Blog: Bruce Rosenblat

Bruce Rosenblat's background includes 30 years in the mortgage, banking and finance industries.  In addition to guiding Main Street Bank's marketing efforts, he serves as president and COO of Business Edge International, an executive coaching firm that also provides corporate reinvention, proactive turnaround, and complete business diagnostic services.  

The 1982 graduate of Wayne State University is also the author of It's a Great Deal, All Three Of Me Think So, has been a frequent contributor to Scottsman Guide, a publication for mortgage originators, and hosted a radio program about lending and home buying  on WDTK 1400-AM.  

Bruce, 53, is a former chairman of B'nai B'rith's Great American Traditions annual dinner and is the founder of the Lenny Rosenblat Memorial Golf Classic that raises money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  He resides in the Village of Wolverine Lake. His ruminations on all manner of topics can be found here.  

Bruce Rosenblat - Most Recent Posts:

Post 3: Where do you think you're going?

Here is a shocker for you, if you were not already aware of it: the economy of metropolitan Detroit plays an instrumental role in the economy of the United States.  By count, its ten-county area had a population of over 5.3 million, a workforce of 2.6 million, and about 247,000 businesses. Detroit's six-county Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had a population of about 4.3 million and a workforce of about 2.1 million. The last accounting also showed that Detroit's urban area had a population of 3.9 million with about 80,500 people working in downtown Detroit, comprising about 21 percent of the city's employment base.

And families and college graduates are leaving.  

They read how Detroit's unemployment rate of 6.9 percent in April 2008 grew to 11.6 percent in May 2011 and that the city of Detroit's unemployment rate reached 20 percent.  They read how thousands of jobs have been lost due to challenges in the auto industry.  They read how we are a ghost town waiting for the last saloon doors to swing closed.

Well, Main Street Bank and I aren't going anywhere.

I say take a look at these facts:

  • Michigan ranks fourth nationally in high-tech employment with 568,000 high-tech workers.
  • Metropolitan Detroit has propelled Michigan's national ranking in emerging technology fields such as life sciences, information technology, and advanced manufacturing. In 2010, the Detroit area became the fastest growing region in the U.S. for high technology jobs. A report by Silicon Valley based TechNet group found Michigan to be the leading state for stimulating demand for broadband technology.
  • Michigan has ranked as high as second nationally in new corporate facilities and expansions. Among metro areas with more than one million people, Metro Detroit has ranked as high as 4th in new corporate facilities.
  • Metropolitan Detroit has one of the nation's largest office markets with 147,880,000 square feet, including the 5,500,000 sq ft Renaissance Center, the 2,200,000 sq ft Southfield Town Center, and the 1,395,000 sq ft Cadillac Place joined with the 487,000 sq ft Fisher Building.
  • Metropolitan Detroit ranks among the nation's top five financial districts, housing Quicken Loans, Ally Financial, Ford Motor Credit Company, Chrysler Financial, Bank of America, Comerica, PNC Financial Services, Fifth Third Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Deloitte Touche, KPMG, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Virchow Krause-Baker Tilly International, and Raymond James.
  • The metro area is home to high-tech business incubators such as the Michigan Security Network, a consortium that coordinates business growth of cyber security, bio-defense, and border security sectors.
  • Metropolitan Detroit is the nation's number one exporting region and busiest commercial port. The Ambassador Bridge is the busiest commercial border crossing in North America, carrying 27 percent of the total trade between the U.S. and Canada. Tourism in metropolitan Detroit is an important economic factor, comprising nine percent of the area's two million jobs. About 15.9 million people visit the area annually, spending an estimated $4.8 billion.
  • The area is home to many post-secondary institutions of higher learning and research, including: Baker College, Carnegie Institute, Cleary University, Cranbrook Educational Community, Eastern Michigan University, Lawrence Technological University, Oakland University, Thomas M Cooley Law School-Rochester, Ave Maria School of Law, Walsh College, Rochester College, Madonna University, Marygrove College, University of Detroit Mercy, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University.
  • A 2003 study measuring health care industry components ranked the Metro Detroit area as one of the nation's leading health care economies, with the region's hospital sector ranking fourth in the United States. A 2006 economic impact report showed that the metropolitan region supported 245,379 direct health care jobs with an additional 120,408 indirect and induced jobs. Major health system networks in the region include the University of Michigan, Henry Ford, Beaumont, Detroit Medical Center, St. John, Oakwood, St. Joseph, Karmanos Cancer Center, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
  • A 2009 University of Michigan report estimated that neighborhoods within the city limits of Detroit have sufficient income to sustain from $210 million to $377 million in additional grocery retail spending and that the city could support up to 1,000,000 square feet of additional retail grocery space.
So where exactly do you think you're going?

Post 2: A sax player touts community

Some say he was the greatest saxophone player that ever lived.  Others say he was the spirit of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. Clarence Clemons — the Big Man with the big horn who died last month at age 69 — was undeniably a man of unprecedented musical talent, but more than the incredible sounds he created, I will remember him as a man of community.  It was Clarence Clemons who said:

Being involved in the well-being and advancement of one's own community is a most natural thing to do.  Clarence Clemons. How profound.

While every community normally has activities, groups, and events taking place throughout the year, how involved are you or your business in the metropolitan Detroit community? Being active not only helps others, it allows you to learn and gain education into how you can help to move your community forward.

I'm proud of my co-workers at Main Street Bank.  We support many local charities and offer scholarships to those willing to make a commitment to our local communities here in metropolitan Detroit.  We participate in many local community functions and when we purchase goods and services to support the bank, we stay local.

So how do you get involved?

Well, there are two pretty simple ways.

Buy in your communities.  Of course we subscribe to buy American, but I'm talking even more specific.  I'm talking buy local.  Support your neighbors and your friends as they make up the community where you reside.  Don't feel bad after your neighbor who owns the local corner grocery store loses his house to foreclosure, when you shop down the street at the big box retailer.

If you want to advance your neighborhoods, spend your dollars there.   

Volunteer.   Contact your local municipality to find out about different upcoming events.   Most communities have officials whose sole responsibility is to help raise awareness and garner assistance for their cities.  Whether it's through a grass roots campaign, a bulletin board full of postings, or word of mouth, they know where assistance is needed.  You can also:

  • Surf the Internet.  
  • Find other Metropolitan Detroit business that share your vision.
  • Network at public and private gatherings.
  • Utilize social networking sites.
  • Volunteer at a food bank.
  • Assist with special housing programs.
Once you obtain information on the community functions that peak your interest, it's up to you to take it to the next level.  Make up your mind to be serious about the commitment and don't "short-change" your efforts.

Whatever you choose to support. there are usually contact numbers and or email addresses to the appropriate individuals that you can contact if you or your business are interested in volunteering your time or service.

There are limitless activities that you or your business can become involved in.  Community members are always looking for devoted residents who are willing to give their time to help others and make a difference.

You just might be surprised at what a difference one person can make by giving back to their community.  Take it from us at Main Street Bank; it's an incredibly emotional and rewarding experience.

Visit Main Street Bank on Facebook to see what community projects we're involved in.

Post 1: How Do I Change My Banking Address?

It was a usual busy day at Bingham Farms-based Main Street Community Bank where I work.  As I walked through our lobby area I heard a client ask one of our customer service representatives "What do I have to do to change the address on my account?" Without missing a beat, she replied, "You have to move."

I love working in the metro Detroit community banking industry.  We are real people, invested in our client's lives.  We know their business, because they want to share it with us and we care. They may invest with us, but in return we invest in them. Believe it or not community banks are one of the most important businesses in our economy. While many may see the image of a small-town bank as something out of It's a Wonderful Life, we are much more than that.

While banking regulators tend to see "community banks" as banking institutions with less than $1 billion in assets, they make up a substantial segment of the market and bring to the masses much more than asset size.  Take for instance these facts from an FDIC report from 3/31/11:

  • There are more than 7,000 community banks, including commercial banks, thrifts, stock and mutual savings institutions, with more than 50,000 locations throughout the United States and they constitute 98 percent of all banks.  In fact, of all U.S. banks, 91 percent have assets under $1 billion and 34 percent have assets under $100 million.
  • Community banks are the primary source of lending for small businesses. Even though they compose just 21 percent of the banking industry by assets, community banks with less than $10 billion in assets made 58 percent of outstanding bank loans to small businesses.
Community banks aren't just small. They're local. Your dollar in a small bank will likely help to finance a local home or business right here in metropolitan Detroit, while that same dollar in a national conglomerate generally will fund loans across the country. Community banks tend to obtain deposits from local individuals and businesses and lend them out to local borrowers.

Most community bank loans benefit the neighborhoods where depositors live and work.  Additionally, community banks' boards of directors are made up of local citizens who want to advance the interests of the towns and cities where they live and where their banks do business.

Community banks specialize in "relationship banking," as opposed to "transactional banking," which large banks master through volume transactions. A community bank's approach drives profit through long-term, multiple-account relationships and superior service for their customers. Multi-state institutions make money on volume, usually from a large numbers of accounts, numerous locations, and automated service.

Research has shown that average fees for checking accounts and other depository services are lower at community banks than at large, multi-state institutions while still offering a wide range of banking services and products designed to meet the needs of consumers and business usually including:

  • Anytime, anywhere electronic banking,
  • Credit and or debit cards with competitive rates and features,
  • Competitive mortgage and consumer-loan products
  • Competitive checking, saving and investment products and rates
  • Safe deposit boxes
While the total number of banks in the United States has been decreasing due to consolidation, especially here, locally new community banks continue to be chartered. Despite the financial crisis, 11 new community banks were chartered in 2010.

We are helping to rebuild communities right here in metropolitan Detroit.  We're banking on our clients and their neighborhoods.  Is your multi-state banking conglomerate equally committed?