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GRAND RAPIDS — While the automotive sector may be nearing the end of a strong sales cycle, West Michigan-based suppliers remain bullish on the industry.

GRAND RAPIDS — A growing manufacturer of high-tech food carts could serve as an example of the kind of business development that’s possible in West Michigan.

Spurred on by the dearth of available manufacturing space across West Michigan, developers have started to add inventory in the region by building or expanding industrial parks.

ACME — A decade into the economic recovery, West Michigan-based automotive suppliers are having to look ahead and prepare for a period of declining new vehicle sales.

The number of venture capital-backed startup companies based in West Michigan grew 20 percent over the last three years.

West Michigan-based agribusinesses and food and beverage companies will soon have a new source of capital to fund expansion projects.

WALKER — Amid intense competition in the retail grocery sector, Meijer Inc. will trim and restructure its information technology services (ITS) staff in the coming months, MiBiz has learned.

As the pace of technological change intensifies for the automotive industry, suppliers are turning to acquisitions to reshuffle their businesses and prepare for the road ahead.

PORTAGE — Isaiah Erskine has faced tough odds for most of his young life.

GRAND RAPIDS — In a move to build a broader talent pool for future candidates, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital began a medical residency program this summer to help groom new doctors specializing in treating patients with traumatic injuries.

Martha Gonzalez-Cortes has leveraged an educational background in cultural anthropology into a career focused on helping people — often those from marginalized communities. A West Michigan native from Oceana County, Gonzalez-Cortes joined the Kalamazoo Community Foundation at midyear to serve as the organization’s vice president for community investment. With a 20-year career in public service, Gonzalez-Cortes most recently served as the community relations director for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Previously, she was CEO of the Hispanic Center of West Michigan and state director of the Office of Migrant Affairs during part of the Granholm administration. Gonzalez-Cortes spoke with MiBiz about her new role in Kalamazoo and her outlook for how she can help effect change through philanthropy in Southwest Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — Horizon Bank’s move into the West Michigan market provided an opportunity to launch a private banking service based in Grand Rapids that will eventually extend across the corporation.

HOLLAND — A West Michigan firm that invests in medical device companies has completed a capital raise of more than $1.1 million.

GRAND RAPIDS  Alliance Beverage Distributing LLC plans to expand into the northern Lower Peninsula by acquiring another wholesaler’s beer distribution rights, MiBiz has learned.

While manufacturers have avoided the attention of hackers in past, the industry has risen to near the top of cyber criminals’ hit lists. As such, many manufacturers are finding their organizations woefully underprepared to combat the ominous threat of cyber attacks. Ryan Bonner works with Brighton-based Brightline Technologies Inc. to educate manufacturers on I.T. matters ranging from cloud management to regulatory compliance and security. Last week, Bonner participated in a cybersecurity webinar hosted by MiBiz and Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West. [Editor’s note: Visit mibiz.com/cybersecurity to view the webinar.] After the webinar, he talked about new cybersecurity regulations from the Department of Defense and manufacturers’ exposure to cyber threats.

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