When Night Shadows Dance

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

We may think they are strangers in the night, but when the sun goes down and night shadows dance, a nocturnal cast of nature’s characters appear. They are not strangers in the night, but under the cover of darkness, dramas of life and love, predator and prey and human avoidance go on. If I was to select just one species that increases activity by leaps and bounds at night, and sometimes trips my concealed motion-activated trail cameras, it would be our eastern coyotes. They inhabit every corner of our county and their yips and howls sometimes stir Facebook chat rooms into phobia-creating chatter resembling, “The coyotes are coming! The coyotes are coming!”

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Maple’s Sweet Story at our Metroparks!

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

“A sap-run is the sweet good-by of winter. It is the fruit of the equal marriage of the sun and frost.” John Burroughs, Signs and Seasons (1886)

Eastern bluebirds had been flitting about my meadow for the past few weeks. Skunk cabbage emerged from frozen mud down at the marsh. Great Blue Herons and Sandhill Cranes stalked the edge of our county’s wetlands as the duel between the seasons accelerated. Those signs all teased of the approach of spring and then the county was bathed in blue sky with temperatures flirting with the 50 degree mark last weekend. Continue reading

March Business Workshops

Business people working

Launch a brand-new business or advance your current one with the help of Oakland County’s One Stop Shop Business Center! Attend a business workshop during the month of March to get help with start-ups, understanding cash flow, and more. The One Stop Shop’s industry experts can help you meet your goals and transform your enterprise.

Leading your Business – How to Turn Chaos into Value
Tuesday, March 10, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Fee: This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.

This seminar is designed to show you methods of identifying, categorizing, understanding and eliminating chaos in your company — replacing it with value for your employees and customers. Learn to identify your business’ weaknesses through an understanding of value versus waste, recognize and get to the roots of chaos and introduce a cycle of continuous improvement.

CEED Lending Small Business Loan Orientation
Wednesday, March 11, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Fee: This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.

If you have a need for alternative financing and your business is located in Oakland County, consider learning more about the CEED Lending Small Business Loan Program. Discover the requirements and process necessary to apply for and obtain a Small Business Loan. CEED Lending is an initiative of Great Lakes Women’s Business Council.

Writing Your Business Plan
Tuesday, February 4, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Fee: This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.

Follow along with our step by step approach. Prepare a business plan that gives your business direction, defines your objectives, maps out strategies to achieve your goals and helps you to manage possible bumps in the road. This workshop is designed for entrepreneurs who are interested in writing their first business plan or want to improve a plan to get their business to the next level.

Starting a Business
Thursday, March 12, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Fee: This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.

This workshop is designed for individuals who are at the beginning stages of starting a business. It will help aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to getting started.

Understanding Cash Flow
Wednesday, March 18, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Fee: This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.

This workshop is designed for individuals who need a better understanding of the cash demands required to successfully start and manage a business. The use of Startup Cash Analysis and Cash Flow Projections will be discussed.

The Business of Leadership – Workshop Series
Friday, March 20, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Fee: This workshop is $400 and pre-registration is required.

This leadership program is designed to address the special demands you face during the growth stage of your business. You’ll learn how to cultivate stronger relationships with clients and partners, delegate and empower others, build confidence with new managers/ supervisors promoted from within, coach people to reach their full potential, and foster cooperation and build teams to achieve bold goals. You will develop a strategic action plan to apply your new skills at work immediately. You can also reinforce your learning through ongoing sessions with your Oakland County business consultant.

Women’s Business Enterprise Certification Orientation
Friday, March 20, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Fee: Call 248-858-0783 or email smallbusiness@oakgov.com to register. A $25 fee is payable at the door to Great Lakes WBC.

Learn about the benefits and process of becoming a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). Benefits include certification to private sector WBE’s and access to procurement opportunities with major national companies.

The Business of Leadership – Workshop Series
Friday, March 27, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Fee: This workshop is $400 and pre-registration is required.

This leadership program is designed to address the special demands you face during the growth stage of your business. You’ll learn how to cultivate stronger relationships with clients and partners, delegate and empower others, build confidence with new managers/ supervisors promoted from within, coach people to reach their full potential, and foster cooperation and build teams to achieve bold goals. You will develop a strategic action plan to apply your new skills at work immediately. You can also reinforce your learning through ongoing sessions with your Oakland County business consultant.

Walk-In Start-Up Thursdays
Waterford: Every Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – Noon & 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Novi:  First Thursday of Every Month, 9:30 a.m. – Noon & 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Fee: This workshop is free, and no appointment is necessary.

Individuals who want to launch a business but don’t know where to begin can receive confidential, one-on-one advice from an experienced business consultant. Counselors will answer start-up questions, suggest next steps, and give guidance on business planning tools. Walk-in sessions are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and are limited to 15 minutes.

Registration and Workshop Details

Pre-register by visiting Advantage Oakland’sBusiness Workshops page or by calling  248-858-0783.

Unless otherwise noted, all programs are held at the L. Brooks Patterson Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, west of Telegraph, in Waterford.

Stay connected with the Business Center on Advantage Oakland’s Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, pages and learn more about the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center on their  website or visit their Eventbrite page.


Follow along with Oakland County on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube using #OaklandCounty, or visit our website for news and events year-round. 

Screech Owls: Your Secret Neighbor

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

I had not thought much about Screech Owls until recently, when two things happened this month. A few weeks ago I began to hear their annual high-pitched whinnies and magical sounding soft trills coming from the edge of my woods. It’s a sound I know well and hear every February, especially if the bedroom window is open a crack, as it usually is, even on cold winter nights. It’s a sound that makes me smile.

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