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This Month in Small Business
October 5, 2016 3:30 PM

Michael Rogers, vice president communications for the Small Business Association of Michigan, talks with nationally known small business advocate Chris Holman about robotics replacing jobs, the cities where millennials like to work, factors that contribute to a poor workplace environment, five steps to raising startup capital and key networking mistakes to avoid.

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How to craft a loan proposal to boost your odds of lending success

Business Next
September 26, 2016 4:00 PM

Michael Rogers, vice president communications for the Small Business Association of Michigan, talks with Perry Ballard, owner of Manager Perceived Value and a veteran SCORE counselor, to learn more about how to put together a winning loan proposal. Perry built an ad agency in southwest Michigan from a one-man-spare-bedroom-office to 28 people and $2 million per year annual income working in markets across the U.S. and overseas from local retail and services through travel/recreation and into light and heavy manufacturing. "That 30+ years proved two motivational paths increase response, no matter the message delivery channel – print or broadcast, social media, publicity/public relations, technical work – motivating a prospect starts by changing where YOU start thinking about your message," Perry says.

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Private equity firm that focuses on family-owned businesses

Business Next
September 26, 2016 3:00 PM

Michael Rogers, vice president communications for the Small Business Association of Michigan, talks with Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital, a small Grand Rapids firm recently named to the Inc. 5000 list of fast growing companies. Founded in 2000, Blackford has grown its work force from 4 to 16 employees. Blackford currently owns and oversees 9 portfolio companies, which have aggregate revenues of over $225 million, 800 employees, and operate in 11 states. In the past 5 years, Blackford has reviewed more than 14,000 transactions, completed detailed analysis on 1,200 companies, visited 150 possible acquisition opportunities, and completed 16 majority-control and 5 minority-control investments.

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LARA seminars on how to raise capital for your small business

Business Next
September 15, 2016 10:00 AM

Michael Rogers, vice president communications for the Small Business Association of Michigan, talks with Linda Cena of the Michigan Department of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, about the Sept. 21-22 LARA seminars in the Upper Peninsula on how to raise capital.

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Credit Union Fills void in Lending Market

Michigan Business Beat
July 26, 2016 3:00 PM

Joe Campbell, Business Development Officer, LAFCU, Lansing, MI, stopped by the MBN studio to speak with Chris Holman about LAFCU commercial loan offerings. They discuss the role that credit unions have filled in the lending market. Mr. Campbell covers market demand, and describes a bit of that process. He covers how they interact with the SBA as well. Chris then inquires about how LAFCU is doing, and then a bit about CUSA (credit union servicing agency). The pair also remember MSU’s Ron Mason who recently passed, leaving a big void for the university and hockey community.

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Financial Perspectives With Trey Williams

Association Impact
June 14, 2016 9:52 AM

What’s new in the financial world as it relates to Michigan Associations? Trey Williams, CPA of Maner Costerisan reviews charitable requirements and federal grant recipients. He explains the services of the firm and the differences between audits and reviews. 

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Reports and Announcements for the Week of June 6, 2016

Week in Review
June 10, 2016 2:00 PM

The U.S. created just 38,000 new jobs in May and nearly half a million people dropped out of the labor force, raising doubts about the strength of the economy and possibly forcing the Federal Reserve to scuttle plans to raise interest rates this summer.  The increase in hiring was the smallest since the fall of 2010.  More than half of the nation’s major industries eliminated jobs last month, the first time that’s happened in several years. In another bad sign, temp employment fell by 21,000 and it’s down 64,000 so far this year, the Labor Department said.  In a surprising twist, the unemployment rate fell to 4.7% from 5% to mark the lowest level since the month before the Great Recession began in December 2007

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Wall Street Wrap - Investors turned cautious on the last trading day of the month

Week in Review
June 10, 2016 12:00 PM

U.S. stocks ended mostly lower on Tuesday, as investors turned cautious on the last trading day of the month and ahead of key economic data releases this week. The main indexes ended the month with small to modest gains.

Electric-vehicle makers are swallowing up lithium, a lightweight material that some call “white petroleum” for its use in lithium-ion batteries that power electric cars.  Lithium carbonate prices rose 47% in the first quarter compared with the average price in 2015, according to the most recent available data from data provider Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

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Wall Street Wrap Up May 30, 2016

Week in Review
June 2, 2016 7:00 PM

Prices for liquefied natural gas have sunk to a 7 year low in Asia as demand has failed to keep up with rising supply from countries such as the US and Australia. The average spot price in Asia for LNG for delivery in May dropped 42.5% year over year to $4.24 per million British thermal units, the lowest monthly average since July 2009, according to Platts.  In the US, benchmark natural gas has been trading about $2.06 per million BTUs, down 17.2% from a year ago.  LNG is natural gas that is cooled to a liquid form so it can be transported by ship.  Prices have recently come under intense pressure in Asia, which makes up 70% of global demand, thanks to a gusher of new supply.  In February, Cheniere Energy dispatched a shipment of LNG to India, making it the first batch of US shale gas to be delivered in Asia.  Analysts have said they expect the US to become a major exporter of gas into global markets in the next few years. 

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ATM Skimming Malware is Getting Scarier

Bottom Line IT
June 1, 2016 8:00 PM

In 2009, malware called “Skimer” surfaced and security firms took notice. Skimer is essentially malware that gives hackers full access to an ATM without needing to install any physical hardware, like a card skimmer. According to a new investigation by Kaspersky Lab, the malware is not only seems in use, but it’s also become more powerful. Kaspersky discovered the latest version of Skimer this month after investigating a break-in at a bank. While the bank found no evidence that it had been attacked, the security firm found that a new version of Skimer had been used and featured improvements that make it harder to detect. This is very scary, because the the Russian-based software makes it relatively easy for hackers to take complete control of any ATM.

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