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Small Business (159)

When Mark Lindquist purchased Rapid-Line Inc. in 1989, he completed the transaction with a strategy for exiting the business already in mind.

The new head of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Michigan office believes lending should continue to grow, even as volumes for the agency’s federally backed loans keep moving upward.

Heralded by backers as a novel way for in-state businesses to raise capital, 2014’s Michigan Invests Locally Exemption (MILE) Act came with great promise.

As Neil Brown and Wade Thompson considered acquiring Central Interconnect Inc. late last year, they found themselves interested in the opportunity the company presented.

Over the past decade, many small business owners put off expansions or capital equipment purchases for as long as they could.

Half of the nearly 500 small businesses across Michigan that have completed a cyber-security assessment since December remained largely unaware of the daily risks they face.

The Small Business Association of Michigan wants to find a route to further improve the state’s entrepreneurial climate.

When it comes to attracting and retaining the most qualified talent at his Grand Rapids-based tech firm, Atomic Object LLC CEO Carl Erickson wants to keep the company’s options as open as possible.

Organized labor groups have started collecting signatures for a plan that would increase the corporate income tax rate from 6 percent to 11 percent to raise $900 million a year for road funding. Business groups say hitting corporations with a tax hike will hurt Michigan’s competitiveness and ability to attract more jobs. Meanwhile, labor groups are also opposed to a separate petition drive seeking to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law. Supporters say prevailing wage increases construction costs on publicly funded projects.

Armed with $25 million in new mezzanine financing, Grand Rapids-based BarFly Ventures LLC plans to take its popular HopCat craft beer and restaurant concept to even more markets.

5x5 Night returns this week, offering $5,000 each month to anyone with a great idea. The monthly pitch competition, which is set for a 10-month run, follows the same format created by founder Rick DeVos. Anyone can submit an idea to the 5x5 Night website. A public vote determines the five ideas for a five-minute pitch each month to a five-judge panel that selects the winner of the $5,000. The difference this time is that 5x5 Night — scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 23 at the Start Garden office — is now run by Emerge West Michigan, a web portal launched last fall that serves as a clearinghouse for services to support entrepreneurs and startup companies. 5x5 Night is the latest program for Emerge West Michigan, which will soon add a mentorship initiative. MiBiz spoke with Emerge Director Laurie Supinski about why the nonprofit organization decided to take over and resurrect 5x5 Night.

On Thursday, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan Judge John Gregg denied a sale motion of all Family Christian LLC’s assets because the proposed sale to an insider, FCS Acquisition LLC, did not meet the heightened scrutiny the court requires when insiders are involved in a sale.

Michigan ranked ninth nationally for the number of women-owned businesses, but growth in the sector — measured by new entrants, revenues and overall employment — continues to lag.

While large public corporations have the budgets and the reputations for being innovators, they may not be in the best position to focus on transformational innovations. The reason: The average lifespan of a corporate innovation initiative lasts only 18 months, making it difficult to bring transformational change to an organization that’s stuck in a cycle of quarterly financial results.

Whether a company is working with craft beer, mobile applications or biomedical research, it’s crucial for executives to have at least some basic working knowledge of intellectual property laws.

If the vinyl sales boom hadn’t pulled Vertigo Music out of dire straits amid the MP3 uprising, Vertigo Music store manager Herm Baker would’ve found another solution to keep the store afloat. Failure is not an option for this music-shop veteran.

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