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Small Business Spotlight

Detroit and Southeast Michigan's premier business news and information.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Detroit Rising podcast: Shri Thanedar wants to replace 'corporate welfare' with small biz incubators

Ann Arbor businessman Shri Thanedar, a Democratic candidate for governor, talks with Crain's Senior Reporter Chad Livengood about his plan gut "corporate welfare" tax incentive programs, invest in small business incubators and seek $30 billion in new state debt for investments in roads, bridges, underground infrastructure and schools. Thanedar is running in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary against former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing and Abdul El-Sayed, the former Detroit city health department director.

15mins

26 Jun 2018

Rank #1

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Detroit Rising: High-rise Midtown condos at The Mid could approach $1 million

Emery Matthews, co-founder of Real Estate Interests LLC, and his firm's managing director, Damon Jordan, talked with Crain's Senior Editor Chad Livengood at Detroit Homecoming on the "Detroit Rising" podcast about their brokerage work on The Mid high-rise mixed-use complex planned for 3750 Woodward Ave. in Midtown. Matthews said the 30-story tower will include a hotel and 51 condos at the top, some of which could reach $1 million in cost.

19mins

26 Sep 2019

Rank #2

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Detroit Rising podcast: Whitmer vows to ban auto insurance redlining, stop 'raid' on school funding

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer discusses her agenda for Detroit and broader plans for Michigan should she be elected the state's next governor. She vows to stop a $750 million "raid" on the state's School Aid Fund for K-12 schools to provide money for public universities and community colleges.

15mins

16 Jul 2018

Rank #3

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Detroit Rising podcast: Detroit Vegan Soul owners eye statewide expansion

Kirsten Ussery, co-owner of Detroit Vegan Soul, and JPMorgan Chase bank executive Peter Scher talk with Crain's Senior Reporter Chad Livengood about JPMorgan Chase's Entrepreneurs of Color Fund and how the vegan restaurant used the loan fund to open its second location on Detroit's northwest side.

15mins

22 Jan 2019

Rank #4

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Detroit Rising: Detroit's broadband haves and have nots

At the Detroit Digital Inclusion Summit event on Oct. 7 in TechTown, Crain's Senior Editor Chad Livengood talked with four IT professionals about Detroit's digital divide between the greater downtown and the city's neighborhoods. The guests on this episode of Detroit Rising include: Joshua Edmonds, director of digital inclusion for the City of Detroit Katrina Turnbow, Google Digital Coach and founder and CEO of Kanopi Social consulting agency Samantha Schartman-Cycyk, founder and CEO of Connected Insights Karlos Harris, co-founder of the Detroit School of Digital Technology

33mins

10 Oct 2019

Rank #5

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Detroit Rising podcast: Steve Tobocman on how immigrants can fill Michigan's talent gaps

Steve Tobocman, executive director of Global Detroit, discusses how foreign-born immigrants have helped stem Detroit and Michigan's population loses in recent years and how more highly-educated immigrants could fill the state's workforce shortages.

19mins

17 Mar 2019

Rank #6

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Detroit Rising: Chasing medical fraud in Michigan's no-fault auto insurance system

John Hohmeier, an insurance industry defense attorney at Scarfone & Geen in Madison Heights, talks with Crain's Senior Reporter Chad Livengood about the fraudulent claims he sees in Michigan's unlimited medical coverage under the 1973 no-fault auto insurance law.

23mins

14 May 2019

Rank #7

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Detroit Rising: Canadian consul general talks Enbridge Line 5, trade and Gordie Howe bridge work

Joe Comartin, Canada's consul general in Detroit, sat down with Crain's Senior Editor Chad Livengood to discuss his country's concerns about attempts by Michigan politicians to shut down Enbridge Energy's Line 5 oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac, the status of trade negotiations between the U.S. and Canada and the outlook for early construction work on the long-planned Gordie Howe International Bridge.

23mins

27 Jun 2019

Rank #8

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Detroit Rising: Should Michigan more closely regulate auto insurance companies, premiums?

Michigan's no-fault auto insurance law allows insurance carriers to "file and use" their rates with little oversight by the state. In this week's segment of the Crain's "Detroit Rising" podcast, senior reporter Chad Livengood talks with insurance industry researcher Doug Heller, who has studied Michigan's law for the Coalition to Protect Auto No-Fault.

22mins

5 Apr 2019

Rank #9

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Detroit Rising: Bob Thompson and Jalen Rose talk education with Tonya Allen at Detroit Homecoming

At the last day of Detroit Homecoming VI, charter school philanthropist Bob Thompson, Danielle Jackson from Thompson's University Prep schools and charter school founder Jalen Rose talked with Skillman Foundation CEO Tonya Allen about their work in improving Detroit's public education system. Thompson, a road-building magnate, talked about the network of charter schools he founded in Detroit.

27mins

23 Sep 2019

Rank #10

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'Detroit Rising' podcast: At Bamboo Detroit, a wide variety of businesses working under one roof

CellularEMT CEO Dwain Watkins and business and non-profits consultant Chanel Hampton operate vastly different businesses under the same roof at Bamboo Detroit, a co-working space in downtown Detroit. In this segment of the "Detroit Rising" podcast, they talk with Crain's Senior Reporter Chad Livengood about how their start-up businesses have thrived at Bamboo and what Detroit needs to do to continue fostering small business growth.

15mins

30 Jan 2018

Rank #11

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Detroit Rising: Expats Ken Buckfire, Ty Fahner talk pension debt and land use at Detroit Homecoming

At the sixth annual Detroit Homecoming, Crain's Senior Editor Chad Livengood talked to Detroit expats Ken Buckfire of Miller Buckfire & Co. and Chicago attorney Ty Fahner about Detroit's finances, the city's post-bankruptcy recovery, future land use and how debt-ridden Chicago is at risk of the same financial peril that landed Detroit in bankruptcy court.

23mins

20 Sep 2019

Rank #12

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Detroit Rising podcast: Mayor Mike Duggan talks Amazon HQ2 bid, auto insurance reform, 2018 politics

During an interview with Crain's, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan talked about the city's bid for Amazon's second headquarters, the prospects of another large auto parts manufacturing plant coming to Detroit and how he's not giving up on reforming auto insurance in Michigan. Duggan also talked about the 2018 race for governor, which he has declined to enter.

15mins

8 Jan 2018

Rank #13

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Detroit Rising podcast: Venture for America's entrepreneurship taking root in Detroit

Amy Nelson, CEO of Venture for America, and her organization's Detroit director, Sarah Craft, talked with Crain's Senior Editor Chad Livengood on the Detroit Rising podcast about the entrepreneurship-focused fellowship for young professionals, which has brought 145 fellows to work in Detroit startup companies over the past seven years. They were joined by VFA alum Lauren Kase and Ashton Keys, a current fellow with the program who is working at Quicken Loans. Keys is a Detroit native and graduate of Cass Tech.

22mins

13 Aug 2019

Rank #14

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Detroit Rising podcast: Calley talks Detroit policy issues, plans to accelerate road-funding

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, talks about how he will approach policy issues affecting Detroit and governance in an interview with Crain's Senior Reporter Chad Livengood for the Crain's Detroit Rising podcast. If he's elected governor, Calley said he will propose speeding up by one fiscal year the state's plans to spend $1.2 billion more annually on roads.

15mins

17 Jun 2018

Rank #15

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Detroit Rising: Xenith CEO Ryan Sullivan on the Detroit football helmet maker's upward trajectory

Xenith LLC, the football helmet and protective gear company owned by billionaire Dan Gilbert, now claims 10 percent market share of the helmet business and is closing in on producing 100,000 units annually at its southwest Detroit manufacturing facility. Xenith CEO Ryan Sullivan recently sat down with Crain's Senior Editor Chad Livengood to discuss the company's upward trajectory, the business impact of tariffs on Chinese-made parts for its helmets and what's next for the company as it branches off into other football protective gear and apparel.

18mins

13 Sep 2019

Rank #16

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Detroit Rising: Arab American & Chaldean Council working on 7 Mile revitalization

Fred Batayeh and Kimberly Hassan of the Arab American and Chaldean Council (ACC) discuss the non-profit's plans for a mixed-use housing development at John R Street and 7 Mile Road as well as ACC's partnership with Quicken Loans for four years of community improvement projects in conjunction with the Rocket Mortgage Classic PGA golf tournament at the Detroit Country Club. They talked with Crain's Senior Editor Chad Livengood for an interview on the Detroit Rising podcast.

14mins

17 Jun 2019

Rank #17

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Detroit Rising podcast: Growth opportunities for more food businesses, affordable housing in Detroit

Melinda Clemons, senior loan officer for Capital Impact Partners, and Ashley Mizzi with the Detroit Community Loan Fund, think there's an opportunity for more food-based businesses and subsidized affordable housing developments to create jobs, access to fresh food and residential density. Clemons and Mizzi talked about their organizations' work in Detroit in the respective fields of real estate development and lending to small business start-ups during an interview for the Crain's "Detroit Rising" podcast at Bamboo Detroit, 1420 Washington Blvd.

15mins

13 Feb 2018

Rank #18

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Detroit Rising: Suneel Gupta joins Techstars Detroit to mentor entrepreneurs of mobility startups

Tech entrepreneur Suneel Gupta has joined Techstars Detroit as a founder-in-residence focused on mentoring other entrepreneurs with technology-based startup businesses. He and Techstars Detroit Managing Director Ted Serbinski and Program Manager Kelly Kang talked with Crain's Senior Editor Chad Livengood on the Detroit Rising podcast about Gupta's new role with the business incubator, which is now based in Lear Corp.'s innovation center in Capitol Park in downtown Detroit.

16mins

22 Aug 2019

Rank #19

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Detroit Rising: Tony Michaels on designing the Ford Fireworks, Parade Co.'s need for new space

Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Co., talks with Crain's Senior Editor Chad Livengood about how the Ford Fireworks come together each year and the not-for-profit company's need for a new warehouse to build and store floats for America's Thanksgiving Parade.

15mins

20 Jun 2019

Rank #20