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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Downtown Northville hosting Buy Michigan Now Festival

Downtown Northville will host its 6th annual Buy Michigan Now Festival, Aug. 1-3 as part of the state’s Buy Michigan Week. This family-friendly event includes tasty treats, street vendors, live music, and children’s activities, all highlighting Michigan-based businesses and Michigan-made products. This year’s festival hours are noon to 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 1; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday Aug. 2 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday Aug. 3. Admission and parking are free. Main and Center streets are closed in the middle of downtown to make it easy to shop and dine, with live entertainment. The Northville Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Michigan Wine and Beer Garden. Visit www.buymichigannowfest.com/index.php/

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

College hosts Think Tank panel in Southfield for entrepreneurs

Think Tank 2014 Entrepreneur Event is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 6 at Southfield Learning Center, 26261 Evergreen Road, Ste 135, Southfield. Visit events.detroit@phoenix.edu.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Women in Communications mixing art and communication at Epiphany Studios

Discover how art infuses communications and how communications becomes livelier with art, as four leading local artists and communications pros share their perspective at the Association for Women in Communications (AWC) - Detroit chapter summer mixer on Tuesday, Aug. 5 at Epiphany Studios in Pontiac.
Speakers include world-renowned glass blowing artist and master marketer April Wagner, owner of Epiphany Studios; Nichole Christian, writer and co-author of “Canvas Detroit;” juried fiber artist Susan Weaver Schwandt, APR, director of public relations for HAP; and Sandra Xenakis, jewelry designer and founder/director of Art Meets Business.
The artists will discuss how art feeds their business side, balances their business skills with their craft, and communicates their passion. Guests will view art in a casual setting inside Epiphany Studios on the bank of the Clinton River. The aim is to inspire members and guests to make their communications projects livelier and their lives richer through art.
A leader in the Junior Council of the Detroit Institute of Arts and glass-blower for almost 20 years, Wagner’s Epiphany Studios is one of the largest private studios of its kind in the Midwest. Her work is shown in over 300 galleries worldwide, including GM, Pfizer, The Townsend Hotel, Hyatt Maui Resort, and The Four Seasons Resorts.
Christian’s new book “Canvas Detroit,” profiles 40 artists helping to revive public art in the city of Detroit. A Detroit native, she has worked for some of the nation’s top news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, the New York Times, and the Detroit Free Press.
The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with networking followed by a light supper and refreshments. The program begins at 7 p.m. The cost is $25 for AWC members, $35 for nonmembers, and $15 for students.
Recommended attire is light summer layers as glass blowing furnaces are on when idle. For more information or to register, visit www.womcomdetroit.org or call (866) 385-1784.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Concours d’Elegance returns to the Inn at St. John’s

One of the unique cars on display at the show is a 1952 Muntz Jet, valued at $250,000.
The Concours d’Elegance of America is Friday to Sunday, July 25-27 at The Inn at St. John’s, 44045 Five Mile Road, Plymouth. The 36th annual event includes two days of auto-related events leading up to the Concours d’Elegance on Sunday. The Sunday event is a world-class exhibition of classic, rare automobiles from different eras along with a vintage car auction.
One of the unique cars on display at the show is a 1952 Muntz Jet, created and built by Earl “Madman” Muntz along with the Muntz TV. Kevin Adell, Word Network and WADL CEO is the owner of the car that is valued at $250,000. Only 300 Muntz Jets were built and today there are only 25 left in the world. The Muntz Jet was built with a Cadillac Motor and is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 150 mph, which was quite an accomplishment 60 years ago.
Tickets for the Sunday event, which runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., start at $25. This includes free parking, shuttle and program book.
Children 12 and under get in free with a paying adult. Special VIP passes with onsite parking are available. A portion of the proceeds benefits Yatooma’s Foundation For The Kids, with the mission to help children who have lost a parent.
Visit www.concoursusa.org.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Protect your assets in your online hereafter

Submitted by Ginny Grimsley of News and Experts of Wesley Chapel, FL

Asset Protection Lawyer Offers 3 Steps to Take Now
Now, you really can live forever, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Many of your online accounts – from automatic bill payments to eBay – may remain active after you pass away, unless you take steps to ensure they don’t, says attorney Hillel Presser, author of “Financial Self-Defense (Revised Edition),
www.assetprotectionattorneys.com.
Automatic bill pay, for example, can theoretically keep tapping your bank account long after you’re gone or, at least, until your money is.
“It’s important to make sure your online bank and shopping accounts, even your social media, can be closed out, or that your loved ones are authorized to access them,” Presser says. “You may ask, ‘Why would I care if I’m gone?’ I can tell you from experience: because it can create real headaches, and more heartache, for your family.”
Bank and shopping accounts will be vulnerable to identity theft, which would affect your estate if someone opens credit cards in your name. You might have valuable intellectual property, like domain names. They may need access to your health records, particularly if you died under questionable circumstances, he says.
There’s the sentimental stuff – photos and emails -- that your family may want as a remembrance of you, and the libraries of music and ebooks, which may represent a considerable investment on your part.
Presser offers these tips:

• Create a list of all of your accounts, including log-in names, passwords, and answers to any security questions. Obviously, your list will need to be securely stored. Since you’ll need to update it regularly as you add accounts or change passwords, it will be easiest if you keep the list on your computer in a password-protected folder. Some versions of Windows allow you to create protected folders, but you may need to get third-party software to do this, such as freeAxCrypt. Remember to create a backup of your list, whether it’s on a jump drive or printed out on paper. Store the backup in a secure place such as a safe deposit box. Do not put password information in your will, which is a public document.
• If you have a Google account, set up the new inactive account manager. In May 2013, Google became the first site to give users an option for choosing what becomes of their content if they should become debilitated or die. Under the profile button, click “Account,” scroll down to “Account Management,” and you’ll find instructions for “Control what happens to your account when you stop using Google.” You can select how long the account should be inactive before your plans are set into motion; choose to whom you want to offer content, such as YouTube videos, Gmail, Google+ posts, Blogger and Picasa web albums, or whether it should simply be deleted.
• Appoint a digital executor. Perhaps the simplest way to ensure your online life is taken care of is to appoint a digital executor – a tech-savvy person who will be willing and able to carry out your wishes. Authorize the person to access your inventory of log-in information and spell out what you want done with each account, whether it’s providing access to loved ones or business partners, or deleting it.
The digital world has grown and transformed so rapidly, the law hasn’t kept up, which makes managing your digital afterlife challenging, Presser says.
“Until there are more consistent laws and procedures governing this area, it’s best to plan ahead, leave clear instructions and be sure you have a list of accounts where your estate lawyer or a loved one can find it and access it,” he says. “It will make a world of difference to your survivors.”

Hillel L. Presser’s firm, The Presser Law Firm, P.A., represents individuals and businesses in establishing comprehensive asset protection plans. Presser is a graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Management and Nova Southeastern University’s law school, and serves on Nova’s President’s Advisory Council. He is a former adjunct faculty member for law at Lynn University. For more information, visit www.assetprotectionattorneys.com.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Oakland County and Schoolcraft College help local businesses pursue government contracts

Oakland County’s One Stop Shop Business Center will soon be offering free counseling services that can help businesses interested in obtaining government contracts at the local, state and federal levels.
Schoolcraft College’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) will open a satellite office in the One Stop Shop Business Center to counsel businesses interested in learning how to obtain government contracts for goods and services. The center is located on the first floor of the Executive Office Building, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township.
“Our One Stop Shop Business Center is a valuable asset for startup and second-stage businesses looking to improve their bottom line,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Adding PTAC’s expertise to the many services we already offer makes it that much more convenient for businesses who want to learn the ins and outs of obtaining government contracts.”
A PTAC counselor will be in the center every Wednesday, meeting with scheduled clients in the morning and with walk-in clients from 1-3 p.m., said center Supervisor Greg Doyle. Morning appointments can be scheduled by calling PTAC at 734-462-4438.
PTAC was created by Congress in 1985 to expand the number of businesses capable of participating in the government marketplace. Services include: Orientation to government contracting; One-on-one counseling; Training seminars and conferences (which may require a nominal fee to attend) and State of Michigan bid notices.
PTAC also has a satellite office at Automation Alley in Troy.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Waterford Chamber hosting luncheon to discuss Proposal 1

The Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce will host a luncheon, Wednesday, July 16, at Bartelli’s, 100 S. Cass Lake Road, Waterford Township. The luncheon is intended to help business owners and citizens understand Proposal 1 which will be on Michigan ballots, Aug. 5.
The measure would “reduce the state use tax and replace (it) with a local community stabilization share of the tax for the purpose of modernizing the tax system to help small businesses grow and create jobs in Michigan,” according to the ballot language.
Jerry Grubb, Small Business Association of Michigan board member and owner of Wee Discover Child Daycare and Learning Center of Waterford along with Tricia Kinley, senior director of Tax and Regulatory Reform from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce will share the facts about this proposal.
The cost is $18, which includes lunch. RSVP required at www.waterfordchamber.org or call 248-666-8600.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

CoStaff Services and UHY to host healthcare reform seminars

Southfield-based CoStaff Services, a human resource provider and UHY LLP CPA firm will be hosting two free Health Care Reform Seminars, “How the ACA Will Impact Your Company This Year,” for employers with 50 or more employees in metro Detroit.
CoStaff Services and UHY LLP will host 90-minute seminars and webinars that will help large employers navigate through the complex issue of Health Care Reform legislation. Two dates to choose from: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 17 and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 25.

Both seminars will be held at The Skyline Club, 2000 Town Center, Suite #2800, Southfield. There is no cost to attend the event, and lunch will be provided for all seminar attendees.CoStaff will provide “Go To Meeting” Webinar login information for those who wish to access the seminar remotely. To register, contact CoStaff at humanresources@costaffservices.com or 248-671-1400. Visit www.costaffservices.com.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Recycling on the cheap

Our country was a little slow to jump on the recycling bandwagon and we may have started out with the wrong idea. Charging people to recycle is counter-effective to what is best for the environment. My waste hauler, Smith's Disposal & Recycling of Clarkston started out charging a nominal fee in addition to the regular trash fee. Now they just charge a one-time fee of $10 to new customers for recycling. At $69 for three months, I think it's a bargain to have my waste and recycling picked up from my curb every week.
But curbside recycling is limited.
With my waste hauler, there is an extra charge for items such as a dryer. However, if I put a dryer out at the curb a couple days before trash day, it is gone within a day. Presumably the scrappers, (Mad Max style), have spotted it and picked it up to sell for scrap at one of the numerous scrap recycling locations that have sprung up in the area.
I prefer to drop off my newspaper recycling at the nearby school's Abitibi Paper Retriever recycling bin. The school earns a little money and the papers stay dry. For a location near you, visit www.paperretriever.com/
Safe Harbor Recycling of Ortonville hosts recycling events in the Oakland County area. Safe Harbor provides recycling for hard-to-recycle items, (anything with a plug) and also offers free pick up for appliances.
Ace Hardware accepts alkaline batteries and CFL (compact flourescent) light bulbs.
Batteries Plus recycles batteries, light bulbs, cell phones and laptops.
Best Buy accepts electronics to recycle. They accept most TVs, monitors and projectors. They don't accept console TVs or projection screen TVs.
Radio Shack has Call2Recycle for recycling of certain batteries and electronics. It does not accept alkaline, non-rechargeable lithium or wet-cell batteries.

For more items and where to recycle, visit www.earth911.com/


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Oakland County Business Center workshops slated

Business owners and entrepreneurs are invited to attend Oakland County Business Center seminars. Unless otherwise noted, all work shops are held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, west of Telegraph, in Waterford Township. Visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/businessworkshops or call 248-858-0783 to register.
• Walk-In-Start-Up Thursdays is 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Thursday. Walk In Start Up Thursdays Small Business counseling initiative is for individuals who want to launch a business but don’t know where to begin. They will receive confidential, one-on-one advice from an experienced business consultant with no appointment necessary. There is no fee. Walk-in sessions are available on a first come, first served basis and each session is limited to 15 minutes.
• CEED Small Business Loan Orientation is 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 9 at Farmington Hills City Hall Community Room, 31555 W. 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills. The workshop covers the requirements and process necessary to apply for and obtain a Small Business Loan. (CEED is Center for Empowerment and Economic Development). This workshop is free, but registration is required.
• Break the Rules, Close More Sales is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, July 10. A business development workshop about how to establish trust with your prospects, prospect more efficiently, shorten the sales cycle, eliminate stalls and objection, take control of the sales process, and differentiate your company. Registration is required. This workshop is $40 per person.
• Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion is 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, July 16. Business Research shows you ways to find your ideal customers, your competitors, perform competitive analysis and more. This workshop is free, but registration is required.
• Get a Grip on Your Business, EOS Workshop is 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, July 17. Mike Kotsis, a professional EOS implementer, can help business leaders and teams simplify, clarify and achieve their vision. Registration is required. The cost is $40 per person.
• Legal Basics for Small Business is 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, July 29. The program addresses how to select the best type of legal structure for a business, how to protect business interests when dealing with customers, suppliers or independent contractors and guidelines for establishing short and long term succession plans. The cost is $20 per person, registration is preferred, but payable at the door.