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!


SBAM gains 32 new members

SBAM welcomed 32 new members in the past week. “Our organization continuously strives to find innovative ways to engage Michigan’s small businesses," says Rob Fowler, SBAM’s president and CEO. “This continuing membership growth is proof positive that our focus on attracting businesses through a robust digital presence is working. The new and improved website, coupled with strong social and online media campaigns, provide all small businesses with access points to our value-added membership proposition.”

The wide range of member-only benefits offered by SBAM continues to play a key role in membership growth. Last week 25 of the 32 new members specifically referenced a member benefit as the reason for joining. This trend echoes another recent announcement from SBAM: a new high of 500 actively enrolled members in its COBRA services. This milestone makes SBAM one of the three largest COBRA services providers in the state.

To learn more about what SBAM membership has to offer, please click here. The Small Business Association of Michigan's mission is to help small and medium size companies succeed by leveraging buying power, engaging in political advocacy, and promoting entrepreneurship.

Why small businesses love Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day can be an important time for any small business. Look at your market to see whether there are any ways that you should be positioning your products or services to meet the needs of the holiday consumer. Gifts, cards and candy are all items shoppers will be seeking but there may be ways you can market your products and services to appeal to Valentine’s Day shoppers even if you don’t sell any of these. Check out our roundup for more on why Valentine’s Day remains an awesome opportunity. Read more at Small Business Trends.

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Three tips to help you fight back against the big dogs of online retail

In January, ran a promotion encouraging consumers to use its mobile app. If customers purchased an item via its app while in a retailers' store, Amazon provided a monetary incentive to choose the online e-tailer over the brick-and-mortar store.

Retailers were outraged. It had finally happened--online retailers were turning small, independent and even chain stores into showrooms for the online giants. How could retailers ever compete with its online counterparts’ low-priced inventory?

Retailers would be hard-pressed to do so. Retailers have to acknowledge that the price wars are...well, over. Instead, successful retailing will depend on retailers’ ability to do the following for each customer that enters the store:

(1) Offer an exceptional experience--that can’t be recreated online. This is the biggest opportunity for retailers. With a little effort (and some teamwork), retailers can bring the magic back to shopping. It can be as simple as offering classes for customers to learn how to use products, or have local celebrities in-store to showcase their favorite items.

(2) Rethink the store footprint. Instead of having 30 kinds of hammers, why not have the two hammers that everyone wants? Ensure that the right inventory is easily accessible and clearly visible with effective, inviting signage.

(3) Don’t sell--consult. Customers are coming to the store because they didn’t get what they needed from manufacturers’ websites or Amazon. They already know about the items' best and worst qualities. Don’t be a salesman; rather, be a likable expert that the customer will come back to time and time again for insight and advice. 

Michael Koploy, an analyst at Software Advice--an online resource for buyers interested in retail software solutions--has put together an in-depth guide for independent retailers, including complementing technology to assist these strategies. To see the guide check out: How to Differentiate Your Store from Online Retailers | A Guide to Independent Retail in 2012

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What strategies do you use to fight back against the big online retailers? Share a comment below!

New survey report: small business confidence hits highest level in three years

SBAM’s national affiliate, the National Small Business Association (NSBA), today released its 2011 Year-End Economic Report, which shows a decidedly more positive outlook for America’s small businesses, with important gains in several key indicators. Most notably, more small-business owners report being confident about the future of their businesses than at any time in the last three years, up from 64 percent just six months ago to 75 percent today. 

“Although this report is by far the most positive we’ve seen in quite some time, it is imperative policymakers not mistake these gains for a task completed,” stated NSBA Chair Chris Holman, CEO of Michigan Business and President of The Greater Lansing Business Monthly. “There are countless issues that continue to hinder small businesses.”

While the majority of small-business owners (66 percent) continue to anticipate a flat economy in the coming year, the number expecting a recession was more than cut in half at 14 percent, down from 30 percent six months ago. Additionally, the number of small businesses expecting economic expansion in the coming year nearly doubled from 12 percent to 20 percent in six months.
Revenue growth was at its highest point in more than three years with 46 percent of small businesses reporting increases—up from 39 percent six months ago. There was a commensurate drop in those reporting decreases in revenue from 37 percent to 31 percent. And while job growth didn’t experience the same kind of growth—it remained unchanged at just 22 percent reporting increases—the number of small businesses (23 percent) reporting employment decreases was the lowest it’s been in three years.
When asked which issues are most important for policymakers to address, small businesses overwhelmingly ranked reducing the national deficit number one—up to 44 percent from 34 percent six months ago—followed by reducing tax and regulatory burdens and reigning in the costs of health care. Along those lines, there was a marked increase among small-business owners who cited regulatory burdens as a major challenge for their business—up from 31 percent six months ago to 40 percent today.
Please click here to access the 2011 Year-End Economic Report.