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Creating a vehicle for investors to be able to sell their shares in small businesses could help drive interest in equity crowdfunding in Michigan, although experts say it may take a few years for a viable market to emerge.

Venture capital deal flow in Michigan in 2014 lags the pace of investment last year, although a single large investment in the spring has the total amount invested through the third quarter exceeding all of last year.

Mark Kolanowski assumes the chairmanship of the Community Bankers of Michigan as consolidation in the industry begins to pick up, driven by the rising costs of complying with federal regulations enacted from the 2008 financial crisis and the current period of “tepid” economic growth.

As volumes grew during the past year, the U.S. Small Business Administration has again decided to waive fees for loans of less than $150,000 that are made under its primary lending program.

After successfully executing its first-ever merger this summer, Mercantile Bank Corp. remains open to further deals in the future.

Fed report: Expect more community bank M&A

Written by | Sunday, 12 October 2014 22:00 |

National survey results suggest that mergers and acquisitions involving community banks could pick up in the next year or more as institutions cope with growth pressures, high regulatory compliance costs and even “management fatigue.”

Federal regulators hit Lighthouse Title Inc. with a $200,000 fine for what the company’s president says has been a common industry practice that’s now at a “watershed moment.”

Buying a family-owned business requires much more than settling on the right price, mergers and acquisitions professionals say.

Bankers in West Michigan say that in just a few short years, mobile banking through tablet and smartphone apps has grown to become a service that they must offer for customer convenience.

The new financial institutions practice formed by Charter Capital Partners LLC in Grand Rapids seeks to tap into an emerging consolidation trend involving community banks.

Grand Rapids-based Founders Financial Corp. had always expected Founders Bank & Trust to remain an independent community bank, but a key deal for an Ann Arbor lender in January convinced directors to re-evaluate their plans.

The pendulum has swung and businesses with a good balance sheet will find credit more readily available today than they would have a few years ago, according to a group of West Michigan bankers.

When Garrick Pohl moved Zipments to New York City three years ago, the startup thrust itself into an ideal major metropolitan market to prove out and refine its concept. But as the mobile courier service provider looks to grow, the company is moving its operations back to West Michigan for the region’s talent pool and its affordability.

Capital Raises: Sept. 2, 2014

Written by | Sunday, 31 August 2014 22:00 |

Grand Angels recently invested in three companies: Ablative Solutions in Kalamazoo, Tetra Discovery Partners in Grand Rapids, and Altus Brands in Grawn, near Traverse City.

The repeal of the personal property tax on manufacturing equipment in Michigan represents the second major victory in three years for business advocates who long sought to improve the state’s business tax climate.

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