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CHICAGO — Employee wellness initiatives are changing the way corporate America makes decisions about office furniture.

Two bills before the state Legislature highlight a contentious debate over how and in what capacity governmental bodies should regulate the so-called sharing economy.

In light of legislative attempts to break through the regulatory patchwork businesses face in communities throughout Michigan, some local government officials are asking whether the state has too many layers of government in the first place.

LUDINGTON — John Wilson hopes to foster the spirit of entrepreneurism in Ludington. If the new $50,000 business plan competition he’s sponsoring ends up creating a new business in the lakeshore community, all the better.

Manufacturing executives in West Michigan and nationwide worry that their computer networks could fall victim to security breaches similar to those that have plagued the retail sector in recent months.

As more companies focus on the sustainability of their operations, one Grand Rapids-based specialty chemical manufacturer has expanded its portfolio of environmentally friendly products to meet customers’ demand.

Just as physical walls have come down in office spaces in recent years, so too have the informal barriers that have long prevented workplaces from being fun environments.

While the economy — and the office furniture industry’s recovery — could always be doing better, executives say the industry is finally positioned for a period of stability.

A pair of Grand Rapids-based companies involved in the construction and development industry now have a way to show they practice what they preach about green building and design.

Created a year ago in the merger of two Michigan health information exchanges, Great Lakes Health Connect continues to reap the benefits of a strategy shared by its two founding organizations.

For startup food vendors, gaining access to shelf space at major retailers such as Meijer Inc. and SpartanNash Co. can often mean the difference between remaining a cottage business or scaling up their operations to the next phase of growth.

When guests visit The Pantry in Grand Rapids, their experience is not completely unlike the one that most people have when they go to their neighborhood grocery stores to refill on household essentials.

5x5 Night returns this week, offering $5,000 each month to anyone with a great idea. The monthly pitch competition, which is set for a 10-month run, follows the same format created by founder Rick DeVos. Anyone can submit an idea to the 5x5 Night website. A public vote determines the five ideas for a five-minute pitch each month to a five-judge panel that selects the winner of the $5,000. The difference this time is that 5x5 Night — scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 23 at the Start Garden office — is now run by Emerge West Michigan, a web portal launched last fall that serves as a clearinghouse for services to support entrepreneurs and startup companies. 5x5 Night is the latest program for Emerge West Michigan, which will soon add a mentorship initiative. MiBiz spoke with Emerge Director Laurie Supinski about why the nonprofit organization decided to take over and resurrect 5x5 Night.

401 Hall Street building under new ownership

Written by | Thursday, 18 June 2015 16:29 |

Wyoming-based Leestma Management LLC closed today on the 190,000-square-foot, 401 Hall Street SW building, formerly home to the Metal Office Furniture Company (now Steelcase) for $5.3 million. The acquisition from Brighton-based GRL Properties LLC marks the company’s third commercial property in the West Michigan market, CEO Ryan Leestma told MiBiz. He also owns two properties in Florida.

MSU plans to begin an immediate nationwide search for a successor to College of Human Medicine Dean Marsha Rappley, President Lou Anna Simon said. Rappley is leaving for a position in Virginia.

Wisconsin-based diamond retailer Kessler’s Diamonds will make its first expansion out of the state by opening a location in Grandville.

On Thursday, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan Judge John Gregg denied a sale motion of all Family Christian LLC’s assets because the proposed sale to an insider, FCS Acquisition LLC, did not meet the heightened scrutiny the court requires when insiders are involved in a sale.

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