Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Sunset at the Zoo to Return Aug. 27
The Detroit Zoological Society is bringing back its annual fundraising gala, Sunset at the Zoo: The Future is Bright on Friday, from 6:30-10:30 p.m. on Aug. 27.
This year’s Sunset, for adults 21-and-older, is presented by Strategic Staffing Solutions and will support the Detroit Zoological Society’s commitment to the future, including high-impact programs that advance wildlife conservation, environmental sustainability, and humane education. Guests also will learn more about the Zoo’s newest residents and exciting plans for the future.
Guest you can expect food and drinks, live entertainment, access to the Detroit Zoo’s animal habitats, and live and silent auctions with one-of-a-kind “zoonique” prizes.
LaunchDETROIT Accepting Online Applications from Metro Area Entrepreneurs
LaunchDETROIT currently is accepting online applications from local entrepreneurs interested in receiving education, mentorship, and networking opportunities.
Spearheaded by Rotary International volunteers from Rotary District 6400, this multi-faceted program has assisted nearly 80 entrepreneurs since it began in 2012.
“Just as businesses and organizations have had to pivot since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve done the same,” says Margaret Williamson, chair of LaunchDETROIT. “While meeting virtually and providing online education opportunities, we continued this program in 2020 with the selection of 12 entrepreneurs.”
Williamson shares how several alumni of the program, including Willie Brake of All About Technology, Dazmonique Carr of Deeply Rooted Produce, and Latricia Wright of Olive Seed LLC, were able to expand their businesses despite the pandemic and shared their experiences with the current class of LaunchDETROIT entrepreneurs.
Online applications are available here for the entrepreneur class of 2021, scheduled to begin in October. The deadline to apply for this year’s program is Aug. 20.
According to Williamson, the LaunchDETROIT committee thoroughly reviews the applications to invite a select number of applicants to be interviewed about their business goals and interests in participating.
In addition to business training, mentorship and networking, qualifying participants are eligible to apply for a micro-loan of up to $2,500.
“As our program has evolved, recent participants have expressed their greatest interest in mentorship and networking,” adds Williamson. “Participants also receive access to the wealth of information and variety of expertise from our Rotary volunteers.”
State Rolls Back Mandatory COVID Testing for Farm and Food Processing Employees
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has rescinded its order requiring COVID-19 testing for agricultural employees. This change is being made in light of increasing vaccination rates, declining COVID-19 cases, expanded access to testing and vaccinations, and enhanced housing and worker protections currently in effect to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“With COVID-19 transmission numbers low and increasing vaccination rates, we are removing the requirement for testing for these workers,” says Elizabeth Hertel, director of MDHHS. “The most important tool we have is the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine and we encourage everyone to join the nearly 62 percent of Michiganders who have already been vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Other protections for agricultural workers remain in effect. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Feb. 25 emergency rules continues to require that agricultural laborer housing camps establish COVID-19 preparedness and response plans, and provide quarantine housing for workers who were exposed to COVID-19, among other protections.
“I am thankful for the steps taken by our food and agriculture community to safeguard the health of this vital workforce throughout the course of the pandemic,” says Gary McDowell, director of MDARD. “Keeping the established response plan requirements for this growing season provides our growers and processors guidance should a positive employee be identified.”
The latest information about COVID-19 from the state is available here and from the CDC here.
Detroit Credit Expert Releases First Black-owned Credit Management Planner
Detroit native Tierra Jae, founder of New Beginnings Community Consulting & Restoration, has launched The Credit Calendar, one of the first Black-owned credit management planners, which now is available for purchase.
This tool, which Jae says is easy to use, is the first of its kind, helps users focus on improving and maintaining their credit status and achieving any future goals. In addition to keeping track of various credit lines, the planner is a tool to help users execute necessary steps to stay on track and remember critical dates needed to improve credit.
As an experienced credit repair specialist and tax expert, Jae set a goal to help her current clients and others independently restore and manage their credit scores. According to Debt.org more than 191 million Americans have credit cards, and the average household debt is more than $5,000.
Since launching NBCCR, Jae has serviced more than 300 clients nationwide.
MSU Health Care Announces Affiliation with Everside Health in Colorado
MSU Health Care in East Lansing and Everside Health of Denver have partnered to provide employers throughout Michigan with what they are calling “a better, more innovative health care solution.”
The collaboration is in response to growing employer concerns regarding ongoing increases in health care costs and barriers to quality health care for their employees.
“Until now, employers in Michigan had few choices when it came to health care delivery options,” says Chris Miller, CEO of Everside. “They had to rely on solutions created by large insurance companies or health systems. But our new partnership with MSU Health Care is designed to change the status quo in employers’ favor by bringing together our proven direct primary care model and advanced technology with MSU’s strong innovation and research capabilities. The result is expected to be measurable cost savings with improved access to quality care.”
Everside has a history of successfully collaborating with various health care organizations to deliver accessible, high-quality care while lowering costs for employers and patients. This collaboration with MSU Health Care, however, marks the first time the organization has partnered with a medical school.
Everside’s direct primary care model is positioned as an alternative to America’s current fee-for-service health care delivery model. Under the Everside model, employers or other plan sponsors pay a fixed cost per employee for nearly 24/7 unlimited access to primary care providers. It is not a replacement for an employer-sponsored insurance plan, but rather a complementary service focusing on keeping employees well.
Patients receive convenient, low- or no-cost access to physicians and 24/7 virtual care, reducing the need for costly ER use. On average, employers on the Everside program save 20 percent on claims costs by year four, largely as a result of Everside’s ability to treat health issues early on before they become catastrophic or require a more expensive urgent care or emergency department visit. The model also is poised to benefit individuals through the Everside model of care.
“The collaboration with Everside is another example of working with like-minded organizations to fulfill our mission to improve the health of all communities in Michigan,” says Seth Ciabotti, CEO of MSU Health Care. “The pandemic highlighted the need for every individual to have a medical home supported by a robust relationship with a primary care team for maintaining health. Telehealth visits proved to be a viable delivery mechanism for increasing access to health care in rural and underserved areas in Michigan.”
Based on initial feedback to the new offering, Rosin confirmed that the two organizations are exploring real estate options in the Lansing and Grand Rapids areas for their inaugural employer-based health center.
Interested employers and sponsors of this program available through MSU Health Care and Everside can call 844-205-6403.
Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency is Hiring
The Detroit-based Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency is hiring for more than 50 full- and part-time positions including administration and education.
Wayne Metro employees use their individual strengths to help solve some of Wayne County’s toughest challenges and empower the community through collective impact.
Employees can make a lasting impact in the fight against poverty and deliver tangible results that empower people and strengthen Wayne County communities. Employees teach independence and provide hope to the most vulnerable part of the population.
Benefits include health care, education funding, professional development, and a 401(K) plan with employer match and financial planning services.
For more information on available jobs and to submit an application, visit here.
When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.
However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.
What is Sallie Mae?
Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.
In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.
However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.
In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).
At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.
What is the difference between private and federal student loans?
With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.
On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.
Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.
As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.
Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?
In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.
However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.
If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.
With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.
The bottom line
Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.
Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.
PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have.
1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually
You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.
With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.
The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.
4. Savings and Retirement Accounts
The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.
A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies.
Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan.
Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito.