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GAINES TWP. — Joining forces with its largest competitor will give Mobile Defenders LLC an opportunity to become part of the dominant player in the wholesale mobile device repair parts market with increased economies of scale. 

The Michigan Strategic Fund has taken an initial step in approving a $225 million bond for a company pursuing a large-scale potash mining operation in Osceola County.

GRAND RAPIDS TWP. — BHSH Spectrum Health West Michigan plans to break ground today on a new orthopedic outpatient surgery and care center in Grand Rapids Township.


BIG RAPIDS — A trio of Mecosta County municipalities have approved a 30-year tax incentive to help lure a multi-billion dollar electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility that promises more than 2,000 jobs.

GRAND RAPIDS — A new cocktail bar as well as a second location of Broad Leaf Brewery & Spirits are set to open in the coming months in a former restaurant on Bridge Street NW where The Sovengard formerly operated. 

State and local economic development officials are in the process of luring a major Chinese electric vehicle battery manufacturer to Mecosta County that could result in thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment over the next decade.



Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for September 26, 2022:

The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will host a conference this week in Greenville and Grand Rapids focused on rural economic development. Scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, the conference will discuss the “challenges and opportunities facing rural economic development.” Among the scheduled speakers is Martin Lavelle, a business economist with the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He spoke with MiBiz on the issues the conference will address, including access to housing and how the pandemic and the rise of remote work has changed the equation.

Throughout her career, Jodi Owczarski has learned to wear many different hats. She’s worked in human resources at a large manufacturing company, run a nonprofit organization, launched her own business and worked in operations for a global consulting firm. Now, Owczarski can add one more title: CEO of the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce, an organization where she’s worked since 2017. Owczarski took over running the West Coast Chamber following the retirement of longtime leader and mentor Jane Clark, who was with the organization in various capacities for 32 years. Owczarski recently spoke with MiBiz about embarking on her new role and how she plans to help the West Coast Chamber and the local business community succeed. 


People in the News: A roundup of new hires, promotions and awards in West Michigan.

With decades of experience in the trades, DeShon Leek understands firsthand the dark side that comes with working in the construction industry. 

Over the past few years, corporate demand for cleaner energy to power their operations has directly led to the development of large-scale wind and solar projects across Michigan.



GRAND RAPIDS — The developers behind a 120-unit apartment building on Leonard Street NW cite a recent zoning change allowing more ground-floor residential units for helping the project get off the ground. 

WYOMING — A national company at the forefront of next-generation agricultural practices is putting down roots in West Michigan after being lured to the region in part by its legacy of manufacturing innovation. 

GRAND HAVEN — In deciding to merge into the large Trinity Health ecosystem, North Ottawa Community Health System potentially stands to reap one immediate benefit: a greater ability to attract physicians.


GRAND RAPIDS — Jessica Ann Tyson is taking the concept of a dog-friendly restaurant a step further by making canines her main customer.

Officials with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Michigan Municipal League have announced plans to speed up new housing projects across the state by focusing on solutions for infill development.

GRAND RAPIDS — Well House is working to construct new housing units in addition to its existing 15 homes that are occupied by renters that were formerly homeless. 


GRAND RAPIDS — Steelcase Inc.’s plan to eliminate up to 180 salaried positions this fall comes as the economy faces what CFO and Senior Vice President Dave Sylvester calls “dark clouds” and as the office furniture maker has experienced reduced incoming orders in recent weeks.

GRAND RAPIDS — Amanda Rostic on Wednesday night passed out samples of tea she batch brewed the night before with a special ingredient she thinks will set her product apart from other brands: hops.

Eight West Michigan companies will each receive $25,000 grants under a state program that helps small manufacturers adopt Industry 4.0 technologies.


GRAND RAPIDS — Citing a 20-percent decline in incoming orders during the first few weeks of its current quarter, Steelcase Inc. plans to cut up to 180 salaried positions and has reduced its quarterly dividend.

BIG RAPIDS — The Big Rapids area could experience a multi-billion dollar advanced battery manufacturing investment in the coming years, according to a recent media report confirming months of speculation about the project.

CASCADE TWP. — An Italian manufacturer of luxury RV and boat fixtures plans to open its North American headquarters in Cascade Township with a $7.3 million investment that could create 130 jobs.


HOLLAND TWP. — A West Michigan church is expanding after recently purchasing a large former Huntington Bank headquarters in Holland Township for $7 million.

GRAND HAVEN — North Ottawa Community Health System will become part of Trinity Health Michigan on Oct. 1 when the two health care systems close their planned merger.

GRAND RAPIDS — The West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, a nonprofit focused on increasing social and economic opportunities in the region, is launching a new tech education pathway within its Adult Career Training Program. 


GRAND RAPIDS — Longtime family-owned window covering retailer The Shade Shop Inc. has sold to another family-owned company in the Grand Rapids area.

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Rapids-based fintech and global insurance broker Acrisure LLC has acquired an Illinois company that helps small businesses obtain quotes and buy customized coverage online. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Tribal Business News, a national publication headquartered in Grand Rapids that covers the $130 billion tribal economy, is hosting the first-ever Great Lakes Tribal Economic Summit on Oct. 6.


GRAND RAPIDS — The Associated Builders and Contractors West Michigan chapter (ABC/WMC) recognized several contractors and projects as part of its annual Excellence in Construction Awards.

MIDDLEVILLE — Backed by a group of business partners from West Michigan, The Botanical Co. is opening the first adult-use cannabis dispensary in the village of Middleville.

FREMONT — The Gerber Foundation has a new top advocate for enhancing the quality of life of infants and young children who shares a deeply personal connection to the organization’s mission.


MUSKEGON — Waséyabek Development Co., the non-gaming economic development arm of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, has purchased the manufacturing facility that houses one of its portfolio companies, RSI of West Michigan.

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is turning to a veteran law enforcement professional to run the Cannabis Regulatory Agency as the state embarks on a national search to select a permanent executive director.

The Michigan Craft Beverage Council has opened applications for a new qualified distillers program, as well as for its annual research grant funding. 


MUSKEGON — A local developer’s $250 million plan to redevelop 30 acres of lakefront property on Muskegon Lake cleared another hurdle in the approval process.

GRAND RAPIDS — Third-party data center maintenance provider Service Express Inc. has acquired the similarly focused, Beaverton, Ohio-based Sherlock Services Inc.

WALKER — Pallet solutions firm Kamps Inc. has kicked its dealmaking into high gear over the last month, closing on acquisitions that expand the company’s footprint into Minnesota and deepen its presence in Florida.


MUSKEGON — The Muskegon Planning Commission will again consider reducing the minimum size requirements for houses and apartment units at its Sept. 15 meeting in a move to facilitate more infill and affordable housing projects.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce today launched a new initiative that intends to create greater economic diversity and inclusion.

The Shyft Group Inc.’s Blue Arc EV Solutions brand has secured its first 2,000-unit pre-order for its new line of electric Class 3, 4 and 5 walk-in delivery vans. 


GRAND RAPIDS — After selling the church management software company he started in 2014, Jon VerLee decided to put his money into assisting other entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground.

COVERT TWP. — The odds of a Southwest Michigan nuclear plant coming back to life after recently closing have improved as the owner pursues targeted federal funding for distressed nuclear facilities.

GRAND RAPIDS — Strong interest from investors led Michigan Capital Network to expand the size of its new venture capital fund, the organization’s fourth since its inception.


GRAND RAPIDS — Sip Shine LLC, a marketer of moonshine and canned cocktails, plans to open its first tasting room and restaurant in the Harmony Hall building on Grand Rapids’ west side.

MUSKEGON — Muskegon city officials will consider a cooperative use agreement for a $250 million development involving 30 acres of Muskegon lakefront next week.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for September 12, 2022: