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A good economy and participation from more banks across the state drove U.S. Small Business Administration lending to a record level in the last year.

GRAND RAPIDS — Opportunity from a planned retirement and the chance to further drive economies of scale led to the proposed transformational merger between Lake Michigan Credit Union and United Federal Credit Union in St. Joseph.

As Chemical Financial Corp. continues to scout for its next acquisition, executives are preparing for a time when the bank surpasses $10 billion in assets and will incur the increased regulatory compliance that comes with it.

A networking event this week in Ypsilanti aims to bring together existing and prospective angel investors in Michigan and explore their opportunities. The Ann Arbor- and Detroit-based Growth Capital Network and Startup Angels of Washington, D.C. will host the Startup Angels Michigan conference on Thursday, Oct. 22, at the Eagle Crest Resort in Ypsilanti.

While capital and credit remain more readily available these days for most small business owners, advisers need to do more to educate their clients and generate awareness of the funding options.

M&A activity remains elevated heading into year end

Written by | Sunday, 27 September 2015 22:13 |

M&A activity remains strong heading toward the last quarter of 2015, sustaining a seller’s market as financial and strategic buyers compete for good deals.

The newest venture capital fund based in West Michigan will seek to partner with other investors in the state to tap their expertise and additional pools of money.

The Federal Reserve’s decision to hold interest rates low disappointed a couple of local economists who say it sends the wrong message about the state of the U.S. economy.

Creating greater awareness of U.S. Small Business Administration lending programs ranks as the top priority for the new head of the Economic Development Foundation.

Fifth Third Bank’s planned closure of three branches in West Michigan, part of a far broader plan to jettison 100 of its more than 1,300 offices in 12 states, illustrates the situation banks face in adapting to the digital age.

GRAND RAPIDS — United Bank of Michigan plans to enter the Ottawa County market early next year with a new branch in Jenison, the first step of what could become a broader footprint expansion for the bank over the next few years.

As retail customers and small business clients increasingly conduct transactions online or through mobile applications on their smartphones or tablets, those who visit a branch office tend to do more than make a quick deposit or withdrawal. By redesigning and adapting the offices, PNC seeks to stay ahead of the changing times.

As Huntington Bank commits $5 million to extend its microlending initiative to West Michigan, the bank has also forged partnerships with organizations to work with prospective business borrowers in the region.

A $3 million follow-on venture capital investment provides growth funding for a Kalamazoo company that offers high-speed telecommunications services to businesses across the state.

After establishing a solid presence in the West Michigan market through acquisitions, Old National Bancorp Inc. wants to further build its franchise.

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