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Tuesday, 20 August 2013 09:08

Aug. 20, 2013: Hamilton Farm Bureau to operate under new name; Chemical Financial Corp. increases cash dividend 4.8 percent; Landscape Forms partners with Brazilian company; WMU launches Start Gate

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Western Michigan University has launched Starting Gate, a new business accelerator to help student entrepreneurs develop their business ideas. Western Michigan University has launched Starting Gate, a new business accelerator to help student entrepreneurs develop their business ideas.

Governor Snyder today announced the distribution of $100 million in federal funds to five cities for blight demolition. Grand Rapids is among the recipients and is getting approximately $2.5 million. The funds will be spread across four organization including, the Kent County Land Bank, the Inner City Christian Federation, LINC Community Revitalization Inc. and Habitat for Humanity. [1:21 p.m.]

Western Michigan University has launched Starting Gate, a new business accelerator to help student entrepreneurs develop their business ideas, according to a statement. The program is based at the WMU Business Technology and Research Park and is run by the Haworth College of Business Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in partnership with the Office of Community Outreach. Students who are accepted via a competitive application process will have access to mentoring and resources at the university, including the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center. They will also be expected to present about their progress at regular update nights. More information is available at the Starting Gate website, wmich.edu/startinggate. [1:01 p.m.]

Kalamazoo-based Landscape Forms Inc., a manufacturer of outdoor furnishings, announced a new strategic partnership with Kojima Signalization and Interiors of São Paulo, Brazil. Under the agreement, Kojima will import, manufacture and distribute Landscape Forms products in Brazil, the company said in a press release. The partnership fits with Landscape Forms’ global strategy of targeting developing markets and will mark the first time in the company’s history that its products will be sold, serviced and manufactured outside North America, President Richard Heriford said in a statement. Kojima will import the components, manufacture, install and service Landscape Forms products in the country. [12:15 p.m.]

Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) today announced that its board of directors approved a quarterly dividend of 62.5 cents per share of the company's common stock payable Sept. 15, 2013, to stockholders of record at the close of business on Aug. 30, 2013, according to a press release. [11:30 a.m.]

Grand Rapids-based logistics and supply chain management firm Supply Chain Solutions Inc. signed a five-year lease for 70,000 square feet of warehouse space in Carol Stream, Ill. to serve the Chicago market and beyond, the company announced today in a statement. The company has an option to increase its space by 70,000 square feet at the site. [11:30 a.m.]

Effective Sept. 1, Hamilton Farm Bureau will begin operating under a new name, CHS Inc., having been part of the global organization per a member vote since 2011, according to a statement. CHS is a global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives. The West Michigan-based Hamilton Farm Bureau has been in existence since 1920, operating as a local cooperative with about 500 member-owners and serving more than 11,000 customers.

Chemical Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: CHFC) today announced that it would pay a cash dividend on common stock of $0.22 per share in the third quarter of 2013, an increase of $0.01 or 4.8 percent over the cash dividend of $0.21 per share in the second quarter, according to a press release.

Zeeland-based tier-1 automotive supplier Gentex Corp. (Nasdaq: GNTX) today announced that it would pay a cash dividend of $0.14 per share — equal to the dividend it announced for the previous quarter — for shareholder of record at the close of business on Oct. 4, 2013, according to a press release.

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