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Nick Manes

Nick Manes

Staff writer

[email protected]

Last fall, Kalamazoo-based digital advertising agency Biggs|Gilmore sold to VML, a Kansas City agency with a global presence. Company principals say that aside from the signs on their Kalamazoo and Chicago offices, there won’t be any significant changes to the organization.

Sunday, 19 January 2014 20:52

People's Cider taps into local growers

The growing popularity of Michigan craft beer has provided the catalyst for one Grand Rapids entrepreneur to commercialize another type of alcoholic beverage: hard cider.

Marrone Bio Innovations Inc., a Davis, Calif.-based maker of biopesticides, started production at a new 11,400-square-foot manufacturing facility in Bangor in late December with plans to gradually ramp up capacity over the next one or two years.

A West Michigan-based supplier of electronic components hopes to further diversify its business by seeking more contracts in the medical device sector.

Tepid sales of electric vehicles (EVs) has one West Michigan advanced battery manufacturer acknowledging that it can’t live up to its initial growth projections.

In an era when manufacturing companies struggle to find engineering talent, one state-supported program offers a partial solution by putting the skills of retired professionals to work.

An outlook for continued economic growth across West Michigan comes with its share of challenges for the region’s economic development organizations.

As the state’s main marketing and economic development arm, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) works closely with its regional partners on business attraction and retention.

As state director for the Michigan Small Business Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC) housed at Grand Valley State University, Carol Lopucki works closely with entrepreneurs looking to start a business, enhance their use of technology or find access to capital.

Even with $91 billion in economic impact, agriculture somewhat flies under the radar as a major industry in Michigan. However, the combination of a diverse array of crops, relatively supportive politicians and the prospect for good weather makes for opportunities for growth in the state’s ag sector.

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