Monday, August 30, 2010

Sharing a Success Story

Wow! It's hard to believe that Labor Day is only a week away. Goodbye, summer — hello, fall. Goodbye, lazy days at the beach — hello, back to school. For the majority of students, the day following Labor Day is the traditional start of the school year. Thank Michigan's tourism industry for the late start in an effort to squeeze those last remaining vacation dollars out of us.

But parents whose kids are being educated in many of the area's outstanding private schools don't have it so lucky. Those schools either have already begun the new school year, or are about to next week. For them, those lazy days of summer already have come and gone.

The chamber helped kick off the new public school year on Wednesday with a new program, “Breakfast, Books and Buildings.” We brought together the superintendents for both the Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills public school districts to give their customers a sneak preview of the coming year. Both districts face considerable challenges in the coming year, but it was refreshing — and encouraging — to hear both David Larson from Birmingham and Robert Glass from Bloomfield Hills talk with such enthusiasm and optimism about the new year. It was a great event that the chamber hopes to repeat again next year.

Joe Bauman is president of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber. He welcomes feedback at

Monday, August 23, 2010

Small Business Conference helps our members grow

While the troubles facing large corporations are well documented, less is being written about the everyday struggles small companies and mom-and-pop shops are facing to keep their doors open. For the most part, these businesses that help define individual communities aren't entitled to government bailouts and are being strangled by a lack of bank financing to help them through these troubling times.
These companies make up the vast majority of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber's membership, and the chamber is working harder than ever with individual members to help them grow their business.

One way the chamber helps is by hosting our annual Small Business Conference. This year's conference is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, at the Birmingham Conference Center. The conference features two dynamic keynote speakers in Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, and Bob Fish, founder and CEO of Biggby Coffee.

An equally important part of the day are a series of breakout sessions geared toward helping small businesses operate more efficiently and learning new tricks and tools to drive new and more businesses to their business. Each session features a local “expert” in the area who will guide the discussion.

Topics focus on how to better manage accounts receivables, effective leadership, marketing strategies, using social media as part of your messaging, and building better business relationships.

Each of the topics will run twice with three topics per time slot, which hopefully will allow our guests to attend as many sessions as they prefer. Handouts and other takeaways will be distributed to help capture the valuable information.
learn more about the Small Business Conference or to register, visit the chamber website at

Joe Bauman is president of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber. He welcomes feedback at

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Cruise and Birmingham go way back

Birmingham is a car town. For decades, auto execs have made their homes in and around Birmingham. The legendary Woodward Avenue, M1, passes through the heart of the city. On any given day you can find examples of the world's most prominent automobiles at parking meters throughout the downtown.

For one day in August, the Motor City celebrates the automobile along a 12-mile strip of Woodward, and Birmingham is literally right in the middle of it all. Our unique geography, with Old Woodward merging into Woodward Avenue just north of Lincoln, brings part of the downtown up close with the world's largest car cruise.
The city and the Principal Shopping District have overseen cruise activities in Birmingham since the beginning in 1995. The event has taken a variety of forms over the years, but one element remains the same: The cars are the stars.

This Saturday, we will present nearly 300 classic cars parked side by side along Old Woodward from Brown to Haynes immediately south of the 555 building. Then the grassy area we affectionately call the “triangle” will come alive with activities.

The whole family can enjoy a day fun, food, entertainment, and even some downtown shopping. Come out and enjoy a day of cars, fun and food. It's a day for the car lover in all of us, in our favorite downtown!

John Heiney is executive director of the Principal Shopping District

Monday, August 9, 2010

Build your business by sponsoring a Chamber event

We at the Chamber have been encouraged by the number of new businesses that have opened their doors this year, despite current economic conditions. And we are grateful they view the Chamber as an important component of a successful business model.

To keep that trust, the Chamber is working harder than ever to provide programs, products and services to our member businesses that will further their success. Whether it's helping get the word out by hosting a ribbon cutting and open house for a new business, coordinating business consulting sessions with our partners at the Service Corps of Retired Executives, or providing a crash course on how to integrate social media into an effective marketing campaign, the Chamber is working closely with individual members as much as possible.

One way for businesses of all types to increase their exposure is to sponsor a Chamber program or event. If you are looking for creative and effective ways to market your products and services to businesses and residents in and around Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township and Franklin, look no further. The Chamber is the perfect place to successfully target your marketing activities. The primary advantage of sponsorship is the promotion of your company while helping the Chamber extend its service capabilities and keep membership dues at a reasonable level.

Why sponsor a Chamber event? Here is a short list of advantages our sponsors enjoy:

•Increased visibility and exposure within the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber membership and the business community.

•New relationships formed through networking that will ideally develop into business opportunities and more customers and clients for you.

•Stand out from your competition through exclusive event and program sponsorship.

•Entertain valued clients at member-only events.

We recognize that each business is unique and has different needs. In order to help support our businesses marketing efforts, we offer marketing opportunities that fit all marketing budgets. If you are interested in sponsorship of a particular Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber event or program, or want to learn what opportunities exist, call the Chamber offices at (248) 644-1700 or visit our website at

One upcoming event that lends itself nicely to corporate sponsorship is our seventh-annual Vine & Dine, set for Sept. 22 at the Cranbrook Institute of Science. This culinary extravaganza attracts more than 400 guests to Cranbrook's beautiful Bloomfield Hills campus. It's a tremendous opportunity to get your business in front of the local market, host clients at a first-class event, or treat your staff to a night on the town.

If you've not been to Vine & Dine, I urge you to circle Sept. 22 on your social calendar. Grab some friends and head out to Cranbrook. You won't be sorry, and you might even spot me pouring wine.

Joe Bauman is president of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber. He welcomes feedback at

Monday, August 2, 2010


The Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber will hold its golf event at the Birmingham Country Club on Monday, Aug. 16. Play your own ball for $100.

“We are delighted to extend a sensible price to golf at the exclusive private club,” said Joe Bauman, Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber president. “Our event is an ideal opportunity to treat your staff and entertain clients.”

Registration, networking and lunch begin at 11:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The event includes 18 holes of golf, lunch, refreshments served on the course, after-golf networking and a silent auction presented by The Sports Gallery. Auction items include sports memorabilia, Pistons tickets, Red Wings tickets and golf at the following clubs: The Medalist, Manistee National Golf Club Resort, Black Forest at Wilderness Valley and Otsego Club Resort.

Space is limited and registration is required by Aug. 11. Register at Sponsors include Osprey Investment Company and The Sports Gallery.