Monday, January 31, 2011

Chamber pleased to announce new directors

The Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber has added Sal Curcuru, Darlene Hines and Kim Robinson to its Board of Directors for three-year terms.

Curcuru is an owner and partner of Farmington Hills-based Curcuru Assoc. CPA, PLC. He has been a Chamber member since 2009 and has served on the Small Business Conference and Professional Edge committees.

Hines is president of Nostalgia Antique Appraisal Services of Bloomfield Hills. She has been a Chamber member since 2006, and has been active on and is a past chair of the Ambassador Committee.

Robinson is vice president of new business development for mBank. She joined the Chamber in 2004 and has been active in the Ambassador and Small Business Conference committees. She works in the bank's Birmingham office.

In addition to the new appointments, Jack Farrow, a vice president with Comerica Bank's Birmingham office, was reappointed to serve an additional three-year term.

For more information e-mail Joe Bauman, president, Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber

Monday, January 17, 2011

Signs that things are warming up

There may be no signs of a winter thaw outside, but things certainly are warming up around metro Detroit.

The North American International Auto Show is in full swing, and by early indications, this year's event is going to be one of the best in years. Consumer confidence is slowly on the rise, the domestic automakers are riding a wave of positive press in terms of vehicle quality and auto sales, and second- and third-tier suppliers are adding jobs as well to give a boost to the badly battered jobs market.

Just as always has been the case, the fate of our region is joined at the hip with the auto industry, whether we want it to be or not. But this time around, maybe the economic rebound can be sustained longer if the region can develop and grow other non-auto related industries to complement our bread and butter jobs maker.

Locally, we at the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber continue to see signs that the economic picture is brightening. New businesses are sprouting up every day, fewer mainstay companies are closing their doors, and we are receiving a steady stream of requests for new business ribbon cuttings and grand opening announcements.
One particular bright spot continues to be the restaurant scene in downtown Birmingham. For the most part the existing eateries seem to be holding their own, and there is no shortage of new restaurants either opening, or awaiting requests for bistro licenses from the city of Birmingham.

Just last week, three Birmingham restaurants - Tallulah Wine Bar & Bistro, Luxe Bar and Zazio's - were included among a list of the top 10 restaurants to open in Metro-Detroit in 2010. We are happy to count all three as members of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber, and are happy to share their success story.

Another new restaurant to hit the Birmingham dining scene in the past year is South Bar. With its South Beach vibe and menu to match, it's a surefire way to escape the mid-winter blues if only for a couple of hours.

The Chamber is holding our first Business After Hours of 2011 at South Bar from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19, and we would love to have you join us say good riddance to Michigan winter for a while. Details for the After Hours, and all of the Chamber's upcoming events, can be found at

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

Monday, January 10, 2011

New series focuses on finding funds

One of the great things about marking a new year is the opportunity for a fresh start. We can make New Year's resolutions, clean out a basement or spare closet, and rededicate ourselves to a task, a goal, or an earlier commitment.

For many of us on a professional level, the economic downturn and resulting job losses in the last couple of years have forced a career change. Moreover, it has created a boomlet of entrepreneurial spirit as scores of people have decided to go into business for themselves and pursue a long held passion that had been kept under wraps in the past under the “security” of more traditional employment.

To help further drive this entrepreneurial spirit, the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber is partnering with the Miller Canfield law firm on a four-part series to help these budding businesses find the necessary capital to either launch or new venture or grow it to the next level.

Typically, our Investepreneur Roundtable series had focused on a particular industry where investors and business owners were brought together to explore growth options. We are changing that this year to focus instead on the many traditional and nontraditional funding sources available to business startups. And our financing experts will be on hand to provide helpful advice on how to go about applying for financing and what pitfalls to avoid during the process.

The first segment, scheduled for Feb. 15, will focus on financing options available at banks, credit unions and venture capital firms. On May 24, we will explore the myriad government loan and grant programs available to startup and second stage businesses. To read the complete article click here.

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