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Displaying items by tag: Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

Tuesday, 21 April 2020 17:00

During SBAM briefing, Gov. Whitmer discusses pathway to restart state’s economy

When looking to get Michigan back to business, the state must answer a variety of questions to assess the risk, according to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Published in Small Business
Thursday, 16 April 2020 14:32

Midwest governors partner to reopen economy based on ‘facts, science, experts’

Seven regional governors, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, announced today they will partner on reopening sectors of the economy while making decisions “based on facts, science, and recommendations from experts in health care, business, labor and education.”

Published in Economic Development
Tuesday, 24 March 2020 05:33

Business groups seek more clarity, guidance in stay-home order

Michigan business organizations were publicly supportive of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order, although they surely want more clarity on how to proceed.

Published in Economic Development

Sunday, 16 February 2020 19:00

Criminal justice reform can help address workforce development, biz group says

series of recommendations from a state joint task force on reducing Michigan’s ballooning jail population can also address workforce development challenges, says a leading West Michigan business group.

Published in Economic Development
Friday, 14 February 2020 10:17

Whitmer’s proposed 2021 budget restores skilled trades training funds

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal would restore funding for a training program for skilled trades that the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce has championed for years.

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 16 February 2020 18:30

Fixing talent constraints starts with cultural change, partnering with higher ed

The talent needs of employers are a constantly moving target that requires companies to foster and maintain close ties with educators to keep up with the demands of the 21st century economy. 

Published in Talent


Sunday, 16 February 2020 18:15

Corporate pipeline for women improving, but disparities remain

GRAND RAPIDS — For much of her career, Jacey Ehmann was the only woman in the room. 

Published in Talent
Monday, 27 January 2020 14:30

City, Grand Rapids Chamber bring on new staff to help business attraction, equity

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce has hired a retail retention and attraction specialist to help attract regional and national retailers to the city.

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 19 January 2020 13:09

EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK: Tribes reiterate commitment to GR with McKay Tower deal

More than a decade ago, Grand Rapids business leaders lobbied hard to block the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, known locally as the Gun Lake Tribe, from opening a casino near Wayland. 

Groups like 23 is Enough and MichGO drove the narrative that any casino development south of Grand Rapids would “siphon off” jobs and investment from the city’s then-rebuilding downtown, limiting growth in entertainment options and economic opportunity alike. They cited a study commissioned by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce in the early 2000s that estimated $880 million of “economic hemorrhaging” in the surrounding counties if Gun Lake Casino were ever allowed to move forward. 

Looking around downtown Grand Rapids today, it’s hard to find evidence that their worst fears were in any way realized. 


Sunday, 19 January 2020 14:26

Startup Grind connects entrepreneurs to network of resources

Corey Hart returned to Grand Rapids last September to find that support for entrepreneurship and startup companies had grown well beyond what it was when he left for California a decade earlier.

Published in Small Business
Sunday, 12 January 2020 17:00

Talent, housing, infrastructure among top priorities in 2020 Grand Rapids Chamber survey

Talent, housing and infrastructure topped the 2020 priority list for members of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 22 December 2019 18:05

GR Chamber to bolster diversity and inclusion programming in new year

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce continues to seek out ways to address the persistent talent issues that local companies are facing. Rick Baker, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber, said the organization is advocating for ways to attract talent at the local and state levels, including by expanding programming in 2020. 

Published in Economic Development


Sunday, 22 December 2019 00:00

Celebrate Community Changemakers at the Chamber’s 132nd Annual Meeting

The Grand Rapids Chamber is thrilled to announce the 132nd Annual Meeting on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at DeVos Place. At the Chamber’s largest event of the year, over 800 attendees will celebrate what was accomplished in the community to “Create Great” in 2019, as well as the work the Chamber executed to support a thriving and prosperous West Michigan for all.

Published in Sponsored content
Sunday, 27 October 2019 18:30

Grand Rapids groups partner on retail pilot program

GRAND RAPIDS — Multiple organizations have partnered to assess how Grand Rapids can attract and retain retail across all parts of the city.

Sunday, 29 September 2019 15:19

Bipartisan bills broaden state’s role to support second-stage businesses

Backed by a key small business advocate in Lansing, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed a legislative package to boost state support for companies operating in the space between small startups and larger corporations.

Published in Small Business

Sunday, 01 September 2019 11:53

Lawmaker cites benefits of issuing licenses to undocumented immigrants

State Sen. Stephanie Chang says granting state driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants is as much of an issue of economics and public health as it is about immigration.

Published in Economic Development
Tuesday, 20 August 2019 13:58

Michigan business groups to lawmakers: Fix the roads

A coalition of business groups today urged state lawmakers to finally come up with a way to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 23 June 2019 19:00

GR could fund parking expansion in next budget

GRAND RAPIDS — Citing high occupancy in the city’s parking facilities and a long waitlist for monthly parking passes, Grand Rapids is considering plans to build two new parking decks to expand options for downtown workers.


Sunday, 09 June 2019 19:00

Michigan’s push to expand LGBTQ civil rights comes amid key federal lawsuits

State lawmakers are pushing once again to expand civil rights protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as key legal cases on the issue sit before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 09 June 2019 19:00

Exit Planning Institute forms West Michigan chapter

GRAND RAPIDS — When advisers begin to prepare a business for a transition and sale, they also need to prepare the entrepreneur for what’s next.

Published in Finance
Sunday, 31 March 2019 22:15

Q&A: Graci Harkema, Diversity and Inclusion Director, Founders Brewing Co.

Graci Harkema wants to break the craft beer industry’s bearded white male stereotype. In January, she became diversity and inclusion director at Founders Brewing Co., where she’s working to give employees opportunities to “be their authentic selves and achieve their goals.” Her hire followed a pair of controversies at Founders.

Published in Food/Agribusiness

Friday, 29 March 2019 14:46

Biz groups back Whitmer plan to boost degree-holders

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and three other Michigan business groups backed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposal to increase the number of state residents with a college degree and create a scholarship fund to help students go to school after high school.

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 20 January 2019 20:13

Small businesses join call for civil forfeiture reform

The state chapter of a small business advocacy group is among the supporters of a bipartisan bill package introduced this month to reform the way law enforcement seizes property from people suspected of crimes.

Published in Small Business
Sunday, 23 December 2018 15:38

Crystal Ball 2019 Michigan Policy Outlook: Amid new political dynamic, business groups focus on talent, road funding

Michigan business groups say a transition of executive power from a Republican to a Democrat brings policy uncertainty, but they expect a continued focus from Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer on at least two topics: road funding and talent.

Published in Economic Development

Sunday, 25 November 2018 21:45

Lame Duck Outlook: Biz groups closely watching paid sick leave, minimum wage bills

Bills to scale back new state laws mandating paid sick leave and increasing the minimum wage are top of mind for local and statewide business groups in this year’s legislative lame duck session.

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 11 November 2018 21:45

Michigan first of Midwest states to legalize recreational marijuana

Proponents of statewide and local ballot initiatives went four-for-four on election night, establishing a new process for drawing legislative districts, increasing access to voting and dedicating funding for early childhood development in Kent County.

Published in Economic Development
Friday, 26 October 2018 10:45

Study estimates marijuana as $1.4 billion industry for Michigan

Marijuana for recreational use by adults could become a $1.4 billion industry in Michigan in the years ahead.

Published in Finance

Friday, 28 September 2018 19:50

Report: Immigrants contribute $3.3 billion to Kent County economy

Immigrants now living in Kent County are making a significant impact on the local economy.

Published in Breaking News
Friday, 28 September 2018 19:27

Second Chances: West Michigan companies see ‘banning the box’ as a solution to talent crunch

Companies and job-placement organizations in West Michigan say an executive order signed by Gov. Rick Snyder comes as a good first step in addressing the state’s skilled trades shortage.

Published in Economic Development
Monday, 24 September 2018 12:44

Schuette addresses GR Chamber endorsement controversy

Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette on Monday morning signaled further willingness to expand the state’s civil rights law following an endorsement controversy last week.

Published in Breaking News

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