WEST MICHIGAN — Like so many entrepreneurs, Deb Tacoma arrived at a crossroads with her business. To get to the next level, her company needed additional funding.
The problem was that her business was too small for investors and didn't have enough sales to qualify for a conventional bank loan. So Tacoma turned a year ago to Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women, a Grand Rapids organization that supports entrepreneurs and at the time was offering loans to small businesses under a pilot program that has since led to the formation of a permanent microloan fund.
WEST MICHIGAN — At more than 365,000-square-foot and occupying 35 acres along one of the region's busiest commercial corridors, the Rogers Plaza Town Center sat on the market for some time until a Texas investor bought it this month.
The sale of the foreclosed property along 28th Street in Wyoming to Sun Valley Ltd. from Citizens Bank and U.S. Bank reflects an improved marketplace that has led to increased interest in and movement of commercial real estate that banks acquired during the recession through foreclosure or repossession.
WEST MICHIGAN — The pending acquisition of 21 offices from Independent Bank extends Chemical Financial Corp.'s footprint across the Michigan and furthers its ongoing expansion and growth strategy.
The Midland-based parent company of Chemical Bank will pay about $12.4 million to acquire six Independent Bank offices in Battle Creek and 15 in Northeast Michigan. Under the deal, Chemical Bank will assume about $420 million in customer deposits, pushing total deposits statewide to nearly $6 billion. Chemical will also acquire about $40 million in loans and expand its branch network to 163 offices across the Lower Peninsula.
WEST MICHIGAN — Following their venture capital brethren, angel investors in Michigan are putting more money into more deals, a sign of a steadily improving economy and the maturation of existing angel networks.
After two years of making fewer investments, angel investors put $9.5 million into 50 deals in Michigan in 2011, according to a recent annual report from the Michigan Venture Capital Association. The data show 2011 was one of the best years ever for angel investing in Michigan and easily surpassed the activity of the previous four years.
WEST MICHIGAN — It's not that he can't find the right person for a job opening.
Dennis Echelbarger just needs to look a little harder and take a little longer to find an accountant with the experience he needs.
WEST MICHIGAN — The state of the venture capital industry in Michigan is best summed up in four words: more investors, more money.
Michigan is now home to 20 venture-capital firms, up from 15 just three years earlier, according to the Michigan Venture Capital Association's annual report that details continued growth in the industry. Another seven firms based elsewhere have an office in Michigan.
After improving profitability during 2011 and in the first quarter of 2012, Macatawa Bank Corp. is in far better shape financially and positioned to eventually begin growing again in the future.
The opening of a downtown Grand Rapids office reflects a new growth strategy that will see West Michigan Community Bank further expand its branch network in the next few years. New locations are possible for the small Hudsonville-based bank in both the Holland area and along the M-6 and M-21 corridors in southern Kent County, President and CEO Phil Koning said.
Huntington Bank says it’s surpassed the $1 billion mark and is well ahead of schedule toward lending $2 billion to small and mid-sized businesses in Michigan through a lending commitment made nearly a year ago.
Paul DeVries, who played college football for Western Michigan University two decades ago, has turned to an online “crowdfunding” campaign in hopes of raising $20,000 to underwrite the further development costs for his computer game.
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. doesn’t want to be in the business of picking winners and losers, but it’s hoping a new venture match fund will provide a market-driven program aimed at filling a funding gap for early-stage companies.
What started as a niche opportunity when credit tightened during the tough economy has become a target of greater focus for United Federal Credit Union
As the banking industry enters another era of mergers and acquisitions, Michigan credit unions continue the steady consolidation trend that has been occurring for more than a decade, though at a slightly slower rate the last two years.
The small community bank may very well go extinct as the banking industry reacts to recent changes in federal regulations. Bankers and industry experts cite the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act — the largest overhaul of the nation’s banking regulations in decades, passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis — as a key driver of the expected increase in merger-and-acquisition activity in the coming years.
Pat Gill returns to the banking scene in West Michigan as Grand River Bank begins moving beyond its startup phase. Gill, who led the former Byron Bank prior to its acquisition by Chemical Bank nearly two years ago, joined Grand River Bank on Feb. 1 as president and CEO.