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Small Business (144)

If the vinyl sales boom hadn’t pulled Vertigo Music out of dire straits amid the MP3 uprising, Vertigo Music store manager Herm Baker would’ve found another solution to keep the store afloat. Failure is not an option for this music-shop veteran.

Wyoming-based Avanti Law Group PLLC turns five-years-old next month and to celebrate, the firm is expanding, having recently acquired the practice of Nohemi Jimenez in Holland. Robert Alvarez and fellow co-founder Raquel Salas started Avanti after working as opposing counsel on a number of cases. Alvarez spoke with MiBiz about the firm’s expansion and its growing roster of international clients.

While Coopersville-based DeWys Engineering LLC primarily focuses on designing components for heavy industrial applications such as robotic tooling and automation equipment, the company has decided to use its engineering prowess to hedge against the cyclical nature of its business, said founder and CEO Paul DeWys.

Seeking to further its mission of stabilizing neighborhoods, a Battle Creek nonprofit organization launched a pilot microloan program to provide financing for small businesses.

The potential ownership change, which would be the second in the last two years for the religious retailer, was one of the primary outcomes at the hearing in federal bankruptcy court for parent company Family Christian LLC.

A new style of credit cards and debit cards designed to reduce fraud will require retailers to upgrade equipment by this coming fall to accept customer payments, or potentially get stuck with the liability for an incident.

Christy Malone spent months educating herself and studying the industry before launching SmartBottoms Inc., a producer of organic diapers based in Ada. But experts say her case is the exception rather than the rule as many entrepreneurs fail to perform the due diligence necessary when starting a new business.

It’s that time once again when small business owners look to reward employees for all the hard work they’ve done during the year.

Executives at West Michigan technology firms generally fall into two “diametrically opposed” camps when it comes to outlining employment agreements for their workers.

Organizations that credit innovation with driving sales higher over the last few years often embed it into their culture and structure. That's according to Plante Moran PLLC's annual look at innovation.

According to the U.S Census, 6.4 percent of all retail sales are made online, but for many small businesses, selling products and services over the Internet can be daunting.

An $850,000 investment will help Grand Rapids-based Tetra Discovery Partners LLC move into clinical trials next year for a drug under development to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

Proposed legislation to tax tobacco-free electronic cigarettes and vapor liquids the same as traditional smoking products has Michigan’s growing vaping industry fighting back. Owner Dan Lawitzke (right) of Mister-E-Liquid in Grand Rapids says the new tax could force him to close his doors just as his company and the industry is starting to gain steam.

Marcia and Al Elgersma were typical of many small business owners in thinking they could develop their own plan to hand off their family-owned company, Al’s Excavating, to the next generation of leadership. But after more than a decade of trying on their own, the Elgersmas realized they needed to bring in advisers to help enact a proactive strategy.

Businesses of all sizes wrestle with how much to pay their employees, as well as where to locate to get the right mix of skilled workers at an affordable price.

The ongoing liberalization of marijuana laws around the country has essentially created an emerging industry from out of the shadows of the black market.

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April 2015
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