There is a saying that “necessity is the mother of invention”. This rings true for Peter Whittaker, co-founder of SBI Detroit. He shares how SBI Detroit was created.
“In 2019, my partner, Justin Lindenmuth of Lindenmuth Realty, and I were asked by some Detroit city officials to attend some meetings dealing with developing business relationships with local Detroit residents and local businesses. We attended the city of Detroit Blight Program that focused on getting more minority-owned construction businesses involved in the demolition process of vacant and vandalized buildings in the area. This was strange to us because we primarily work in finance and real estate. We usually build up areas not tear down.
As the meeting progressed and the round table members began sharing, it became evident the purpose of our being in the room. We came to the conclusion that local construction businesses lacked financing and insufficient business structuring.
By the end of that meeting, a councilman invited us to another meeting. We were again sitting there wondering why we were in the room. It became evident that the local businesses had the will and skill, but they did not necessarily have the business structuring that they needed to be successful and land city contracts to build up their city. The local businesses’ lack of business structure almost immediately eliminated them from landing local contracts with the city of Detroit.
Prior to all of these meetings, Detroit city officials would approach us on behalf of Detroit residents. They were advocating for their residents to get more jobs with the Lindenmuth Realty. Unfortunately, we believed at the time that we had all the employees that we needed.
After the meeting, Justin and I discussed the clear issues that became obvious during these meetings along with the need to employ more Detroit residents to create a partnership with the city. The issue was that the jobs were there for residents and local business owners, but not the business structure. I posed the question to him how can we help them solve this problem?
I continued to think about it and went home. I started to reflect on all of my business mistakes over the past 18 years. I created a plan that would allow local businesses access to information and secure a stronghold on their businesses’ future development.
SBI Detroit was created to provide backend business support and turnkey solutions to position local business owners to be more competitive in their respective industries and provide dependable services to the city of Detroit.”