Small Business Creative Services

Using in-house experienced staff and tapping the broad capabilities of our membership, the Michigan Business and Professional Association has created a full service marketing support program to assist members in areas such as brochures, flyers, business cards, newsletters, advertising materials, web design and much more.

Members Helping Members™

Through our Members Helping Members™ program, we have over 400 experts in a wide variety of fields willing to provide services at discounts to other members.

Summary Plan Descriptions

The Employer Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) has developed guidelines that make it mandatory for all businesses with two or more employees to provide their employees with a Summary Plan Description (SPD). We continue to take a leading role in informing and helping our members meet their obligations under ERISA. We offer FREE SPDs to our members for Medical, Long Term Disability, Short Term Disability, Life and AD&D and freestanding Dental/Vision.

Human Resource Job Center

Michigan Business and Professional Association members can post open positions and receive resumes that the association collects to help fulfill their employment needs.  We also have association members who specialize in job placement that can also be utilized.

FREE Employment Law Hotline

The Associations, in cooperation with Nemeth Burwell, P.C., are pleased to offer members a FREE Employment Law Hotline to answer frequently asked questions on HR issues that could have legal implications.

Technology Resource Center

Experiencing Technology-Related Problems?  The Michigan Business and Professional Association has created this resource of over 50 members with expertise in areas such as:

  • Software Design
  • Computer Sales and Services
  • Web Development and Hosting
  • Network Security
  • Data and Voice Communications
  • E-Mail Development and Hosting
  • Others

Members give us their needs, and we match them up with other members in their area who can help them, often at a discount.

Dispute Resolution

The Michigan Business and Professional Association shares with our membership a concern over the increasing costs of litigation and a need to utilize alternatives where appropriate. The Association has created the Dispute Resolution Center to work with attorneys agreeing to serve and represent members at an affordable rate to assist with legal situations.

Section 125 – Cafeteria Plan Assistance

Section 125 Plans are an ERISA legal requirement for any member that makes pre-tax deductions for employee benefits from payroll checks.  This document needs to be filed with all legal documentation. Many members change their benefit offerings each year and the documents need to be updated.

Though this service frequently costs up to $5,000, the Michigan Business and Professional Association offers this service to its members FREE.

Thinking of Starting a Business? Check Out Michigan Business 'One Stop'

 

This on-line tool let’s you create scenarios for starting different types of businesses. It can provide you with tailored information on State requirements, possible costs and time lines to acquire licenses, documents, certificates, registrations, and other State-related services and informational links.

Click Here to give it a try

Go Direct® Campaign

The Michigan Business and Professional Association Can Help You Help Your Employees

The Go Direct® campaign makes it easy for your business to help employees and others make the most out of their retirement. Help them get their federal benefits paid electronically.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury now requires all federal benefit and nontax payments to be paid electronically. People applying for Social Security, Veterans benefits or other federal benefits on or after May 1, 2011, will receive their payments electronically starting with their first payment. People currently receiving federal benefit checks will need to switch to an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013.

    Here's what you can do:
  • Display Go Direct® campaign and Direct Express® card materials in your lobby.
  • Link to www.GoDirect.org from your website.
  • Help people who are about to apply for federal benefits be ready to choose direct deposit or the Direct Express® card at enrollment time and understand what information they should have on-hand when signing up.

Call or email your campaign representative, Stephanie Gray, at 312.988.2071 or sgray@webershandwick.com for more information on how to help your employees make the most of their retirement.

Green Business Initiative Ideas

It's a lot easier than it used to be for businesses to be a little bit Greener - or a lot. Here are some ideas collected from a variety of sources:

If you absolutely have to print an e-mail, take a look at a free program called
GreenPrint (www.printgreener.com).  It allows you to print just the relevant pages of an e-mail that sometimes can have a history attached that runs many pages.

Or, try printing on the back of old e-mail.  Just draw a big X through the old version and print of the good side.

Once you've used up all of the options of a piece of paper, make sure it gets recycled either through your regular trash hauler or at a school recycling center.

You can also save paper by using a paperless "fax to email" service, where incoming faxes are sent to an email address instead of printing out on a traditional fax machine.  Once received, you can share and store your faxes as PDF files.  This type of service is available from Fax Michigan, an MBPA member (www.faxmichigan.com).

Refill computer printer ink and other toner cartridges at an office supply or specialty store and recycle the ones that can't be refilled.

And those compact fluorescent bulbs?  Use them.  They are far less of a premium over conventional bulbs now that they are in mass production and they can save hundreds of dollars a year on your electric bill.  An example - if you replace only five 100-watt incandescent light bulbs with their compact fluorescent counterparts, you'll save more than $100 just in energy costs alone over a five-year period.  One caution is they can't be thrown out; they have to be disposed of at a recycling center because of the metals they contain.

Consider unplugging non-essential electrical equipment at the end of the week.  Alot of equipment these days are always "on" even when you think they're "off."  A weekend, after all, represents 28 percent of your total potential electric bill.  Many electric utilities have online calculators, such as
DTE Energy's www.energyguide.com, to help you see how much you're saving.

Consider assessing your company’s overall energy usage. One of our members, Carbon Credit Environmental Services offers a Comprehensive Sustainability Assessment that includes an energy audit, CO2 and GHG audit, thermal imaging of your building and equipment, water and waste assessment and helps you determine your carbon footprint. Contact Harry Orrell at horrell@getcarboncreditco2.com or visit their site at www.getcarboncreditco2.com

Consider stagger employees' hours so that they don't have to drive in rush hour, where the amount of gas burned can be considerable.  Statistics show the average Detroit area driver spends more than a week a year (plus some overtime) in traffic jams.  If it's possible to telecommute from home a day or two a week, that's even better.

Another possibility is to see if employees can carpool.  It may mean adjusting schedules or even work assignments, but with gas approaching $4 a gallon, spreading the cost among carpool is like getting a raise.

Use suppliers that will take back packaging either for re-use or recycling.

Clean with green in mind.  The chemicals you choose to clean with impact everyone's health.  Select safer products that are available from most office supply and green retailers.

Refurbished or recycled furniture makes for sustainable workspaces.  Looking to buy...sourcing from companies that use sustainable wood and non-toxic finishes are two key factors.

Don't trade that computer - upgrade.  Nearly all desktops and laptops are built with the availability to upgrade.  Buying one new part is far more cost efficient and plant-friendly than buying new computers.

Save waste, water, and energy Easily.  Turn off all electronics at the end of the day.  Use lower power settings on existing equipment such as refrigerators, heating and cooling systems.  Fix any possible leaks in faucets and pipes...one drip can waste a great deal and become a bigger problem later on.

Consider alternative work spaces and travel, as well as carbon effects.  Consider virtual meetings and telecommuting to save money and resources.  Try to offset your unavoidable heating/cooling emissions by using companies like LiveNeutral, CarbonFund, or TerraPass who, for a fee that goes toward other green programs.

Challenge local governmental offices to be as Green as you are!

If you have additional ideas, e-mail us at
info@michbusiness.org.

For additional energy saving ideas from our partner Corporate Express / Staples, please check out their ‘Green Guide’