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Here is the MiBiz People in the news report for May 23, 2022 

GRAND RAPIDS — A proposal that would allow a newly created nonprofit to help Grand Rapids cannabis companies meet their social equity pledges is facing pushback from some business owners and city officials who see it as diluting social justice efforts.

ACanadian app developer focused on removing mobility barriers for people with disabilities and the elderly is launching its first commercial deployment in West Michigan.


The Interurban Transit Partnership has received board and federal approval to purchase a $1.95 million property in Grandville for its new paratransit service operations center.

Historically high housing and fuel prices have made access to public transportation an increasingly important piece to developing much-needed affordable housing. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Despite numerous complexities involved with improving the congested Wealthy Street interchange at U.S.-131, city and community leaders seek to create more connectivity with $10 million recently allocated to upgrade the aging infrastructure.



When outdoor footwear brand Merrell sought a fresh idea to promote sustainability and conservation, it turned to the innovation team at parent company Wolverine World Wide Inc.

Business groups, organized labor officials, Democrats and Republicans are making strange bedfellows in support of a plan to reform term limits for statewide office, which restrict the amount of time lawmakers can spend in the House and Senate.

When Tony Sarsam took the helm of SpartanNash Inc., he noticed parallels between the West Michigan food solutions company and the previous company he led.


HOLLAND TWP. — A company that manufactures spine, joint, extremity, cardiology and vascular models for the medical device industry is moving to a new and larger location.

University of Michigan economists expect second-quarter growth for the U.S. economy, although momentum may wane in the latter half of the year as interest rates rise.

WAYLAND — Gun Lake Casino today officially broke ground on its $300 million expansion that includes a 15-story hotel and multi-purpose “aquadome” enclosed pool space that will double as a nightlife venue.



Republicans in Lansing have passed another election-year tax cut plan that would reduce the personal income tax, raise Michigan’s earned income tax credit, and create a $500 per-child tax credit.

Chicago-area insurance brokerage and financial services firm Alera Group has acquired West Michigan Insurance Inc., a Grand Rapids property and casualty agency.

CASCADE TWP. — The first cohort of companies to receive grants through an air travel technology development program have revealed the fruits of their labor, including a self-driving wheelchair, an advanced flying security camera and a complete 3D model of Gerald R. Ford International Airport. 


State agriculture officials have announced $200,000 in grant funding to support a Norton Shores coffee producer’s expansion that would create the largest cold brew production facility in the United States.

Michigan slipped six spots in RAND Corp.’s latest analysis of what hospitals in the U.S. charge private health insurers compared to what they receive from Medicare.

ZEELAND TWP. — Walters Gardens Inc. is investing $9.15 million to expand its operations in Zeeland Charter Township with a new 40,000-square-foot greenhouse.


After serving nearly three decades as director of seating and ergonomics product management for Herman Miller Inc., Keith McRobert has leveraged his knowledge and experience into a new venture.

After a seven-year career in tribal economic development at Waséyabek Development Co. LLC for his tribe, Jimmy TenBrink now finds himself heading up operations for a familiar tribal partner. 

A proposal by a trio of federal agencies would bring major banking industry regulations into the modern digital age as banking is increasingly done electronically instead of in branch offices.


A recent survey of nearly 150 Michigan restaurant and hotel owners shows that most are still struggling with inadequate staffing and supply chain disruptions, and almost all employers are raising wages for their workers to address staffing shortages. 

CertifID LLC, a Grand Rapids company that developed software to protect money wire transfers in real estate transactions, has closed on $12.5 million in growth capital.

A Kalamazoo-based investment fund that also looks to cultivate and support a new generation of entrepreneurs who want to own a business will use a $10 million investment to scale operations.


Four food manufacturing companies with operations in West Michigan are on the front lines of the ongoing baby formula shortage that is causing significant challenges for families with infants.

HOLLAND — The launch of a brick-and-mortar startup incubator in downtown Holland is the latest effort to cultivate a thriving tech community in the lakeshore city.

A Chicago-based property management firm sees long-term opportunity in the Grand Rapids market following a pair of apartment building acquisitions in the past six months totaling more than $17 million in investment.


West Michigan is playing a major role in the ongoing U.S. baby formula shortage as producers fall in the center of a product recall or are ramping up production to help meet consumer needs.

West Michigan manufacturing automation firm Churchill Technologies LLC has been sold amid what local advisers describe as a “red hot” sector for M&A.

GRAND RAPIDS — Bazzani Building Co. has sold its recently constructed, all-electric Bradford Station apartment building in Grand Rapids for $4.65 million to a Chicago-based property management firm.


GRAND RAPIDS — New City Neighbors is set to unveil its new location at a renovated urban farmhouse that sits on a 1-acre plot in the city’s Creston neighborhood.

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services’ psychiatric urgent care center has served more than 13,500 patients since opening in 2019, a volume that exceeded expectations and accelerated as the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on mental health.

GRAND RAPIDS — A divided Grand Rapids City Commission is granting a 90-day grace period to cannabis operators that are failing to meet social equity goals they promised three years ago while city staff determine a path forward.


DOWAGIAC — Mno-Bmadsen, the non-gaming investment arm of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, has co-invested in a mixed-use property that aims to play a role in the revitalization of a Southwest Michigan city.

BYRON CENTER — Grocery retailer and food distributor SpartanNash Co. has partnered with global tech company DoorDash Inc. to provide on-demand grocery delivery for a large swath of the nation.

Michigan ranked fifth in the nation for patient safety as more than three-quarters of hospitals in the state received an “A” or a “B” grade, according to the latest installment of a semi-annual report card.


BYRON CENTER — A nonprofit that helps rebuild homes following natural disasters has moved into a newly constructed building in Byron Center after previously working from two separate locations. 

GRAND RAPIDS TWP. — Wood products and building materials manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. announced that it has purchased an Iowa-based plastic recycler.

The Howmet Aerospace Foundation has awarded $200,000 in grant funding to provide Muskegon-area students with increased access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education through the lens of food processing and food science.


Manufacturers throughout Michigan can now apply for grant funding to help cover costs associated with adopting Industry 4.0 technologies.

GRAND RAPIDS — City officials are backing plans that would redesign the Wealthy Street interchange at U.S.-131 to bring the street to grade level while elevating the highway.

Very few Grand Rapids cannabis businesses are fulfilling social equity promises they made three years ago to gain an advantage when applying for a city license, though some city officials say the program is filled with “unattainable” goals.


Here is the MiBiz Growth report for May 9, 2022:

Most basketball fans in Michigan recognize Ben Wallace as an iconic figure in Detroit Pistons lore. The 6-foot, 9-inch center helped lead the Pistons to an NBA title in 2004, just one highlight in the four-time all-star’s career. Since retiring in 2012, Wallace has adjusted to life after basketball. His business pursuits also have tied him to West Michigan after he recently bought a stake in Kalamazoo-based Green Door Distilling Co. and also partnered with Rair Cannabis of Michigan, which maintains a location in Lowell, to develop a brand of cannabis products called ‘Undrafted.’ MiBiz caught up with the Hall of Fame player to talk business, basketball and his love for Grand Rapids.

Here is the MiBiz People in the news report for April 25, 2022 


Nate Beene’s decision to join the leadership team at Construction Allies in Action was driven by his passion to remove barriers for local women and minority business owners in the construction industry.

Clean energy and housing advocates in Michigan are working to spend down an increasing amount of weatherization funds with a shrinking pool of contractors at their disposal. 

The global energy transition that is underway to combat the worst effects of climate change can be encapsulated along roughly 125 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline.