p.m. Dec. 3. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson started the program in 2012 to honor young professionals and thought leaders who excel in their field and have demonstrated dynamic leadership.
To submit a candidate and view information about rules and prizes, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/Elite40. Nominees must live or work in Oakland County to be eligible. A panel of judges will review all completed applications and reduce the number to the top 40 entrants. Of that group, three candidates who scored the highest will be placed before the public for an online vote to determine the winner. The winner will introduce Patterson at his State of the County address on Feb. 5.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Walsh College hosting small business expo on Novi campus

The 2014 Small Business Conference and Expo is 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 12 at Walsh College in Novi. The theme of this year’s event is “Celebrating Diversity with Michigan Entrepreneurs.” The event will feature 24 breakout sessions, 40 exhibitors and resources for business owners. Representatives will be on hand from the Small Business Administration, SCORE, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Women’s Foundation and Comerica Bank. The recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award,” John W. Barfield, will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon. This event is open to the public. Registration is $39 and includes breakfast and lunch. Register at www.semea.info or call 248-491-3146.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Consumer sentiment highest in 7 years

Consumer confidence rose to its highest level since July 2007, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.
"Consumers have been gradually regaining their economic footing in the past several months, with confidence rising to the highest level since the start of the Great Recession," said Richard Curtin, director of the surveys.
The third consecutive monthly gain, October's increase was due to improved personal finances as well as a more favorable outlook for the overall economy, according to Curtin.
Nearly six-in-ten consumers reported that the economy had recently improved, the most positive rating in more than ten years. When asked about the economic outlook for the year ahead, 45 percent expected good times financially, up from just 28 percent a year earlier.
What the survey did not find was any negative impact on confidence from the global economic slowdown, military conflicts, or Ebola. None of these issues was mentioned by more than a few respondents; instead, respondents emphasized improved wage and employment prospects due to a stronger economy. Gains in holiday spending are expected to be the best in several years, benefitting from higher confidence as well as falling gas prices at the pump.
In the September and October surveys, more households expected income gains than any time in the last six years--since September of 2008. The Sentiment Index was 86.9 in the October 2014 survey, up from 84.6 in September and 73.2 last October.
The Surveys, conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research, monitor consumer attitudes and expectations. Each month, 500 individuals are randomly selected from the contiguous United States to participate.
For more information, visit press.sca.isr.umich.edu