Race car on track
Alex Bowman’s Chevrolet Camaro will feature an Ally-Detroit Pistons paint scheme this weekend at MIS. // Rendering courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Ally and Detroit Pistons-themed Stock Car to be Unveiled Friday in Detroit

NASCAR Cup driver Alex Bowman will be at the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center in Detroit from 4-6 p.m. Friday to unveil the Ally and Pistons-themed paint scheme his No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro will sport for this weekend’s for the FireKeepers Casino 400 Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn.

Bowman will be joined by his crew chief, Blake Harris, and former Super Bowl champion Bernard Pollard for a crossover marketing event involving racing and basketball.

The crossover will begin with basketball coaching from Pistons Mascot Hooper followed by a head-to-head round of “A-L-L-Y” (Ally’s version of the basketball shooting game H-O-R-S-E). After the basketball lesson, Bowman, Harris, and Pollard will unveil the race car, explain nuances of the car, and see if Hooper can fit into the cockpit.

SBAM Launches News Service to Help Small Businesses with Employee Retention Credit

The Small Business Association of Michigan in Lansing has launched a new service to help small businesses gain best-in-class access to Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) tax refunds that can bring small businesses up to $26,000 per qualified employee.

The ERC is a refundable tax credit. SBAM has partnered with two vendors, Occams Advisory and CLRA Group, to help members apply for and receive the ERTC.

“SBAM wants to ensure that our members can take advantage of all the tax credits that they deserve, which can make a big difference to a company’s bottom line,” says Michelle Beebe, chief revenue officer at SBAM. “The Employee Retention Credit could bring small businesses huge returns, especially since it can be retroactively applied for, and we’re proud to have partnered with Occams Advisory and CLRA Group to extend application help to our members.”

SBAM’s approved partners will help SBAM members apply for ERC while strictly adhering to the complex set of laws and regulations that govern ERTC eligibility and filing. Eligible businesses can claim ERTC retroactively for the period March 13, 2020-Sept. 30, 2021. 2021 Q4 ERTC is available for recovery start-ups (businesses that commenced operations after Feb. 15, 2020).

For more information, visit here.

Washtenaw Community College Named Nursing Center of Excellence

Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor has been named a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing, the only community college and one of just nine nursing programs nationwide to earn the honor this year.

Centers of Excellence are named based on measurable demonstration of sustained excellence in faculty development, nursing education research, student learning, professional development, and academic progression in nursing.

“This prestigious national designation offers a lifetime career boost for our students,” says Rose B. Bellanca, president of WCC “We are honored that the dedication and hard work of WCC’s nursing faculty and staff, along with our exceptional nursing program, are recognized by the National League for Nursing.”

The value of being educated in a Center of Excellence extends beyond the quality of patient care delivered by graduates. The recognition also will benefit students with future employers and educational institutions where they may transfer to earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

WCC’s nursing program began in 1992 and now graduates about 120 nurses each year. The college maintains transfer partnerships with the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, and many graduates continue their education to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The majority of graduates become employed within the community at various types of health care facilities.

WCC also was designated as a national Nursing Center of Excellence in 2018.

Tickets Available for Southwest Solutions’ 51st Annual Celebration of Impact Fundraiser

The Detroit-based nonprofit Southwest Solutions will host its annual Celebration of Impact fundraiser at 6 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn.

The gala commemorates Southwest Solutions’ mission of service, the importance of philanthropy, as well as its commitment to improving lives and neighborhoods throughout southwest Detroit. The nonprofit also will present select community members with the Clement Kern Awards for Social Impact. The 2023 recipients include:

  • William Pickard, an entrepreneur with over 50 years of experience in Detroit who has served on numerous business and nonprofit boards.
  • Laura Chavez-Wazeerud-Din, a 20-year volunteer with Southwest Solutions who devotes her time to spreading resources about health, financial literacy, business basics and education.

“Southwest Solutions has long focused on improving equity in health, housing, and wealth for individuals and families throughout southwest Detroit,” says Sean de Four, president and CEO of Southwest Solutions. “It’s an honor to commemorate this journey alongside our community and we’re delighted to honor the incredible people who have devoted their lives to securing Detroit’s bright future.”

Tickets are available for purchase starting at $300 and include dinner, access to the museum, and an opportunity to bid on exclusive auction items benefiting Southwest Solutions. Multiple sponsorship opportunities also are available with packages ranging from $1,000 to $100,000.

Celebration of Impact is sponsored by Edw. C. Levy Co., Fifth Third Bank, Henry Ford III, Emily Ford, and Detroit businessman and philanthropist Robert Thompson.

For sponsorship information, contact Laura LeBlanc at 734-672-1363 or lleblanc@swsol.org.

For more information on Southwest Solutions programs and services, visit swsol.org.

Two Boyne Resorts Restaurants Earn Wine Spectator Awards

Two of Boyne Resorts’ Michigan restaurants have been honored for their wine programs in Wine Spectator’s 2023 Restaurant Awards, which celebrate the world’s best restaurants for wine.

The Main Dining Room at The Highlands in Harbor Springs and the Vintage Chophouse | Wine Bar located at the Inn at Bay Harbor both received Awards of Excellence recognizing restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style.

The awards recognized winners from all 50 states in the U.S. and more than 70 countries.

“We’re proud to be listed amongst the world’s best restaurants to enjoy wine,” says Bryan Banfield, sommelier and director of food and beverage for The Highlands. “Our wine list of over 180 bottles and growing is hand-curated with focus on estate wines, and pairings to match our cuisine.

“We’re also really focused on creating high-level experiences for our guests. We’re securing wine verticals and rare wines like Domaine Romanee-Conti and have a passionate and knowledgeable team who loves wine with five managers having received formal training through the Court of Master Sommeliers.”

Vintage’s wine director and restaurant manager Jamison Cronk says his wine program stands out for its diversity, focus on small producers, regional representation, thoughtful pairing suggestions, inclusivity in pricing, and sustainability.

“We pride ourselves on a diverse selection of wines from around the world,” says Cronk. “We highlight the best of American wine regions, while also offering an extensive international selection.

“We like to showcase small producers highlighting commitment to quality and craftsmanship, and sourcing vintage wines to allow our guests to enjoy mature wines and evolution of flavors over time. And a focus on sustainable and organic practices is also at the forefront as Vintage grows the number of wines from producers who adhere to sustainable, organic, and biodynamic farming practices.”

To review the complete list of award winners, visit WineSpectator.com.

State Appropriates $10M to Habitat for Humanity of Michigan

The state of Michigan has appropriated $10 million for Habitat for Humanity of Michigan’s (HFHM) efforts grow homeownership opportunities.

These funds will make homeownership attainable and affordable for more hardworking families earning 80 percent and below the median income, according to the organization. This is the first direct appropriation from the state of Michigan in HFHM’s 30-year history.

“At a time where families are facing more barriers to homeownership, HFHM is incredibly grateful to the Michigan Legislature and Gov. Whitmer for their investment in affordable homeownership opportunities for hardworking families across the state,” says John Williams, president and CEO of HFHM. “We are excited to build on this work with the Legislature to support local affiliates across Michigan and their partners to create innovative ways to put God’s love into action by ensuring that all Michiganders have a safe, decent, affordable place to call home.”

Habitat for Humanity of Michigan is one of the largest state networks in the nation, with an affiliate serving almost every county. HFHM supports these affiliates by recruiting volunteers, capacity building, and advocating for safe and affordable housing. Through volunteers’ work and kindness, affiliates build and preserve hundreds of houses for Michigan families annually. HFHM also coordinates learning conferences and training opportunities to unite the network and ensure affiliates use the latest developments in building sciences, volunteer recruitment, and more.

For more information, visit habitatmichigan.org.

Forgotten Harvest Welcomes Three New Board Members

Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park has elected three new members to its board of directors — Kurt Kissling, Cinnamon A. Plonka, and Reanne Yuk Mui Lani Young — who will serve through June 30, 2026.

“I’m honored to welcome our three newly elected board members,” says Adrian Lewis, CEO of Forgotten Harvest. “Their experience, knowledge, accomplishments, and insights will help Forgotten Harvest strive to achieve its mission and vision — strengthening our positive impact for the people we serve in the community. Our shared commitment to sustainable solutions and community empowerment is stronger than ever, and it’s a privilege to have these exceptional individuals join us on this journey.”

Kissling, of Royal Oak, is an environmental attorney and partner at Warner Norcross + Judd. He has decades of experience in all matters related to the Clean Air Act and its state and local counterparts. Regional and national clients across a variety of industries rely on his expertise to address complex air and waste matters that impact their operations.

Plonka, of Detroit, is a litigator and shareholder at Zausmer in Farmington Hills and Grand Rapids. Plonka earned her undergraduate degree in social work from Eastern Michigan University and a law degree from the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in Lansing. Plonka is also the past president of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Michigan and current board member of the Eastern Michigan University Foundation.

Young, of Troy, is a counselor, and diversity, equity, and inclusion lead, and belonging practitioner and psychological consultant at The Roeper School in Bloomfield Hills. In her practice, she’s focused on cultivating safe and brave spaces; collaborative, transparent, and transformative problem-solving; holistic approaches to student well-being and belonging; discovery and design of programming and curriculum; and support and advocacy for individuals and communities of color.