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When Malinda Petersen started her theater major at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, becoming a successful businesswoman wasn’t on her to-do list.

The founders of a small startup business are stitching together the pieces of what they hope can someday be a namesake design house in Grand Rapids.

Even with the rise of telecommuting, business people still have a need for conference facilities. And when they want to use a conference room or boardroom for an event or for corporate training, they don’t want to have to deal with non-business users.

Some of West Michigan’s hotels are riding the wave of record occupancy rates that has the state’s overall travel numbers at an all-time high.

West Michigan CVBs on pace for record year

Written by | Sunday, 16 September 2012 18:08 |

The hot, dry summer has given a boost to Michigan’s summer tourism season.

Fox Motors plans TC, Chicago expansions

Written by | Tuesday, 04 September 2012 11:07 |

Fox Motors, one of West Michigan’s largest auto dealership groups, plans to add a new nameplate by the end of the year and could soon enter the Chicago market as part of an expansion plan.

When President Obama called on Peter Perez to again serve his country, the former Naval officer was honored to answer the call.

In the overall scheme of things, $10,000 isn’t a large amount of money, unless you’re an entrepreneur with a startup business trying to get off the ground and working with limited funding.

The Grand Valley State University Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center added three new programs to its host of resources for alternative energy and technology startups.

Q&A: George Bradshaw

Written by | Monday, 20 August 2012 00:00 |

George Bradshaw was a modern day "Mad Man" in New York City, having worked on marketing campaigns for NBC's 2000-2008 Olympics programming and for Disney, before following his wife's career to West Michigan.

As one of the most public evangelists for Southwest Michigan, Ron Kitchens serves as the face of economic development in a region that continues to have its share of successes.

A Utah bank that specializes in U.S. Small Business Administration lending entered the Michigan market this summer, seeking to tap into the state's improving economy.

WEST MICHIGAN — Small business owners across Michigan feel increasingly optimistic about their future prospects, according to results from a pair of surveys that found expectations for increased hiring and improved sales and profits.

In the Small Business Association of Michigan's June survey, 22 percent of 600 respondents said they increased hiring in the past six months, a rate double the amount found in the prior survey last November. Twenty-six percent said they intend to hire more staff over the next six months.

GRAND RAPIDS — A new startup competition linking entrepreneurs and designers will see which team can quickly and inexpensively come up with the best business idea. 

The goal: to get past over-thinking ideas by rapidly prototyping them, getting them into the customers' hands and learning quickly from mistakes or missteps. 

A West Michigan manufacturing startup has taken the international packaging industry by storm creating an eco-friendly divider that's generating as much buzz in the business as bubble wrap did a half century ago.

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