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A struggle to find dedicated staff willing to work for minimum wage has one Grand Rapids pizza shop shifting to a focus on technology. 

Talent issues dominate most business discussions these days, and that’s certainly true among entrepreneurs in Grand Rapids’ restaurant scene. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Creating a level playing field for people of color in Michigan who want to pursue careers in the health care sector will lay the foundation for their success and the state’s future economic growth. 

Despite strong business optimism and continued economic expansion, bankers say they still see their West Michigan business clients taking a cautious approach to debt.

MiBiz Growth Report: July 9, 2018

Written by | Sunday, 08 July 2018 08:00 |

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for July 9, 2018.

A long-stalled development proposal in the Creston neighborhood north of downtown Grand Rapids is on the hunt for new owners.

KALAMAZOO — The $12 million in new capital Vestaron Corp. seeks to raise would enable the company to complete a journey to bring to market a new environmentally friendly pesticide. 

Consumers Energy plans a major shift to solar energy over the next two decades, but the extent to which the Jackson-based utility will rely on third-party developers eager to build projects in Michigan remains unclear. 

Automotive supplier Benteler Automotive Corp. faces a grim reality: Two-thirds of the company’s maintenance technicians will “retire out” of the workforce over the next few years.

WALKER — Since relocating its headquarters to West Michigan in 2015, Plasan North America Inc. has moved closer to its customers, added hundreds of jobs and expanded its facilities.

Grand Rapids officials contend they’re open to bringing the medical marijuana industry to the city, but the zoning proposed for businesses in the new sector seems to suggest otherwise. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Advocates looking to alleviate the city’s affordable housing issues increasingly are turning to modular, pre-manufactured housing as one option. 

Zapping the germs

Written by | Saturday, 07 July 2018 13:43 |

UV Partners Inc. developed a device that targets one of the most stubborn problems in health care: infections acquired in the hospital that sicken or kill thousands of patients annually. When Nelson Jacobson and executives at JSJ Corp. met last year with their counterparts at UV Partners, he quickly saw the device’s market potential. 

A pair of initiatives across Southwest Michigan have a similar goal: supporting entrepreneurs starting small businesses in their respective cities and urban cores. 

Q&A: Greg Carmichael

Written by | Saturday, 07 July 2018 16:34 |

Chairman, President and CEO, Fifth Third Bancorp Inc. 

Rising interest rates won’t lead to change in how banks underwrite credit, although business borrowers need to monitor their effects if they opt for a variable-rate commercial loan.

Q&A: Fernanda Wilson, Ph.D.

Written by | Saturday, 07 July 2018 16:46 |

The emergence of PFAS contamination in Kent County’s Plainfield Township and at other sites in Michigan and around the world has environmental consulting firms racing to catch up. Grand Rapids-based Fishbeck Thompson Carr & Huber Inc. (FTC&H) recently opened a new division aimed at addressing PFAS issues. Dr. Fernanda Wilson, the practice’s environmental engineering lead, spoke with MiBiz about the widespread issues with the chemicals, which for decades were used for industrial purposes, fire-fighting foam and consumer goods.

Chris Blanker has acquired the assets of Michigan Instruments in Grand Rapids.

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