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Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez

Senior Writer

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The local authority charged with overseeing the Grand Rapids SmartZone incubator and accelerator wants to see more “churn” and better ROI from the life science companies that call the SmartZone home. To help achieve that goal, the 12-member Grand Rapids Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA) in February issued a request for qualifications, inviting organizations to apply for the job of staffing and managing the Grand Rapids SmartZone.

Pat Gill returns to the banking scene in West Michigan as Grand River Bank begins moving beyond its startup phase. Gill, who led the former Byron Bank prior to its acquisition by Chemical Bank nearly two years ago, joined Grand River Bank on Feb. 1 as president and CEO.

The addition of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and Carson City Hospital begins building a health care collaborative beyond its founding members.

Monday, 27 February 2012 20:47

Sweethearting not so good for business

Some of your employees are perhaps going more than a little overboard to please customers.

Setting up shop along the Medical Mile opens up the potential for Ferris State University’s College of Pharmacy to forge new partnerships in Grand Rapids. The new $9.1 million College of Pharmacy Center for Innovation Learning and Research houses 150 third-year pharmacy students and serves as a home base for fourth-year students serving clinical internships in the area.

WEST MICHIGAN — Time is money to small businesses.

So the two hours that Jill Remijn saves each week doing paperwork at Woods Landscape Maintenance have value. Spending that time on matters other than printing out and mailing client invoices comes via a new online service offered by Mercantile Bank of West Michigan through, a Palo Alto, California technology company.

More than a year after moving his private equity firm to his home state, Martin Stein has begun forming a new investment fund to target Michigan-based companies for acquisition.

A Grand Rapids venture fund exceeded its first-year goals, both in funds raised from investors and investments made. Michigan Accelerator Fund I netted $9 million in commitments from investors during its first year, lifting the total capital that it will have available to $15 million. Launched in January 2011 with $6 million in state seed funding, the venture fund expected to raise $4 million from private investors.

Friday, 10 February 2012 11:15

Business leaders outline state’s assets

The newest ideas from a coalition of corporate CEOs and university presidents seek to build on what Michigan already does well to drive employment and economic growth in the years ahead. Building on Michigan’s engineering and logistics acumen; growing the life sciences sector further; boosting agricultural processing and exports and tourism; strengthening higher education; and leveraging the auto industry’s legacy for new forms of transportation are the key elements of a “New Michigan” strategy rolled out by Business Leaders for Michigan.

Thursday, 09 February 2012 11:01

MMA sets sights on personal property tax

Eliminating Michigan’s personal property tax has long been a high priority for business advocates in Lansing. This year, they may finally accomplish their goal. Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders in the state House and Senate, on the heels of last year’s elimination of the Michigan Business Tax and creation of a 6 percent corporate income tax, have made repeal of the personal property tax a top priority in 2012.

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