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Marla R. Miller

Marla R. Miller

In a state with a $26 billion outdoor recreation economy, the proposed federal Great American Outdoors Act is welcomed news among conservation advocates and could bolster the backlog of deferred maintenance projects at Michigan’s national and state parks.

Plagued by high water, COVID-19 business closures and canceled festivals, officials in lakeshore communities are developing plans to bring visitors back to restaurants and lodging in hopes of tourists’ return this summer. 

Sunday, 07 June 2020 14:00

Crisis puts spotlight on food issues

One week before schools throughout Michigan were ordered to shut down, leaders with Kids’ Food Basket had already begun to put a plan in place to meet the needs of the children they serve on a daily basis.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has issued roughly $4 million in refunds for camping and lodging reservations through June 21 due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to state officials.

Despite advanced degrees, ambition and experience, women of color in West Michigan continue to face unique challenges when it comes to getting hired and promoted, particularly for executive leadership roles, according to a new study.

FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP — The Meat Block Inc.’s restaurant accounts have taken a big hit due to COVID-19, but the Muskegon-area retail store and online orders have kept the Anderson family busy. 

MUSKEGON — As one of the only restaurants open in downtown Muskegon, Topshelf Liquor Bar & Pizza owner Jim Noel is sticking to a formula he knows well. 

SPRING LAKE — Gary and Michelle Hanks have spent the last nine years building a niche business and bringing a variety of singer-songwriters and rising musicians to Seven Steps Up.

GRAND RAPIDS — For the family-owned startup Soldadera Coffee LLC, the COVID-19 crisis has brought an unexpected opportunity.

As the owner of longtime downtown Grand Haven retailer Down To Earth, Sholeh Veiseh has turned to hosting virtual fashion shows and offering sales on social media to bring in some revenue during the coronavirus closure.

As the economic effects of the coronavirus deepen, the nonprofit sector faces unique organizational and financial challenges as it seeks relief and recovery.

For those getting antsy and in search of the outdoors, the message from Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources is simple: Do it close to home.

The Muskegon City Commission has approved $150,000 in emergency loans for businesses in the Lakeside Business District that have struggled from a troubled road construction project and forced closures due to the coronavirus.

While most Americans can self-quarantine against the coronavirus from the comforts of home, the area’s homeless population and domestic violence victims rely on shelters to keep them safe. Many guests and clients have complex needs, compromised immune systems, and chronic mental or physical health issues, making essential services even more critical.  

During a time when people may need some escapism and laughs the most, the stage is silent. The music has stopped. The curtain has dropped.

Some West Michigan employers are altering their policies and procedures to adapt to the new operating environment in which legal cannabis is becoming more readily available at retail locations across the region. 

Gary Schuler never expected to jump into the industrial hemp industry, but he  finds himself now pitching the plant’s potential and its milled-down byproduct for new uses.

Dave Alexander was appointed business development manager for the City of Muskegon in July. Alexander was formerly the executive director of Downtown Muskegon Now, which recently disbanded. His new role includes acting as the Downtown Development Authority’s staff liaison, overseeing the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, and supporting commercial retail development throughout the city.

Michael Klumpp did not know what to expect when he ventured into the world of industrial hemp, but the farmer soon realized growing a viable crop was only half the battle.

With former CEO Jim Edmonson back at the helm and a new board of directors, Muskegon Area First has positioned itself for fiscal and programmatic growth to support Muskegon County’s economic development into the next decade.

MUSKEGON — After decades of site remediation and restoration projects to clean up Muskegon Lake, the south shoreline is ripe for redevelopment and various stakeholders are watching and waiting to see how it unfolds.

KALAMAZOO — The Blacktop Saints Riding Club is among hundreds of motorcycle clubs throughout the country that are riding for good. 

As students head off to college this fall, some of them in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will be blazing a trail when it comes to new fields of study: growing and testing hemp and learning how to lead a cannabis business.

When doctors in Wisconsin wanted to put Bonnie Demos on a morphine pump for pain, she decided instead to move to Michigan and grow her own medicine.

MUSKEGON — The precarious state of the historic LST-393 Veterans Museum could help spur a major milestone in Muskegon’s waterfront development.

Unseasonably rainy weather coupled with near record-high Great Lakes water levels have left many West Michigan business owners hoping the region will dry out in time to salvage the season for visitors and tourists.

While flooding and erosion are wreaking havoc for waterfront businesses and property owners, the changes are creating business opportunities for local marine construction and dock companies, who say they’ve been busy with scheduled projects and inundated with calls in recent weeks.

MUSKEGON — City leaders continue to explore ways to move Muskegon’s retail sector forward by enhancing business districts outside of the downtown core.

MUSKGEON — Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. LLC plans to keep the beer flowing at its Western Avenue taproom for now, while fine-tuning brewing operations in its new facility.

MUSKEGON — Building on the success of the Western Market chalets and other developments, Muskegon officials continue to look for ways to expand retail offerings, support budding entrepreneurs and attract shoppers.

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