Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Support local business with Loving Livonia Business gift certificates

As the holidays approach, the Livonia Chamber of Commerce has introduced a new way to give the people in your life a variety of gifts and keep the money in the community: Loving Livonia Business gift certificates!

Over $100 billion is spent on gift cards annually, which is why Loving Livonia Business gift certificates are great for local shoppers. Different than most gift cards, these certificates can be purchased online and be used at a variety of local restaurants and retail stores. They make for great gifts for everyone. It’s an easy way to get something for those you love in the community you love.

The program begins with 13 restaurants and retailers, but more will be added in the coming weeks.

Some of the merchants that accept the gift certificates are Andiamo Livonia, Bill & Rod’s Appliance, Cebella’s Pizza, Colleen’s Gaelic Gifts, Detroit Bagel Company, George Murphy’s at the Creek, Great Lakes Pizza Company, M.I. Slingers Bar and Grill, My Hobby Place & Toys, O’Malley’s Bar & Grill, The UPS Store #3011, Verant’s Salon and What’s the Name Gift Store. A full list of participating businesses and their addresses can be found at www.livonia.org. All participating companies are members of the Livonia Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s a no brainer,” said Jared Chapman, owner of Jared Chapman State Farm Agency and chamber member. “While growing my business, I get to help other businesses by using Loving Livonia Business gift certificates for my referral program. It is a win-win across the board. Support Livonia business. Stay in Livonia. Shop in Livonia.”

In addition to company referral programs, more than 80% of corporations use gift cards for their employee recognition programs. The Loving Livonia Business gift certificates allow Livonia-based corporations to reward hard work while supporting the local economy.

“We are excited to add this to our many benefits of being a Livonia Chamber of Commerce member,” said Dawnne Toppa, vice president of the Livonia Chamber of Commerce. “Bringing the community inside our members’ businesses and allowing them to showcase what they have to offer.”

Available in $5, $10, $20 and $25 denominations, Loving Livonia Business gift certificates are easy to purchase at www.livonia.org or on the Livonia Chamber’s Facebook page. Buyers have a choice to email it to themselves or email the gift to someone else.

Additional businesses can still sign up for this free program by contacting the Chamber’s vice president, Dawnne Toppa, at 734.427.2122 or toppa@livonia.org.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Livonia Home Improvement Show shifts to Rec Center in 2015

There will be a new venue for the fifth annual Livonia Home Improvement Show next year.

The Livonia Chamber of Commerce event will move to the Livonia Community Recreation Center on Saturday, March 21. Parking and event admission will remain free for visitors to the one-day event which will be sponsored by Bright House Networks. Show hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The venue will give us more room and more foot traffic for our exhibitors,” said Dan West, president of the Livonia Chamber. “The city’s parks and recreation staff has been very helpful and enthusiastic about moving this event to the Rec Center.”

The chamber established the event in 2011, and held the first four home improvement shows at Livonia Churchill High School. A variety of trades and services were featured in at least 50 exhibit spaces each year of the Livonia Home Improvement Show. There will be room for as many as 68 exhibits in the MAC gymnasium of the Rec Center.

“Our exhibitors usually saw serious consumers at our show, but some of our exhibitors believe we will see even more traffic with the regular Saturday activity at the Rec Center,” West said.

Prior to the creation of this event, Livonia had not seen any kind of home show in recent history to highlight established local companies that provide roofing, heating and cooling, plumbing, concrete, and other home repair services.

The chamber, West said, developed the show as the economy improved this decade, more Livonia residents explored home improvement projects, and called the Livonia Chamber for referrals of reputable companies for those projects.

“We refer contractors that are members of our chamber, and we were able to add more contractors and highlight them with this show,” West added. “Studies indicate consumers have a more favorable view of companies that are members of their local chamber.”

Nationally, the home improvement industry continues to see growth. According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, sales for home projects rose 4.2% in 2013, and were expected to climb an additional 6.5% this year.

Exhibitors now can begin securing 10-by-10-foot spaces at the revamped Livonia Home Improvement Show. Pricing will remain the same for chamber members. Many spaces will have electrical capabilities and opportunities to hang signs. For more details, contact Laura Tahmouch at 734.427.2122, or via e-mail at tahmouch@livonia.org.

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CONTACT: Dan West, President, Livonia Chamber of Commerce, 734.427.2122

Monday, November 3, 2014

Greenleaf Commission creates award to honor business, environmental diligence

Nominees sought for first award
announced at Chamber event in February

The city’s Greenleaf Commission on Sustainability established a new award to recognize a Livonia business or organization that successfully balances environmental and economic strategies.

The Livonia Greenleaf Award was created to recognize a Livonia entity which implements sustainable environmental practices, social responsibility and economic development in their operations.

Modeled on the “Triple Bottom Line” approach, Commission Chairman Jim Baringhaus said award-winning organizations would demonstrate to our community the idea of environmental quality, economic prosperity, and social equity are equally important.

In collaboration with the City of Livonia, Livonia Chamber of Commerce, and the Greenleaf Commission on Sustainability, this award recognizes Livonia organizations that demonstrate their commitment to making Livonia a more sustainable, green community.

The inaugural Livonia Greenleaf Award will be handed out along with other business and community honors Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, during the Livonia Chamber’s annual Leadership and Awards Celebration at Laurel Manor.

To apply for this award or for additional information on the Livonia Greenleaf Award, visit the city website at www.ci.livonia.mi.us.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A decade of ‘comfortable cuisine’ at G. Subu’s Leather Bottle

Preparing tasty dishes from scratch that put a smile of the faces of his customers has long driven George Subu.

“I have a passion for the restaurant business,” Subu said. “I love it when customers tell me they really enjoyed a meal we made for them.”

Subu, working with this three sons, have produced many satisfying dishes and social gatherings for a decade at G. Subu’s Leather Bottle, a 7,800-square-foot restaurant with a banquet room located on Farmington Road, just south of Eight Mile Road. The Livonia restaurant is known for its fresh variety of lunch and dinner meals, headlined by its signature dish: Filet Mignon with Zip Sauce.

Working with his sons at The Leather Bottle is the latest entrepreneurial chapter for Subu, an immigrant from Eastern Europe who grew up working in his parents’ pizzerias and arcades.

Subu has been cooking meals since the 1970s when we worked at fine Dearborn establishments such as the Hyatt Regency, The Chambertin, and Dearborn Inn. He became partner and chef in 1981 when he began working at the Topper Restaurant in Dearborn.
In 1999, Subu and his oldest son, Johnny, came to Livonia and operated the former Sandtraps Restaurant on Five Mile Road (now known as One-Under). They were bought out in 2003, which left them looking for a new home.

“We wanted to stay in Livonia,” Johnny Subu said. “We knew a lot of people liked us at Sandtraps, and we felt they would follow us to a new place in Livonia.”

They found an opportunity when the Leather Bottle site, a restaurant originally built in 1979, became available for sale. George, and sons Johnny, Georgie, and Michael took over in May 2004, and rebranded the place: G. Subu’s Leather Bottle.

“This worked out for us because we were able to combine our known reputation for good food and service with the Leather Bottle, which has been known for years in Livonia,” Johnny Subu said.

The family’s philosophy has been to provide “comfortable cuisine,” which Johnny Subu describes as “upper-hand food with lower-hand pricing.” He added all meals are homemade and free of processed products.

“We always believed if we have good, quality food and service, they will come,” he said.
David Smith has been a loyal customer for 25 years. He started enjoying George Subu’s cooking at the Topper in Dearborn. The one-time Livonia resident now lives in Brighton, but he remains a regular at G. Subu’s Leather Bottle.

“It is the best food in town because it is of good quality – and it is noticeable,” Smith said. “The great people and the camaraderie here is a plus.”

To celebrate the restaurant’s 10-year anniversary, customers can enjoy a bottle of wine each Monday evening this summer for $10. The Subus will formally celebrate the anniversary with a special buffet and other goodies during a customer appreciation dinner on Monday, Aug. 18 from 5-8 p.m. For details, call the restaurant at 248.474.2420.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Western Wayne’s leaders, Sowerby highlight second Business Leadership Banquet

CONTACT:        Dan West, president, Livonia Chamber of Commerce, 734.427.2122
                                Marsha Bianconi, executive director, CWW, 734.953.8834

A unique gathering of chief-elected officials and business leaders from across 18 Western Wayne County communities will gather again this fall for an evening of networking and insights into the region.

The second annual Western Wayne Business Leadership Banquet – presented by Bank of America and the law firm of Fausone Bohn - will be held Thursday, Sept. 25, at the Ford Motor Company Conference and Event Center in Dearborn. The inaugural event last year drew good reviews from the 350 people who attended.

“This event not only provides valuable information, it is also serves as a catalyst for relationship building between business and political leaders,” said Tracey Schultz-Kobylarz, Redford Township’s supervisor and chair for the Conference of Western Wayne Board. “As a result of events like this, we are able to work together, blend geographical lines and put our best collective proposals forward for the betterment of the region.”

The Conference of Western Wayne, an advocacy organization serving the elected leaders of the region’s 18 cities and townships, is partnering with several local chambers of commerce to coordinate this program designed to build stronger municipal-business relationships in a region that represents 700,000 residents and more than 54 percent of Wayne County’s tax base.

The Banquet emcee will be Mary Kramer, the publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business, and the keynote speaker will be renowned local economist David Sowerby, portfolio manager for Loomis, Sayles and Company in Bloomfield Hills. Sowerby will speak about economic and business trends for Western Wayne County and metro Detroit.

“It is an example for regionalizing and showcasing our attributes, talents and efforts for the good of State, Western Wayne County, and of course the local communities we each serve,” Kobylarz added.

The program is scheduled to feature the appearance of chief-elected officials from the following municipalities: Cities of Belleville, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, Inkster, Livonia, Northville, Plymouth, Romulus, Wayne and Westland; Townships of Canton, Huron, Northville, Plymouth, Redford, Sumpter, and Van Buren.

“The business community enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many leaders and learn more about the region during our event last year,” said Dan West, president of Livonia Chamber of Commerce and a lead banquet planner. “This event had a successful first year thanks to the cooperation from our elected leaders, CWW staff, many generous companies, and fellow chamber professionals.”

To reserve your space at this prominent regional program, contact the Livonia, Westland, Plymouth or Dearborn chamber of commerce, or the Conference of Western Wayne office at 734.953.8834.