SBAM tops 6,400 members in September

The Small Business Association of Michigan’s (SBAM) statewide membership now exceeds 6,400 members, up from slightly more than 5,000 in 2007.
“Our rapid growth shows that small business owners all across Michigan value being a part of America’s best state-based small business organization,” says Barry Robinson, SBAM’s vice president for sales and marketing. “They are joining our cause in record numbers because they believe in the power of numbers and they believe in our mission of championing small business at the state capitol.”
SBAM is the only statewide and state-based association that focuses solely on serving the needs of Michigan’s small business community. It has been successfully serving small businesses in all 83 counties of Michigan since 1969.
Small business owners can join the fight by clicking here.


Small Business Award Nomination Forms Available Now at

The sixth annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB), the state’s premier recognition program for entrepreneurs and supporters of small business, is now accepting nominations for the 2010 awards. Nomination forms are available now at and must be submitted by Nov. 2 to be considered.

Michigan Celebrates Small Business is a cooperative effort of the Small Business Association of Michigan, U.S. Small Business Administration – Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center and the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Award categories are Small Business Person of the Year, Entrepreneurial Success Award, Family-Owned Business of the Year, Small Business Exporter, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Financial Services Champion of the Year, Home-Based Business Champion of the Year, Michigan Small Business Counselor of the Year, Minority Small Business Champion of the Year, Small Business Journalist of the Year, Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year, Women In Business Champion of the Year, The Innovation Award, Main Street USA Best Small Business Award and Government Contracting Award. Nominations for these awards will be accepted through Nov. 2 at

The Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards include Michigan 50 Companies to Watch. This program is sponsored by the Edward Lowe Foundation and each year recognizes and celebrates the contributions, innovation and energy of 50 diverse second-stage companies in Michigan. Nominations are due Nov. 2 and can come from service providers (such as attorneys, bankers, accountants, public relations representatives, economic development offices, etc.) Companies may also self-nominate. Nominees will receive an e-mail with instructions to complete an online application that will be due Nov. 16.

Winners will be recognized April 29, 2010, at the Michigan Celebrates Small Business event and dinner at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing.

Underwriters for this year’s Michigan Celebrates Small Business are National City (now a part of PNC), Clark Hill PLC Attorneys at Law, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Certified Development Corporation, Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, IBM and Dynamic Edge Inc.. Media partners are MiBiz, Crain’s Detroit Business, Upper Peninsula Business Today, the Traverse City Business News,, WWJ Newsradio 950 and The Daily Dash, and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly.


SBAM says businesses have cut back – government and schools must also sacrifice

Lawmakers and the governor are under a midnight deadline to complete the state budget. Michigan small business owners need to know that many legislators from both sides of the aisle are wavering in their support of budget bills that include modest cuts to education programs that have been largely held harmless for a decade. If these cuts are not made, small businesses are in jeopardy of getting slapped with another last-minute tax increase like occurred two years ago.

SBAM believes that at a time when many public school districts have multi-million dollar fund balances, it’s not too much to ask them to accept a 3% cut. After all, Michigan's budget deficit is severe -- $2.8 billion of a $9 billion general fund. And for the last ten years, the Legislature and Governor have largely been able to shield public schools from the pain of the ongoing economic crisis. But today, when many other programs are facing outright elimination (never mind modest cuts), small business owners need to take action RIGHT NOW to ask state government to make the responsible decision and live within their means.


(photo by jimbowen0306)


Michigan’s business community continues to speak with one voice for structural reform – before time runs out on the state budget

On Sept. 25, SBAM and 15 other business organizations jointly sent a letter to Gov. Granholm and Michigan legislators, calling on them to “hold the line and pass the budget deal that was agreed to by leaders in the Legislature” and opposing any tax increase on job providers.

Download the letter by clicking here.

In addition to SBAM, the organizations signing the letter were the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Detroit Regional Chamber, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Lansing Regional Chamber, Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan, Kalamazoo Regional Chamber, Michigan Association of Home Builders, Michigan Manufacturers Association, Michigan Association of Realtors, Michigan Restaurant Association, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Business Leaders for Michigan, Michigan Grocers Association, Michigan Retailers Association and the Michigan Bankers Association.


SBAM's member-magazine honored

(From left, SBAM Vice President Communications Michael Rogers and SBAM President and CEO Rob Fowler.) Focus on Small Business, SBAM's member-only magazine, has been honored by the Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE) with a 2009 Gold Award for Excellence in Magazine Publishing. The award was presented Sept. 23 at the MSAE Diamond Awards Dinner at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.

Focus on Small Business is mailed six times a year to full SBAM members. Click here to join or upgrade your membership to receive this award-winning magazine.



(Video) Gubernatorial candidate Mike Bouchard

In this brief video, Gubernatorial candidate Mike Bouchard explains why he believes small business owners are important to Michigan's economy. Note: Bouchard's visit did not constitute an SBAM endorsement but was an opportunity for SBAM to have further dialogue with gubernatorial contenders.

SBAM insiders update on state budget situation

By SBAM’s Vice President Government Relations David Palsrok
As you know, there has been a considerable amount of news coverage on the countdown to a shutdown. Here is a brief update on what we know at this time.
There appears to be a bi-partisan/bi-cameral agreement on next year’s fiscal budget. Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop and House Speaker Andy Dillon have reached a target setting agreement that closes the $2.8 billion dollar deficit with spending cuts, federal stimulus and with no new taxes. The “targets” establish how much each department will have to spend in the coming fiscal year. The next step is for the respective sub-committee chairs to negotiate how that money will be spent within their individual budgets.
Unknown factors:
What will Gov. Granholm do? She could veto the agreement. This would put the state on the path to a government shutdown. Undoubtedly, this would be extremely risky politically because she would virtually own the shutdown.
What will the Senate Democrats do? They could withhold an Immediate Effect vote. This too would put the state on the path to a government shutdown. Again, very risky to them politically because they would then own the shutdown.
What will House Democrats who are opposed to the Dillon/Bishop agreement do? Many are in key positions on the House Appropriations committee and can refuse to hold the conference committees that are needed to move the deal through the process.
Finally, there are also rumblings that the deal could get us through the Oct. 1 deadline. Then after the deadline supplemental bills could be passed to reinstate some of the programs with revenues (new taxes) dedicated to funding them.
Although the news on budget progress is positive, there is still a long way to go in short period of time. You can be assured that SBAM is pushing for a balanced budget without new taxes and demanding that long term reforms must be a part of solution. Stay tuned!


Gubernatorial candidate Mike Bouchard/Lt. Gov. candidate Terri Lynn Land meet small business owners at SBAM

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard met with small business leaders at SBAM headquarters in Lansing, the same day that he announced his campaign for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.

Bouchard was accompanied by his newly announced running mate, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.

Bouchard and Land heard plenty of feedback from small business owners about the challenges of being an entrepreneur in Michigan, and their hopes that a new governor will make Michigan much more small business-friendly than it is now.