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Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez

Senior Writer

[email protected]

Friday, 06 July 2012 13:03

Microloan program looks to expand

WEST MICHIGAN — Like so many entrepreneurs, Deb Tacoma arrived at a crossroads with her business. To get to the next level, her company needed additional funding.

The problem was that her business was too small for investors and didn't have enough sales to qualify for a conventional bank loan. So Tacoma turned a year ago to Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women, a Grand Rapids organization that supports entrepreneurs and at the time was offering loans to small businesses under a pilot program that has since led to the formation of a permanent microloan fund.

KALAMAZOO — They've done business together for five years and each was looking at its next step. 

So the Kalamazoo-based Southwest Michigan Life Science Venture Fund and an Illinois venture fund decided to work together even closer.

GRANDVILLE — Grand River Commerce Inc. joined a growing number of small community banks around the nation, and became the first in Michigan, to take advantage of a new federal law and save thousands of dollars annually in regulatory reporting costs. 

The three-year-old parent company of Grand River Bank filed a notice June 29 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to deregister its shares and suspend regulatory reporting. The change takes effect 90 days after the filing.

CALEDONIA — An aging population that will increasingly require more care led Davenport University to launch a trio of graduate programs designed to elevate the health care talent level in the Grand Rapids area.

The new master's degree in nursing and master's in occupational therapy, plus a doctorate in physical therapy, are geared for people well into their careers and will offer a mixture of courses to enhance their clinical skills and enable them to move into administration or even higher in a management role.

MICHIGAN — Michigan's top three research universities say they're doing their share to support innovation and to create the talent pipeline behind it.

In one recent report, the University Research Corridor says its members — consisting of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University — benchmark well against research clusters nationally in terms of enrollments, graduates with high-tech degrees, research and development expenditures, and technology transfers into the marketplace.

WEST MICHIGAN — Employers bolstering the ranks of their I.T. staffs may have to boost compensation as well to fill their open positions, as the competition for talent picks up a little in the Grand Rapids area.

The latest outlook from Holland-based Paragon Recruiting found more respondents than six months ago are planning to add I.T. talent, a product of an improved economy and pent-up demand.

MICHIGAN — There's a difference between spending and investing, Rick Studley insists. 

So in urging legislators to generate and spend up to $1.4 billion a year to fix state roads and highways, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce will focus on the potential return on investment and the economic benefits from the thousands of jobs it could create. 

Trinity Health executive Roger Spoelman's excitement over empty hospital beds might seem odd. After a recent agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Trinity will be paid based on performance, not on a fee-for-service model. The move has the potential to curb rising health care costs by better managing care, especially for high-cost conditions.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012 13:18

Amway plans $105M expansion in Ada

ADA — Amway plans to invest $180 million, a majority of it in West Michigan, to expand its Nutrilite brand of vitamins and dietary supplements. 
The expansion will occur at four Amway locations – two in Ada, plus Buena Park, Calif., and Quincy, Wash.

Cardiac patients are nearly three times more likely to undergo heart angioplasty if they live in St. Joseph than if they were in Grand Rapids and more than twice as likely than if they were in Muskegon.

Researchers behind that finding say it illustrates the difference in how health care varies across Michigan based on local practices. They also say it illustrates the need for a greater focus on when and why specific medical procedures are performed.

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