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John Wiegand

John Wiegand

Staff writer

[email protected]

Sunday, 12 June 2016 16:13

Flat and happy? Forecast for West Michigan manufacturing eases as economic cycle matures

After driving the West Michigan economy for several years, the manufacturing sector has reached a holding pattern of flat growth that has economists on the lookout for the next downturn in the business cycle. 

Sunday, 12 June 2016 15:57

Crowdfunding Evolution? Big business takes a page from startups and taps into the crowd

BENTON HARBOR — Whirlpool Corp. may have operated with a $579 million research and development budget last year, but the global appliance maker decided to tap into crowdfunding when it came time to launch a new product. 

Sunday, 29 May 2016 11:52

Q&A: Jason Notte Columnist, MarketWatch

As the author of the Beer Goggles column for MarketWatch, Jason Notte shares his insights on the $22.3 billion U.S. craft beer industry. Based in the craft beer hotbed of Portland, Ore., Notte often engages industry execs in conversations about the highs and lows of the business, both via his column and on Twitter, where he uses the handle @notteham. Earlier this month, Notte spoke with MiBiz about the state of the industry and where Michigan’s brewers fit in the national conversation. 


Sunday, 29 May 2016 11:34

Savor the flavor: West Michigan flavoring and juice concentrate producers capitalize on move to flavored beer

In an attempt to differentiate themselves from their competition, craft breweries in Michigan and nationwide have started to infuse various combinations flavors into their beers. 

Sunday, 29 May 2016 11:24

New law allows craft beverage makers to promote events at retailers via social media

new law passed earlier this month modernizes a provision in Michigan’s liquor control code that many craft beverage producers were unknowingly violating in recent years. 

Sunday, 29 May 2016 11:13

GR-X Manufacturing leverages internet marketing to drive sales

DUTTON — Instead of relying on a traditional salesforce to sell its products, GR-X Manufacturing LLC aims to grow its business primarily through marketing on the internet. 


Sunday, 29 May 2016 11:11

Going 3-D: Manufacturers say tech drives sustainability, revenue

West Michigan office furniture manufacturers could soon be incorporating scrap wood into the production of their products through a new partnership with Michigan Technological University.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 16:39

Kraft invests $17 million to produce Grey Poupon mustard in Holland

Kraft Heinz Company has taken the next step in a company-wide consolidation strategy that began in 2015 after Kraft Food Group Inc. merged with H.J. Heinz Company.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 11:03

Bosch to close Emissions Systems facility in Kentwood

Bosch Emissions Systems US will shutter its Kentwood facility by Sept. 30, 2017.


Friday, 13 May 2016 11:55

GVSU’s MAREC relaunches with new name, co-working space in Muskegon

After 13 years of operating as the Michigan Alternative Energy Center (MAREC), the 25,000-square-foot facility will be rebranded as the Muskegon Innovation Hub, according to the university.

Sunday, 15 May 2016 11:24

Diggs’ detailed financial reporting drove turnaround at Greenleaf Hospitality

When Ken Diggs began his role as CFO with Greenleaf Hospitality Group Inc. in 2011, he joined a company amid a series of financial challenges. 

Sunday, 15 May 2016 11:18

Genualdi pilots turnaround at S2 Yachts

John Genualdi has spent the bulk of his career solving complex financial problems and turning around closely-held family businesses. 


Sunday, 15 May 2016 10:52

Niowave raises $5 million to expand production of medical imaging material

LANSING — A mid-Michigan particle accelerator has taken the next step in an ambitious expansion plan that would position the company to capitalize on the multi-billion dollar market for medical isotopes.

Sunday, 15 May 2016 10:33

Hemco Gage taps medical device, aerospace sectors for growth

HOLLAND — After losing nearly a quarter of its annual sales because of the struggling oil and gas industry, Hemco Gage Corp. plans to expand its reach by targeting medical device and aerospace manufacturers across the country.

Sunday, 15 May 2016 10:30

Kent County to explore sustainable business park at Byron Center landfill

BYRON CENTER — West Michigan could become a hub for innovative waste processing companies in the coming years.


Sunday, 15 May 2016 10:21

PE firms look for add-on deals for manufacturers, head down market

After a banner year for deal flow, the merger and acquisition market seems to have tempered slightly in 2016.

Friday, 06 May 2016 09:52

Crystal Flash sold to employees through ESOP transaction

Following a two-year preparation process, Crystal Flash has successfully transitioned to a 100-percent employee-owned company.

Tuesday, 03 May 2016 16:25

Wolverine revenues decline in first quarter of new fiscal year

Wolverine World Wide Inc. reported declining revenues in the first quarter of its 2016 fiscal year, in line with what the company’s executives predict to be a challenging year.


Sunday, 01 May 2016 12:55

Ferris State focuses on specialized industrial programs

BIG RAPIDS — Manufacturers often find themselves at an impasse when it comes to sourcing qualified welding talent. 

Sunday, 01 May 2016 12:18

West Michigan farmers, agribusinesses struggle to grow the labor force

While the challenge of finding talent makes headlines in the manufacturing and high-tech industries, similar struggles in West Michigan’s agricultural sector have the potential to hit even closer to home: the dinner table. 

Sunday, 01 May 2016 12:09

Team 1 Plastics eyes conservative growth to navigate shifting automotive trends

ALBION — Over the last decade and a half, Team 1 Plastics Inc. avoided expanding its facility until absolutely necessary, choosing instead to maximize every square inch of its shop floor. 


Sunday, 01 May 2016 12:06

Manufacturers remain bullish on EVs despite flight to trucks and SUVs

Automakers have witnessed a resurgence in interest for trucks and SUVs as gasoline prices continue to hover around $2 per gallon in many areas of the country. 

Sunday, 01 May 2016 11:51

Legislation would allow manufacturers to refile for state PPT exemption

When voters repealed Michigan’s personal property tax for manufacturers in 2014, it was hailed as a major victory in a prolonged fight by the business community to revamp the state’s tax code. 

Sunday, 24 April 2016 20:00

Native Traits taps $825K investment to target seed producers

A Southwest Michigan biosciences firm plans to use a recent investment to move its cold weather- and drought-resistant seed technology from the research phase into developing new markets.


Friday, 22 April 2016 15:17

Gentex sales jump 10 percent in first quarter

Driven by an increase in light vehicle sales, auto supplier Gentex Corp. generated double-digit revenue growth in its first quarter.

Thursday, 21 April 2016 12:03

Construction, retail markets drive Universal Forest Products’ Q1 earnings

Bolstered by a mild winter and strong performance in its construction and retail markets, Universal Forest Products Inc. surpassed analysts’ expectations for earnings in its first quarter.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 22:00

West Michigan manufacturing executives acquire Ram Electronics

Two former office furniture executives hope to leverage their collective experience as they start on a new business venture in West Michigan.


Friday, 15 April 2016 10:11

Vander Mill Cider unlocks new capacity with $4.2 million Grand Rapids facility

After more than a year of construction, Vander Mill LLC will open its new taproom, restaurant and hard cider production facility in Grand Rapids on Monday.

Sunday, 17 April 2016 16:23

Q&A: Jeff Dwyer, Director, Michigan State University Extension

A sociologist by training, Jeff Dwyer served in tenured positions at the University of Florida and Wayne State University before being appointed in 2006 as the senior associate dean at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. Now Dwyer plans to use the knowledge he’s acquired in those positions to lead the MSU Extension, an organization charged with helping individuals, communities and businesses access the resources available through the university. Following his appointment as director on April 4, Dwyer spoke with MiBiz about his long-term vision for the MSU Extension and how he plans to grow the 600-person organization to play a larger role in the state. 

Sunday, 17 April 2016 16:10

Lakeshore towns brace for another tough year in Lake Michigan’s salmon fishery

Charter boat captains and small businesses along the lakeshore are bracing for potential rough seas this year in Lake Michigan’s $16 million charter fishery.


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