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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.

Statewide SBA lending up 5.5 percent

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

Lending backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration continued to grow in Michigan into the final quarter of the federal government’s fiscal year.

Opening a financial services division is the latest step of a broader growth strategy for Honor Credit Union to serve a larger base of members.

While Lake Michigan Credit Union is making its first foray out of Michigan with a mortgage lending office in Mishawaka, Ind., that doesn’t necessarily mean the organization will open branch locations outside of its home state, executives said.

Kzoo VC fund raises $2M toward goal

Written by | Sunday, 03 August 2014 22:00 |

A new Kalamazoo-based venture capital fund closed on its first fundraising phase, although organizers hoped by now to have moved closer toward their $10 million goal.

The proposed combination of two Southwest Michigan credit unions furthers a steady consolidation trend in the industry that’s been occurring for several years.

As each envisions becoming the top community bank in Michigan, Mercantile Bank Corp. and Chemical Financial Corp. could potentially make additional acquisitions in the future to drive growth.

The planned acquisition of Founders Bank & Trust gives Old National Bancorp a solid footing in the Grand Rapids-area market to pursue new business.

The proposed 2015 premium adjustments for health plans created under Obamacare show rates going up, down and everywhere in between.

Frustrated with traditional real estate investment models, a pair of Grand Rapids-based investors formed a new platform that will help them and other investors tap into the crowd to fund deals.

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