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423 N Main St
Suite 300
Royal Oak, MI 48067

Peter Stevenson

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
GM and Chrysler.??

Where did you find your first employee?
We posted position on Monster.com, and we hired locally.
Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
Eight directly. At least the same number again has secured employment with clients at least in part due to their internship with us.

?Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
We are self-financed.

?It's often said that Metro Detroit and Michigan need to reinvent their economies to be competitive. Are we making those changes, and if so are we making enough of them or doing it fast enough?
To my mind there is still too much focus on completely new and mid-sized business, not on leveraging the thousands of going concerns that could each add a small amount of new jobs and create a huge net gain.

?Name an idea, policy or mindset from elsewhere that you would like to see this region adopt?
I believe that Michigan needs to address this from two mutually supportive angles - business environment and social/cultural.??For business, Ann Arbor SPARK is a good start and I know several entrepreneurs who have successfully been attracted by it. Other cities and counties claim similar but they are not nearly as well thought out or implemented.??In terms of social/cultural, the pedestrianisation of main streets has transformed many cities in Europe and I think would make a significant change here. Cities like Royal Oak, Ferndale, Birmingham and Rochester are obvious choices. They need to commit and close the main street for a few blocks, re-route traffic and provide parking. The benefit socially is terrific and also economically as many more people are drawn to the businesses that inevitably expand into terraces etc. in the new space. And yes, pay the city commensurately in additional fees. City revenue goes up significantly with such fees, not least parking. Then more business is attracted because of the social environment. It creates a circle of growth. Unfortunately many of these cities are still run with a very old school mentality that will not seriously consider such change and Michigan can ill-afford.

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