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Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

 
 
Managing editor, covers energy, policy and economic development.

Twitter: @ABalaskovitz
Email: [email protected]

Sunday, 24 October 2021 16:00

Report: Sustainable Business Park key to solving Kent Co.’s organic waste problem

Kent County is moving forward on plans for a roughly $370 million sustainable business park which public works officials hope will resolve the region’s fragmented and disjointed organic waste management infrastructure.

Sunday, 24 October 2021 14:17

Career tech donation tips recent anonymous giving past $1B in Kalamazoo

Over the past four months, anonymous donations to support talent development, education and public services in the Kalamazoo area have now exceeded $1 billion, which local officials call a transformative and unique sum for the community.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021 16:34

Industrial electric customers could choose power supplier under new bill

A state lawmaker from West Michigan has introduced legislation that would give industrial electric customers an opportunity to select alternative power suppliers in what supporters say is an effort to reduce electric costs and attract investments.


Tuesday, 19 October 2021 12:15

MSU study forecasts economic benefits from expanded community solar development

EAST LANSING — Expanding community-based solar energy projects that allow utility customers to purchase subscriptions for offsite generation would contribute nearly $1.5 billion to the state’s economy and create thousands of jobs. 

Sunday, 10 October 2021 15:02

GR Community Media Center under scrutiny after claims by former employees, board members

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Community Media Center, a nonprofit founded in 1980 to provide community programming across various media platforms, is the subject of both internal and external reviews, MiBiz has learned.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021 16:02

Whitmer signs budget with childcare, talent development priorities; millions in one-time spending for Kent Co.

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a state budget for the new fiscal year that includes hundreds of millions of dollars for childcare and talent development, as well as more than $23 million in one-time spending for various Kent County developments.


Tuesday, 28 September 2021 17:25

Nonprofit leader: Housing, business support offer pathways to equitable communities

A Q&A with LaKiya Thompson Jenkins, executive director of LINC UP

Tuesday, 28 September 2021 13:47

Bills would create uniform, statewide taxable value for wind turbines

Statewide legislation introduced this month hopes to resolve a years-long dispute between power providers and local governments over the taxable value of wind turbines and how much revenue is directed to local taxing units.

Monday, 27 September 2021 14:13

Legislation seeks stricter oversight of medical cannabis caregivers

A six-bill package introduced this month in Lansing seeks stricter state oversight of medical cannabis caregivers, which critics say is a veiled attempt by commercial growers to increase their retail market share.


Sunday, 26 September 2021 18:00

Michigan’s top cannabis regulator oversees a shifting market for companies, consumers: A Q&A with Andrew Brisbo, executive director of Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency

Michigan’s emerging cannabis market is marked by many complexities, including an ongoing period of industry consolidation, a push for racial equity and a move to ensure businesses of all sizes can operate. Andrew Brisbo, executive director of the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency, is overseeing it all. He recently discussed the state’s “nuanced market” that has caused division among industry advocates and the shifting dynamics that are leading to license changes and ongoing dialogue with businesses.

Sunday, 26 September 2021 18:00

Barriers, opportunities persist in Michigan’s growing cannabis market

Michigan’s recreational cannabis market has experienced swift changes in the three years since 56 percent of voters statewide just said yes. 

Monday, 20 September 2021 17:03

Rep. Meijer says details lacking on federal climate change plans

GRAND RAPIDS — Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer says West Michigan can “lead from the front” on renewable energy and battery storage, though he is withholding support for Democrats’ climate and clean energy proposals he believes lack details.


Tuesday, 14 September 2021 11:55

West Michigan startup plans subscription-based home battery, electric vehicle charging system

GRAND HAVEN — A West Michigan-based startup in the early stages of raising capital wants to lower the cost of and better manage energy storage and electric vehicle charging in homes.

Sunday, 12 September 2021 17:10

Tiara Yachts founder retires as new generations enter the family business

HOLLAND — Leon Slikkers’ recent retirement as chairman of Tiara Yachts Inc. marks a new chapter for the family business, which has seen a boom in recent years as younger generations consider joining the company.

Sunday, 12 September 2021 16:00

Bill would temporarily expand charitable gaming for nonprofits after pandemic shutdowns

Bipartisan statewide legislation introduced earlier this summer would temporarily waive fees and expand opportunities for charitable gaming events in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Sunday, 12 September 2021 11:59

Diversity, equity, inclusion expert to start in new role for Muskegon Community College

On Sept. 20, Ken James will move to a newly created administrative role at Muskegon Community College to help lead the school’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy. To James, that means serving four distinct constituencies: students, faculty and staff, the community at large, and businesses.

Wednesday, 08 September 2021 06:00

Leon Slikkers retires from Tiara Yachts after 75 years in boating industry

HOLLAND — Leon Slikkers, a marine industry fixture whose boat-building career dates back to the 1940s, is retiring from Holland-based Tiara Yachts Inc., the company announced today.

Tuesday, 07 September 2021 11:32

Four new solar projects set to come online next year for Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy expects to start purchasing power next year from four new solar projects that will add more than 100 megawatts of renewable energy to the utility’s generation mix.


Wednesday, 01 September 2021 16:43

Van Andel Research Institute to pay $1.1M to settle more DOJ allegations over failure to disclose foreign ties to grants

GRAND RAPIDS — Van Andel Research Institute has agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle more allegations of undisclosed foreign ties involving federal research grants, the U.S. Department of Justice announced today.

Wednesday, 01 September 2021 14:38

Century Technology Group adds third tech company to portfolio with latest acquisition

ADA — Century Technology Group Inc. continues to add to its portfolio of technology-focused companies with the acquisition of a Grand Haven-based emerging tech and media firm.

Sunday, 29 August 2021 16:50

Latest Census findings play vital role for West Michigan economic developers

New U.S. Census findings that show some of the state’s strongest population growth is occurring in West Michigan provide an opportunity to help attract talent during an ongoing labor shortage.


Sunday, 29 August 2021 14:29

New GVSU endowment to boost nonprofit access to professional development

Grand Valley State University’s Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy has launched a new endowment to support professional development at local nonprofits that may not have the resources to grow.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021 13:01

Whitmer’s COVID-19 relief spending plan includes tens of millions of dollars for clean energy

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s latest plan for spending $2.1 billion in federal COVID-19 relief includes tens of millions of dollars for clean energy initiatives. 

Wednesday, 18 August 2021 15:24

Biz groups call on Congress to pass $1.2T infrastructure bill, stop ‘playing politics’

Representatives from local, statewide and national chambers of commerce are calling on congressional lawmakers to pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill they say is critical to support local growth and talent attraction.


Sunday, 15 August 2021 15:20

Philanthropy steps in where ‘broken’ municipal funding system has failed, advocates say

A recent $400 million donation to the Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence has again raised questions about Michigan’s municipal funding model and broader issues around philanthropy paying for basic governmental services.

Sunday, 01 August 2021 17:01

LGBTQ ballot initiative regroups, readies court challenge after signature setback

The committee behind a statewide ballot initiative to expand civil rights protections for LGBTQ people is prepared for a legal battle after state election officials ruled the campaign had an insufficient number of public signatures to advance the proposal.

Sunday, 01 August 2021 17:27

Passenger travel rebounds as West Mich. airports eye capital projects

Airport officials in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Muskegon have yet to see passenger travel fully rebound to 2019 levels, but they remain optimistic about the gradual return of business travel and their ability to support capital investments.


Sunday, 01 August 2021 17:01

$200K grant to support delivery program for food-insecure seniors

The Food Bank Council of Michigan is partnering with state officials and local food banks to help reduce food insecurity among senior residents, an ongoing problem that was exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021 16:11

Catholic Church bankrolling opposition to biz-backed LGBTQ rights expansion

The Michigan Catholic Conference has contributed nearly $240,000 to a campaign committee opposing a business-backed initiative to expand Michigan’s civil rights law to include protections for LGBTQ individuals.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021 12:27

Consumers Energy unveils ‘win-win’ solar project on former Cadillac brownfield property

CADILLAC — Consumers Energy has unveiled a new “brownfield to brightfield” solar project that converted formerly abandoned industrial property into a clean energy power source.


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