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Aiming to become a global leader in the emerging $3.5 billion e-cigarette industry, closely held Victory Electronic Cigarettes Corp. began exploring options early last year to raise capital for acquisitions and position itself for growth.

Social media’s double-edged sword

Written by | Wednesday, 02 July 2014 22:00 |

Earlier this year when a significant portion of the West Michigan Whitecaps’ ballpark was destroyed by fire, it could have been an incredibly negative footnote in the team’s history.

As more workers complain about distractions and an inability to focus in today’s open office plans, a growing number of office furniture executives think the concept may have gone too far. Now, they’re focused on balancing the benefits of the open plan with the need for private spaces.

Just as buying a Ferrari won’t instantly win you any races or turn you into Mario Andretti, buying the most expensive customer relationship management (CRM) system won’t transform your business into sales machine — despite the claims posted on almost any CRM system’s website.

When Paul Doyle moved to Grand Rapids from Chicago in 2001, he faced “a bit of a stigma” as an entrepreneur looking to launch high-tech startups.

Companies face difficulty in measuring a return on their investment in sending executives to trade shows: Rarely do the shows result in immediate new business. Still, businesses across the spectrum of industries continue to search for methods to ensure there is some sort of return on investment for having a presence at the events.

Global demand for its products presented a challenge for Grand Rapids-based HelloLife LLC, a marketer of FDA-registered, homeopathic medicines.

ACA forces employers to rethink benefits, hiring plans

Written by | Sunday, 16 February 2014 22:37 |

One major consideration for employers in setting up benefits packages is the ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

In the so-called “war for talent,” small businesses are finding that their culture and work environment can be as important to candidates as the pay and benefits they’re offering.

Small business owners with a good track record and who put plenty of preparation into their loan applications should find a favorable credit environment and better loan cost structures in the year ahead.

Credit unions continue to grow small biz lending

Written by | Sunday, 05 January 2014 20:02 |

Business lending by credit unions surged during most of 2013, a trend that’s expected to continue into 2014 and beyond as the economy further improves and more institutions start offering commercial loans.

2013 brought with it a series of changes in tax laws that investors need to consider as they close out the year — if they haven’t done so already.

Wall Street’s surge during the last year has stocks back in favor.

Corporate conventions and industry meetings used to be about getting as many professionals in one high-profile city as possible, exposing them to multi-day events and other resource-heavy endeavors.

Party budgets haven’t necessarily rebounded to what they were in pre-recession days, but local venues and managers feel cautiously optimistic about the return of the annual tradition.

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