Sales & Marketing

Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) is a multi-billion dollar public/private initiative developed by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in 2011 that introduces Michigan companies to opportunities that help them grow and expand. 

PMBC’s mission is to help Michigan businesses grow by:

  • Connecting local, national and global purchasers to Michigan suppliers by offering customized procurement or joint venture matchmaking searches, summits and buyer tours.
  • Partnering with local and national purchasers to organize dedicated buyer-supplier matchmaking events.
  • Delivering full concierge services to businesses to help find the right connections.
  • Offering dedicated international trade services for Michigan businesses who want to start or expand export activities.

More Details on Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC)

See how PMBC can help you forge partnerships and grow your business by creating an account in the “PMBC Community”.  The PMBC Community is an online and mobile business-to-business platform linking Michigan companies with private sector procurement opportunities and business services available from other Michigan companies.  Michigan businesses may learn more about the platform and register at no cost. 

Here are a just few benefits to joining the PMBC Community:

  • Connect with other businesses in the Community
  • Apply to attend and participate in matchmaking procurement events
  • Add your own company’s procurement needs
  • Schedule 1:1 meetings with other companies

Instructions on Creating an Account:

  1. Go to and click “Sign Up Now”.
  2. Complete the registration steps to create your personal and company profiles. Please note that if anyone from your company has created an account before you, your company may already be created. In that case you’ll simply select it from the options that show up when you begin typing your company’s name.
  3. Don’t forget to download the mobile PMBC app from the iOS App Store and Google Play stores by searching for “PMBC”, allowing you to access your account from your phone and interact with other businesses during events!


Steven Strauss: Goodwill

Question: I have a pal who is a great therapist. He recently got ill and was out of the office for three months. He lost several patients/clients as a result. I was hoping you might have some advice as to how he can jump start his practice now that he is back. Thank you.

Answer: Well, the first thing he has going for him is that, as you say, he is a great therapist. And that means that he has great goodwill. That is where he needs to start.

In any business, “goodwill” is the value that we give a company’s name, reputation, logo, customers, website and other similar intangible items. In the sale of a business, a value is placed on the goodwill of that business because that is one of the main things the new owner is buying.

In the case at hand, it is that ongoing goodwill that is the key to re-booting the business. After all, goodwill is called “goodwill” for a reason. When you have run a business for a number of years, there are people who like you and who like doing business with you.

1.  When restarting a business, the first and best thing you can do is tap into that:
  • Call old customers, clients (or patients). Let them know you are back in the game. Some will come back because they like working with you, others won’t because they moved on, but even in that case, they can help. Ask for referrals. Remind them why they liked working with you, explain your situation, and I bet some will help you build your business back up.
  • Check in with your vendors. Vendors have a vested interest in seeing you succeed a second time. After all, once you do, presumably, you will buy more from them again. So see if they have any contacts and ideas that can help you grow your busies again. And make sure to let them know that you won’t forget who helped you get back on your feet. 
  • Remember the friends and family plan: As opposed to when you began your business, your people now know that you actually do know how to run a business. Therefore, asking for help and connections this time around should be easier.
2. Get the ‘ol startup attitude back: Remember when you began your business, how much you hustled? That is probably what you have to do again. Try things you have tried in a long time, or things that you never tried because you didn’t have to. Put together some new marketing ideas, start small, test, see what works, and go for it. Who knows, it just may be fun.

3. Link In: The common refrain from pundits like me these days is to ‘make sure to use social media!’ In actuality, while Facebook, Twitter, and Google + are fine and may help you in the long run, when re-starting a business, the one social media site that can be of most use is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is all about networking and helping. That is what you need now.

Check in with your LinkedIn network and let them know that you are back. Individually ask them to refer business to you. Use the search tool to see whom else you could meet in your network’s network.

And let me suggest further that for any of us in business, this question is a good reminder that having a plan in place for how to keep things running in your absence is smart. What sort of plan? It is really pretty simple. It would entail

  • Having a written document that explains what needs to be done, every day, week, and month
  • Having someone trained who is familiar with the duties outlined in the document
  • Having that person legally able to handle things like banking and legal matters
  • Having disability insurance so that you gets some income while out of the office

Today’s Tip: What is the state of business travel in this post-recession land? According to the 4th annual Embassy Suites Business Travel Survey, it is on the rise: 33% of business travelers said that they’re traveling more than a year ago and 61% said that they like to maximiz

Listen today to learn how you can engage with the new Small Business Jobs Insight project. 10 a.m. on the free Business Next audio seminar.

(Photo: Traverse City small business owner Lisa Wehr of Oneupweb tells reporters how her firm is filling jobs.) 

Coverage of the Traverse City launch event for Small Business Jobs Insight project: interviews with Doug Luciani, president of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce; Rob Fowler, president of the Small Business Association of Michigan; Lisa Wehr, owner of Oneupweb; Dave Moore, owner of Village Press; and Laura Oblinger, chief operating officer for the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce. Also, an interview with Donna Napolitano, owner of Mechanical Energy Systems, about their April 14 southeast Michigan Earth Day Open House.

Listen today at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page

Get Business Next audio seminars delivered three times a week automatically to your iPhone or other mobile device. Subscribe in iTunes using this URL.      

Small business owners sharing their stories of jobs filled across Michigan

The Michigan’s Small Business Jobs Insight project (, designed to tally and report the growing number of small business jobs being filled in regions and industries across Michigan, launched today at a kickoff event at the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Job growth in Michigan is overwhelmingly centered in the small business sector and we believe it’s important to document this growth and report the impact these jobs are having on our state’s economic comeback,” says Rob Fowler, President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM). “We are very pleased that the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Jobs Insight and has partnered with SBAM to help support entrepreneurs in northwest Michigan.” 

The key elements of include:

• a ticker that displays jobs reported by growing small businesses in the current month;
• a pie chart that shows the percentage per Michigan region of the total jobs reported per month;
• total jobs reported for the year to-date;
• the top ten industries for small business growth; and
• links to individual stories of regional small business job growth.

“Michigan has put tremendous public policy tools in place, from business tax reform to improvements in the regulatory climate to a new emphasis on economic gardening, that help lay a foundation of entrepreneurial business and employment growth,” Fowler says. “We know that small business owners are taking advantage of the improved business climate fostered by these public policy changes to fill job openings and accelerate job creation. reports where these jobs are and how they are benefitting everyone in our state.” is not a scientific count of every job filled in the small business community.

“We are reporting the jobs filled by our members and, if anything, these totals under-report the full, dramatic growth of small business jobs across the state,” Fowler says. “To enhance our reporting, we encourage individual small businesses to contact us with their stories of job creation.”

In addition to the website, MichiganJobsInsight can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

"This is the year of Jobs, Jobs and Jobs for the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce; creation, retention and growth are vital to this area. It was through our work on a Job-o-Meter that the Chamber and SBAM realized there was potential to collaborate and partner for We are thrilled with the result and look forward to watching our region grow, now in a tangible and visual capacity,” Douglas Luciani, President and CEO of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to the Small Business Association of Michigan and the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, MichiganJobsInsight is a collaborative statewide effort between Issue Media Group and other partners to capture small business job growth through editorial coverage with focus on growth and innovation.

SBAM shows strong membership growth in March

A total of 881 small businesses became members of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) in March, according to a report released today by the association. Total SBAM membership reached 14,258, a 22 percent increase over March of 2011.

Growth occurred across all membership categories:

• 412 members came from the Michigan Association of Timbermen and the Holly Area Chamber of Commerce – SBAM’s newest Strategic Partners. These two organizations join 32 other local chambers and business associations that have partnered with SBAM.
• 389 of these businesses joined SBAM’s free Online Community membership, which offers access to some of our most valuable member benefits, including FedEx and OfficeMax discounts and exclusive small business news.
• 95 of these businesses joined for an SBAM-exclusive member-only benefit.

Also in March, SBAM continued its work on “economic gardening” by partnering with Crain’s Detroit Business for an economic gardening workshop in Grand Rapids. One hundred small business owners and other interested parties participated and listened to an expert panel discuss the status of economic gardening in Michigan. Attendees also heard directly from entrepreneurs engaged in a Michigan Economic Development Corporation pilot program.

In addition, SBAM released the eighth annual edition of its Entrepreneurship Score Card, which showed a dramatic uptick in Michigan’s entrepreneurial climate, and SBAM also launched an new partnership with Intern in Michigan to provide members with access to college students seeking real world work experience with Michigan small businesses.

(photo by