Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

Managing editor, covers energy, policy and economic development.

Twitter: @ABalaskovitz
Email: [email protected]

Wednesday, 18 May 2022 18:32

Norton Shores coffee producer among West Mich. agriculture expansion grant recipients

State agriculture officials have announced $200,000 in grant funding to support a Norton Shores coffee producer’s expansion that would create the largest cold brew production facility in the United States.

Friday, 13 May 2022 13:50

West Michigan food manufacturers playing outsized role in baby formula shortage

West Michigan is playing a major role in the ongoing U.S. baby formula shortage as producers fall in the center of a product recall or are ramping up production to help meet consumer needs.

Sunday, 08 May 2022 18:13

Lakeshore energy reinvention: From Ludington to Covert, the West Michigan lakeshore is undergoing a swift energy transition

The global energy transition that is underway to combat the worst effects of climate change can be encapsulated along roughly 125 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline.

Tuesday, 03 May 2022 13:22

CMS Energy, Spectrum Health partnering on solar array to help power GR rehabilitation facility

GRAND RAPIDS — CMS Energy and Spectrum Health West Michigan are partnering on a new solar energy project that will help meet the power needs at a planned 80-bed subacute rehabilitation center on the city’s northeast side.

Friday, 22 April 2022 10:04

Consumers, DTE sue contractor over ‘defective work,’ project delays in $500M Ludington pumped storage plant upgrade

Michigan’s two major electric utilities that jointly own the Ludington Pumped Hydro Storage power plant along Lake Michigan claim the contractor hired for a $500 million upgrade of the facility has “delivered defective work” and is failing to meet contractual deadlines.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022 08:00

Efforts underway to save Palisades nuclear plant from closing

COVERT — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and state energy regulators now see a path to keep the Palisades Power Plant in Van Buren County open beyond its scheduled May 31 closing date in hopes of preserving hundreds of jobs and a major clean energy resource.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022 13:36

Palisades owner details upcoming job losses tied to nuclear plant closure

COVERT — The owner of the Palisades nuclear power plant in Southwest Michigan disclosed last week that 184 jobs will be eliminated soon after the plant permanently closes on May 31.

Sunday, 10 April 2022 18:41

DEI experts say early education, listening, investing key to meaningful change

In the nearly two years since Minneapolis police killed George Floyd and sparked a national wave of civil unrest, the business community has responded with both internal and external commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Tuesday, 29 March 2022 12:01

Federal funding could accelerate cleanup of abandoned oil and gas wells in Michigan

Michigan is seeking more than $30 million in federal funding to accelerate the cleanup of hundreds of abandoned oil and gas wells across the state.

Sunday, 27 March 2022 18:41

State proposes guidelines for hemp farmers eyeing synthetic marijuana products

State cannabis regulators are formulating rules for hemp farmers seeking to convert their harvests into synthetic marijuana products that produce similar highs to THC-laden products.

Sunday, 27 March 2022 18:33

Inflation, interest rates, global conflict complicate M&A outlook

After an active dealmaking year in 2021 that was fueled by private equity, the M&A outlook for 2022 is slightly more clouded as inflation grows to 40-year highs, the Federal Reserve begins bumping up interest rates and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupts financial markets.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022 10:56

LG Energy Solution plans $1.7B Holland expansion to manufacture EV battery components

HOLLAND — LG Energy Solution Michigan Inc. is planning a $1.7 billion lithium ion battery manufacturing expansion on vacant land the company owns in Holland, officials announced today.

Tuesday, 15 March 2022 13:39

Longtime Great Lakes Energy employee set to take over as president, CEO

BOYNE CITY — Michigan’s largest member-owned electric utility is poised for new leadership as Shaun Lamp prepares to take over as president and CEO of Great Lakes Energy on March 19.

Sunday, 13 March 2022 18:53

Advocates seek minority voices, opportunity with 12 ‘transformational’ projects

Regional business and economic development leaders recently announced a list of 12 “transformational” projects that could reshape Kent County’s ability to attract visitors, new residents and employers.

Tuesday, 08 March 2022 11:12

Meijer to offset carbon emissions with Texas solar power contract

WALKER — Meijer Inc. has signed a 15-year contract to purchase output from a large-scale solar project in Texas under an agreement that will offset the retailer’s carbon emissions.

Sunday, 27 February 2022 18:32

Michigan EV registrations climb as state prepares millions for charging stations

Michigan electric vehicle registrations climbed nearly 60 percent over the past year, which comes as the state is preparing to deploy tens of millions of dollars for additional charging infrastructure.

Sunday, 27 February 2022 18:24

M&A Awards: ‘Finding the right buyer’ is mission critical for Charter Capital’s Streekstra

Born and raised in West Michigan, Mark Streekstra returned to Grand Rapids in 2019 to join investment banking firm Charter Capital Partners after working deals for nearly 12 years in Chicago at a multinational company. 

Sunday, 27 February 2022 18:53

M&A Awards: Century Technology Group finds synergies among growing portfolio companies

After the acquisition of a Grand Haven-based emerging tech and media firm, Century Technology Group Inc. is already finalizing plans to integrate it with another portfolio company.

Sunday, 27 February 2022 18:48

M&A Awards: Battle Creek Unlimited wears developer hat for McCamly Plaza Hotel revamp

The nonprofit economic development arm for the city of Battle Creek has taken on a new role as private developer to turn around a failed attempt at reviving a prominent downtown property.

Monday, 21 February 2022 05:55

Consumers Energy plans 200 more electric vehicle chargers over next 2 years

JACKSON — Consumers Energy plans to provide 200 rebates for electric vehicle charging stations in its Lower Peninsula service territory over the next two years.

Sunday, 13 February 2022 18:59

Broadway Grand Rapids under new leadership

Broadway Grand Rapids is making a swift rebound from pandemic-related show cancellations with a current two-week, sold-out run of the hit musical, “Hamilton.” The organization, which was formed in 1988 to bring touring Broadway productions to town, is also starting 2022 with a change in leadership. Longtime marketing director Meghan Distel, who helped bring in bigger productions and more season-ticket holders over the past decade, was recently named president and CEO to replace Mike Lloyd, who is retiring after 12 years with the organization he joined after a lengthy career in journalism. Distel recently discussed plans to further grow the organization with more community partnerships and by making live theater more accessible to West Michigan residents.

Sunday, 13 February 2022 18:00

GR Community Media Center completes investigation into claims against leadership, withholds findings

GRAND RAPIDS — A third-party investigation into the Grand Rapids Community Media Center found no evidence of “board negligence or of financial improprieties” following claims by former staff and board members. 

Wednesday, 09 February 2022 09:16

Shyft Group prepares to unveil electric delivery truck

NOVI — The Shyft Group Inc. will unveil its electric delivery truck at a March trade show in Indiana ahead of route testing in the coming months and anticipated production next year.

Friday, 04 February 2022 12:40

Growing demand from businesses, residents driving DTE to more renewable energy

DETROIT — DTE Energy is planning to scale up its voluntary renewable energy program because of growing demand from businesses and residents seeking to offset their electricity usage with clean energy sources.

Sunday, 30 January 2022 18:54

Report: Cryptocurrency donations among top nonprofit trends to watch in 2022

The rapidly growing cryptocurrency phenomenon is emerging as a key fundraising tool for nonprofits that can sustain giving in new ways while also bringing in a younger demographic to philanthropy.

Sunday, 30 January 2022 18:20

Venue operators balance ‘free for all,’ optimism in latest pandemic chapter

For some West Michigan music and entertainment venues, the approaching two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic is a crossroads. For others, it represents a finish line after having endured the worst.

Sunday, 30 January 2022 18:02

Startup eyes major ‘infrastructure play’ with renewable energy-powered cell towers

Brighton-based startup has lofty goals to help build out a nationwide 5G network that combines renewable energy, high-speed telecommunications and advanced mobility.

Sunday, 30 January 2022 18:00

West Michigan projects shut out of lucrative federal grant program

Late last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce named 60 finalists across the country that each could be eligible for up to $100 million in grants to support regional economic development initiatives. 

Tuesday, 25 January 2022 13:31

GM announces $7B electric vehicle initiative in Michigan with backing of state incentives

LANSING — General Motors, alongside top statewide elected leaders in Lansing, today announced separate multi-billion-dollar investments in Michigan that officials say will help to make the state a global leader in electric vehicle manufacturing.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022 16:53

Greater Muskegon Economic Development seeks new leader as restructuring continues

Muskegon County’s economic development organization is seeking new leadership as the firm continues a restructuring focused on attracting new corporate funders and coordinating strategic planning in communities.

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