StartupNation Radio

Michigan Entrepreneurs Reveal How They Pivoted During COVID-19 on StartupNation Radio

On today’s episode of StartupNation Radio, Jeff is joined by co-host, Brian Calley, president of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM), and two featured guests: Patti Eisenbraun, co-owner of Brown Iron Brewhouse, and Derek Dickow, founder of Steward Media and Board of Directors member of SBAM.


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Tune in to the full StartupNation radio show with Calley, Eisenbraun and Dickow here:

Calley, who is the former the lieutenant governor of Michigan, is currently the president of SBAM and will soon be its CEO at the end of 2021. SBAM aims to help local small businesses find their footing and grow. It is the only statewide and state-based association that focuses solely on serving the needs of Michigan’s small business community, and has been in operation since 1969.

During the interview, Calley discusses:

  • His transition from commercial banker to lieutenant governor to businessman
  • How the SBAM does more than just advocate for small businesses
  • How SBAM’s membership levels work and what resources are provided
  • His view of politics today
  • Why he plans to dedicate the rest of his life to SBAM

For more information about SBAM, visit the official website, and follow on Facebook and LinkedIn.



Next, Calley and Jeff talk to Eisenbraun, the owner of Brown Iron Brewhouse, a smokehouse, full-service restaurant and brewery with locations in Royal Oak and Washington Township.

During the interview, Eisenbraun talks about: 

  • How Brown Iron Brewhouse opened its second restaurant on March 1, 2020, right around the time the pandemic took over
  • Why its business model worked before the pandemic, and how the staff had to change it completely due COVID-19
  • How the business has maintained its staff during the tumultuous year
  • Why Brown Iron Brewhouse pays its workers’ health and dental insurance if they work a minimum of 30 hours per week
  • How the business has recovered its customer base

For more information about Brown Iron Brewhouse, visit the official website, and follow on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Next, Calley and Jeff chat with Dickow, who in addition to being the founder of a PR and political relations firm, is also on the Board of Directors for SBAM.

During the interview, Dickow explains:

  • How he responded to the pandemic
  • How he facilitated worthwhile programming during a difficult year
  • Why some may adapt to a lifelong hybrid world
  • Why he spends an hour a day connecting people
  • How SBAM plans to move forward post-pandemic

For more information about SBAM, visit the official website, and follow on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Finally, all the guests come back together to discuss how small businesses can recover from the pandemic.


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We’ll be back next weekend with another exciting episode of StartupNation Radio! Stay tuned.

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