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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.

Q&A: Casey DuBois, GR Makers LLC

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

Growing up around the automotive industry, Casey DuBois always had a penchant for creating. It came as no surprise to those around him when in May 2013 he helped launch the GR Makers LLC, which today has more than 100 local members.

A new survey shows business owners across Michigan are increasingly optimistic about their fortunes for the second half of 2014, although finding skilled workers remains a big concern.

West Michigan e-cigarette company Victory Electronic Cigarette Co. has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $149.5 million in a follow-on offering of its publicly traded shares.

In its 2014 Small Business Taxation Survey, the National Small Business Association (NSBA) found a disproportionate amount of administrative burden is being placed on small business when it comes to both the complexity of the tax code and the amount of time spent on compliance. MiBiz spoke with Jeffrey Van Winkle, a member of Clark Hill PLC’s corporate practice group in Grand Rapids who is the 2014 chair of NSBA, about the survey findings and the prospects for tax reform.

A biannual survey of small business owners by PNC Bank found increased optimism and stronger hiring plans for the next six months.

Mike Stevens, president of Founders Brewing Co., can laugh now about some of the poor choices the Grand Rapids-based craft brewer made over the years.

Blanca Cardoza’s recipe for success almost went up in flames with her home. She had been working for almost two years from her home to perfect a salsa recipe that had been in her family for generations. However, an $8,500 grant she received in October through the Can-Do Kitchen operated by the nonprofit Fair Food Matters helped Cardoza launch her business.

As a generation of baby boomer entrepreneurs looks toward retirement, a West Michigan congressman has sponsored legislation to make it easier to broker the sale or acquisition of small businesses.

Based on the success of the Grand Rapids and East Lansing locations of the brewpub HopCat, parent company BarFly Ventures LLC thinks it has a winning concept to take to new markets across Michigan and nearby states.

The combination of an Ann Arbor group that runs a statewide business plan competition for startups and a small business foundation seeks to create a greater entrepreneurial culture across Michigan.

A Kalamazoo-based metal and plastics recycler plans to expand its capacity at an existing site in Grand Rapids by year’s end.

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