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Well, the official 2019 tax season is now behind us, and what a tax season it was.  To begin with, we were still adjusting to last year's tax law changes and coming to grips that most of us could no longer use our mortgage interest, property taxes, charitable contributions and work expenses. (Not always a bad thing, just different)

Then of course the Coronavirus hit and affected us in ways we never imagined. We as business owners, had to change how we do business. We as an accounting and tax office was able to eliminate the face to face meetings by utilizing our client portal, email and our physical (office) drop box. We also used DocuSign to get our clients required signatures.  Challenging it was, especially for someone that enjoys interacting and talking with clients, especially those that I've known for many years.  We are prepared to continue to use portals, email and DocuSign, in the future as an addition to our normal face to face appointments. In mid-March the tax deadline was extended till July 15, giving taxpayers more time to not only file, but also pay their taxes, which many took advantage of. This was unprecedented and we fully expect the deadline to resume to be April 15 going forward.  

Shortly afterwards, taxpayer begun receiving “Economic Stimulus Payments,” which for many was a godsend, but for many others caused a mass amount of questions and confusion.  Most questions we could not answer, we were given little to no information about these payments. We still have unanswered questions, that we await answers on.  The importance of staying up to date on your taxes and utilizing direct deposit, was most prevalent. We do know, however, if a taxpayer did not receive a “payment,” (and should have), they need to be sure and file a tax return for 2020, even if they aren’t required to do so.

Many workers received (and still are receiving) unemployment benefits.  It’s Important to remember these benefits are taxable for both federal and state. Hopefully taxes were (or are) deducted.  Failure to have taxes taken out, could (and most certainly will) cause a return to have a balance due (in other words owe). A couple ways to prepare or plan for this is to either have extra taxes taken out of your paycheck for the rest of the year or send in estimated payments. Your tax preparer can help you with this. We at J & J Taxes and More are always available for any questions you may have, email or call us.  Like our Facebook page where we’ll give you the latest information available and give you the opportunity to private message us, anytime.         

Joe Bartley



We hope everyone who attended this years Music in the Park event had a fantastic experience!

If you want to see a video from this event, please click here.


A Big Congratulations and Thank you to Big Boy Garden City on their Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting today!! A luncheon with your choice of a Classic Big Boy or Slim Jim was served along with a gift bag of your favorite Big Boy condiments to take home to enjoy. Be sure to stop in soon and support local Garden City business.


On Wednesday, December 19th, Garden City Meals on Wheels distributed 68 pair of slippers to home bound Garden City Senior Citizens for the Garden City Business Alliance's 1st Annual Slippers for Seniors. Local Garden City Businesses raised funds to cover the cost of the slippers which were purchased from Avon Independent Sales Representative Jill Lezotte-Kates.

Lezotte-Kates, the previous owner of Avon Westland, is currently hosting her 5th Annual Slippers for Seniors in Westland. When Lezotte-Kates owned her store, she wanted a way to give back to the community and "Avon sells amazing slippers. We had a collection box at our register year round for spare change, which covered the cost of the slippers" Lezotte-Kates is a 1980 graduate of Garden City East High School.

This is an ongoing fundraiser and all money collected will go toward slippers for seniors. Donate here or look for a collection box at your local Garden City Business.

Pictured below: Regina from Meals on Wheels, GCBA President Kerry Partin and Jill Lezotte-Kates.

Congratulations to Garden City Business Alliance Secretary, Jill Buterbaugh for earning the Hometown Spirit Award in recognition of Parenting with Pride, Presented by the Garden City Board of Education. Jill and her husband Kurt have been married for 17 years and are the proud parents of two daughters, Regan and Kylie. Jill is a Real Estate Agent at REMAX Cornerstone and an active Soccer Mom.


On Friday December 14th, the Garden City Business Alliance celebrated another successful year with their annual GCBA Christmas Party. A fantastic time was had by all. A special thanks to Gordon Chevrolet for hosting our party once again this year. Your staff made it another memorable one! Also thanks to Kelly Walker-Miller ( sponsored by Don Nicholson) for once again providing the wonderful entertainment. And a big thank you to all the GCBA members and guests that attended. We are looking forward to a great 2019. Merry Christmas everyone & Happy New Year!!


christmasGarden City Business Alliance is proud to announce an exciting new program that is starting in 2019, Shop for a Cause. This program seeks to partner business members with local non-profits to promote “Shop” for the business to help fund for the “Cause”.

Here is an example of how this will work. GCBA will be the liaison for business and find/set up with the cause. The Business decides how and when "event" will take place. The Cause then advertises "event", by distributing info about "event" to all associated with the Cause, i.e. friends, family, group members. The more advertised and the more business generated, the bigger the proceeds for the cause.

The GCBA liaison will help customize "event" to the needs of each business. Some may choose a specific shopping day or time frame with a percentage of proceeds to Cause. Some may choose a coupon, once presented entitles Cause to a specific dollar amount.
To participate, simply call Jackie at 734-718-6228 or email We are looking to sign up both businesses and causes. Information to become a member of the Garden City Business Alliance is available on the website.

GCBA hopes this program will help us honor our commitment to promote local businesses, promote the betterment of the community and to promote the local charitable causes.

This years GCBA Trunk or Treat was another huge success. We had a record number of 70 trunks and a record crowd of approximately 3000 parents and kids. 
We wish to thank everyone that participated and a huge thank you to all the volunteers that helped make it one of our biggest and best Trunk or Treats yet! See you in 2019!!


Everyone had a fantastic time at this years Music in the Park event held at Garden City Park. Plenty of food, music and dancing. 
A huge crowd was entertained by Steve King & The Dittilies with some great music. 
We would like to thank everyone for coming out and enjoying the evening with us. Thank you to all of our great sponsors and food vendors that made it all possible and once again a huge thank you to all of the volunteers and organizers.
We hope you'll join us again in 2019 for another Music In The Park!


D & D Executive Transportation, in partnership with Measurement Incorporated and the Genuine Toy Co., is proud to be running our first Fill-a-Bus Toy Drive to provide new, in the box, and unwrapped toys to the Neighborhood Service Organization - NSO. These toys will be distributed to three of NSO's fantastic programs: Life Choices, YouthLink, and Supportive Housing. Description of these programs are listed below. Our Goal is to completely fill the storage, luggage racks, and passenger area with as many toys, games, and puzzles as possible in order to provide an amazing holiday season for all of the people involved in each of the NSO programs.

Donors will be able to drop of the toys in advance at:
Measurement Incorporated
21520 Ecorse Rd
Taylor, MI 48180,

Or at:
D & D Executive Transportation
32639 Industrial Rd
Garden City, MI 48135.

Toys can also be purchased and donated directly from the Genuine Toy Company. They are offering a 20% discount on all toys purchased in store for the drive, and they will have a bin to leave them in right in the store!

As our way of saying thank you, anyone that drops off a gift at D & D in advance or the day of the drive will be eligible to get up to $50 off of a trip with us! ($10 for the first gift, and $5 for each additional gift).

About the Neighborhood Service Organization - NSO programs:
1. Life Choices: NSO Life Choices provides services and support in Wayne County for children, youth and adults. Life Choices professionals serve persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities, with the goal of helping individuals learn, express themselves and join in the work, play and worship of society. In support of this goal, Life Choices provides comprehensive supportive services, as well as a variety of clinical services, including psychological testing, behavior modification planning, individual and family therapy, and psychiatric care.

2. YouthLink: Operating since 2013, YouthLink currently serves nearly 250 youth. YouthLink provides a myriad of services to these youth centered around 14 specific elements, the largest providing summer employment for all program youth. Individualized case management is provided to each youth by assigned case managers, who meet regularly with youth to establish an ISS (Individual Success Strategy).
Many youth come into the program having dropped out of school. YouthLink provides both in-class GED sessions and online High School completion curriculum through ED 20/20 which is a credit recovery program. Workforce Development Specialists facilitates weekly Job Readiness workshops for the Out of School youth to sharpen their employability skills. Youthlink exposes program youth to as many academic and social interaction activities as possible, taking talent tours to the major colleges and thriving businesses in Detroit and the surrounding areas. YouthLink also polishes youth in the area of etiquette and takes them on quarterly tours to restaurants to practice what they have learned.

3. Supportive Housing: NSO's Supportive Housing uses a "Housing First" approach to provide permanent supportive housing services to homeless individuals.

About Measurement Incorporated:
Measurement Incorporated is an employee-owned corporation that invokes a sense of pride and responsibility in its employees toward the customers they serve and the communities in which they live. From the beginning, MI has always maintained a humanistic, inclusive work environment for its employees to encourage increased staff morale, loyalty, productivity and ultimately, profitability. As a community-conscious organization, MI participates in programs involving student internships, literacy, education, preservation, and recycling. Over the years, MI has been honored with recognition and awards from the community for business development, historic renovation, dedication to educational pursuits, support of employees and families, and charitable contributions.

If you'd like to learn more about Measurement Incorporated you can click on this link:

About Genuine Toy Co.:
At Genuine Toy Co., we strive to be a totally unique shopping experience and just plain fun to explore. We will surprise you with toys you grew up with but haven't seen for ages, toys that captivate the imagination of young and old alike, science & craft kits of all kinds, real fossils and minerals, an entire wall chock full of award-winning family and enthusiast games, and so much more.

We have both the best of what you expect to find in a great toy store plus what you would never expect to see anywhere, all at prices to fit piggy banks of any size! Above all, we strive to live up to our name; we are Genuine Toy Co!

The GCBA would like to announce Jill Shippe Buterbaugh as our new secretary. She’s a welcome addition to our GCBA family and we look forward to working with her.

The Straight Farm House filled up quickly for the April 13th GCBA meeting. We extend our thanks to all who made time to addend and become part of our great community of business owners!

Several members of the Garden City Business Alliance attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Key Nutrition on December 9th. They presented owner Barb Kane with a basket from GCBA member Elaine Salter, owner of the Basket Club.Stop by and show your support for this great new Garden City business.
Key Nutrition 30020 Ford Road


Congratulations to Elaine Salter on becoming our new GCBA Vice-President. (August 1st, 2017)

Elaine has been an active member with the GCBA since its inception, and we look forward to having her officially on the board.

Congrats, Elaine!

Mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets are rapidly becoming the most often-used search tools. In fact, Google reports that more searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.

What does it mean to your small business? Your website needs to be accessible to a whole new category of hardware and needs to be flexible enough to provide a positive experience for your customers. Your website must be easy to use and simple to navigate. If not, your customers may be discouraged from staying on your site, purchasing or learning more about your business.

Google have made it 'Google Law' that, if you want to appear in Google searches in the future, your website MUST cater specifically for mobile phone users. If you do not do this, you will eventually lose your traffic gained from searches on mobile phones as your website will not appear.

As mobile roaming speeds continue to increase nationwide, the use of smart phones for searches is increasing hugely month on month. Many businesses see 50% or more of their traffic from Google coming through smart phone searches.

Some emergency trades, plumbers, locksmiths etc. can see up to 90% of their traffic coming through these searches. Clearly, if they were to suddenly lose these potential customers, it would have a huge impact on their business.

Webcentric Communications can build you a site that is mobile ready so you can keep your customers happy and attract new business. Or call 313-268-0237

1.) Stop being a lone wolf. Join a pack of other business professionals to share best practices, support and peer accountability. — We can help with that!

2.) Want to help the world? Make your business highly profitable and provide great value to your employees, your customers,  and your community. That’s noble !!

3.) Small Business Challenge: Are you acting like a CEO… Chief EXECUTIVE Officer or Chief EVERYTHING Officer? Isn’t it time to stop wearing all the hats!

Read more from the Growth Coach

Joe Bartley, owner of J&J taxes, was the first member to participate in the GCBA’s program to contribute weekly business news to the Observer. His article dealt with the IRS with sage advice to “not ignore the IRS.” Says Joe:

“The biggest mistake many taxpayers make is “ignoring” the IRS and thinking they’ll go away (because they won’t). The IRS generally works pretty slow, budget cuts have reduced their resources so enforcement has slowed down, but by all means not eliminated.”

He said the “IRS will work with you, if you work with them,” and “the IRS is tough, but not unreasonable.”

Read the complete article in the Observer.

As Garden City Mini Golf marks its 50th anniversary, the Garden City Observer does a feature piece. Read the article.