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Nick Manes

Nick Manes

Staff writer

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GRANDVILLE –– Amid an apartment building boom across West Michigan, the Grand Castle stands out in ways few other projects do.

The number of companies that relocate or expand in a specific area because of economic development incentives is largely “exaggerated.” That’s according to a new report from Tim Bartik, senior economist with the Upjohn Institute in Kalamazoo.

WALKER — City planners hope to encourage downtown-style urbanism in the years ahead along a key suburban commercial corridor northwest of Grand Rapids.

With extremely limited inventory for growing manufacturing and industrial users in West Michigan, developers increasingly are focusing on new construction.

The dissolution this week of a proposed mega-merger between two media giants means the local Fox affiliate will remain under its existing corporate ownership, at least for now.

A new report by Lansing-based research firm Public Sector Consultants Inc. determined that Michigan consumers sent $18.5 billion out of state with their growing use of e-commerce. The report, commissioned by the Michigan Retailers Association, was released in conjunction with the debut of the group’s Buy Nearby campaign that aims to educate consumers on the benefits of shopping locally. The PSC report found that if consumers switched just one out of every 10 purchases to a local retailer, Michigan would stand to gain $1.2 billion annually in increased economic activity and 10,600 new jobs in the retail industry, which already employs one in five Michiganders. MRA President and CEO James Hallan spoke with MiBiz about the trade group’s focus on the benefits of shopping locally. 

Spurred on by changing consumer shopping habits, West Michigan grocery retailers want to make the task of shopping less of a “chore” by leveraging new technology-driven initiatives.

The rising price of steel and other building materials might cause sticker shock for some developers, but the costs are doing little to curb building activity around West Michigan.

KALAMAZOO — Officials in Kalamazoo hope that a shift in structure for its Downtown Development Authority will spur new projects and encourage continued investment in placemaking initiatives.

Immigrants play an outsized role in Michigan’s small business economy, according to a new research from the Michigan League for Public Policy.

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