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July 30, 2014

New directory looks to connect Oakland County businesses

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

OAKLAND COUNTY — There’s nothing better than local businesses working together to help each other. Now, thanks to a new database, those mutually beneficial relationships are even easier to build in Oakland County.

Branching off of the state’s Pure Michigan Business Connect site, the county has launched its own site called Oakland Business Connect. The free online database is open to any of the county’s 42,000 businesses that want to network with other Oakland County ventures.

“We want Oakland County companies to be the first choice for other Oakland County companies looking for goods and services,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson in a prepared statement. “Growing businesses here means a stronger economy and more jobs.”

According to Irene Spanos, director of Economic Development and Community Affairs for the county, the database has been in the works for a few years. She said it’s too early to tell how successful the site will be yet, but so far, many companies have shown an interest in joining.

“Several of our companies that are there already and that have participated in the state’s buying summits have anecdotally told us they met with purchasers at companies that they have been trying to get into for years,” she said. “If we can help connect businesses to each other, we see that as a win for the buyer business, a win for customer business (and a) win for the community because we are keeping more of the dollars locally here.”

Spanos said that locally based global companies like BorgWarner, Chrysler, Consumers Energy, DTE and Ford Motor Co. have all agreed to use the Pure Michigan database to find new suppliers. Retail, commercial and service industries could also see perks from joining. The hope is that the Oakland County-specific site can focus that pledge even more locally.

Ray Treadwell, marketing specialist and recruiter for Telegration in Clawson, signed his business up for the database last week.

The telecommunication company works to provide other businesses with consulting services as to how they can reduce costs and inefficiencies with their phone and Internet plans.

“(The database) gives us word-of-mouth and brand recognition. We want individuals in the Oakland County community to know we offer these services, and this is a great opportunity to get our names out there and connect.”

By signing up, local businesses can have access to a range of benefits offered through the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center, including one-on-one confidential business counseling, access to workshops and seminars, custom mapping, and access to financial counseling and capital.

For more information, visit www.OaklandBusinessConnect.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.