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As new developments spring up throughout Grand Rapids’ west side neighborhood, the district is at the center of a concerted effort by a range of business interests looking to revitalize a long-neglected part of the city.

ArtPrize Grand Rapids has signed an agreement with Dallas to effectively license the Artprize brand and technology platform to the Texas city starting in 2016.

As West Michigan’s automotive dealer groups survey the competitive landscape, they’re finding it hard to pass up deals to add new stores, expand their geographic footprint and create attractive economies of scale.

616 Development unveils Lofts on Monroe project

Written by | Thursday, 13 November 2014 11:47 |

The $22 million renovation of the 156,000-square-foot former furniture factory at 820 Monroe Avenue NW will be the developer’s largest project to date, according to a statement.

That Grand Rapids won the nod to host the 2017 State Games of America has ramifications beyond just the economic impact that bringing in thousands of out-of-state athletes and spectators will have on the region.

While experts continue to tout wind energy as a diversification target for many West Michigan manufacturers, companies that supply the industry say they’ve faced a period of stagnant demand, especially now that a key federal incentive no longer exists.

Executives at a West Michigan manufacturer of welding equipment are betting that increased production of gas and oil in North America will fuel growth for the company outside of the automotive industry.

Suppliers need to trust that they know their cost structures better than their customers when it comes time to bid on various components.

Owners who want to sell their businesses need to begin preparing years in advance and plan carefully to do it right, M&A experts say.

As Old National Bancorp prepares to expand its market presence in Michigan with the acquisition of Founders Financial Corp. in Grand Rapids, executives cite a past deal as generating good volume growth in the state.

Better access to capital and bank lending, higher valuations and greater optimism in the economy should make for the continuation of a “very hot” M&A market into next year.

Q&A: Sheryl Lewis Blake

Written by | Sunday, 09 November 2014 22:00 |

Changes locally and across the country that put disproportionate pressures on rural health care providers led Pennock Health Services Inc. to seek a partnership with a larger organization.

A “quirk” in the law that outlines Michigan’s electronics takeback program has recyclers concerned that many old-style TVs and computer monitors could soon end up in the landfill even though they contain harmful pollutants such as lead.

This year, the Frey Foundation celebrates its 40th anniversary, as well as more than $125 million invested throughout Michigan. Over those four decades, the foundation has provided grants to West Michigan and Northern Michigan nonprofits, including Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Grand Rapids Whitewater Inc. and many others.

A quarterly activity index for the office furniture industry in October reached its highest point in more than seven years.

Business Leaders for Michigan heads into this week’s CEO Summit focused on longer-range issues than when the organization first came together five years ago.

When Eric Achtyes returned to his hometown seven years ago, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services “really wasn’t doing any” research.

Aided by the popularity of beers such as Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Bend, Ore.-based Deschutes Brewing Inc. has grown to be the sixth-largest U.S. craft brewery by volume in 2013. Deschutes started distributing in West Michigan this fall.

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