fbpx
Breaking News

A Grand Rapids-based venture capital fund that will invest nationally in startup companies owned by minorities has secured commitments now totaling $6.25 million, with potentially millions more on the way.

GRAND RAPIDS — New zoning restrictions on cannabis businesses near youth centers in Grand Rapids are “highly likely” to face litigation, the city attorney’s office says.

GRAND RAPIDS — After two years of planning, the city of Grand Rapids has launched an e-scooter sharing program. 

Entertainment spaces allowed to reopen Oct. 9 under a recent executive order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer aren’t all rushing to do so.

HOLLAND — TES America LLC, which has developed touch solutions for kiosk integrators across a variety of sectors, plans to add to its portfolio after acquiring assets from 3M subsidiary 3M Touch Systems. 

Thousands of small businesses across West and Southwest Michigan have received grant funding from a state COVID-19 relief program.

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing Inc. will produce a COVID-19 vaccine under development by a Belgian pharmaceutical company.

More than seven in 10 small businesses in Michigan expect further sales declines from the COVID-19 pandemic in the months ahead, according to new survey results from the Small Business Association of Michigan.

WEST OLIVE — Ottawa County is considering a plan to dissolve its planning commission, which local officials call an “outdated government layer” that could be repurposed in other areas of county government.

KENTWOOD — Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes has purchased a commercial office building in Kentwood where the nonprofit will consolidate a series of business education programs for K-12 students across West Michigan.

Meijer Inc. recently invested $500,000 in Rende Progress Capital, a racial equity loan fund in Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS — Passenger travel has steadily rebounded since the depths of the pandemic slowdown, but Grand Rapids airport officials are concerned about the uncertainty over future business travel as well as a looming CARES Act deadline that could cause tens of thousands of layoffs at airlines.

More than five years ago, Avio-Tech Ltd. quoted a project to produce control panels and components for industrial conglomerate Textron Inc.

After taking a step back in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, angel investors say they are actively seeking deals, particularly in startups that are able to take advantage of the resulting economic disruptions.

Occupancy rates are slowly inching back up, but regional tourism leaders say it will take years for hotels to make up for lost profits caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the summer of 2019, Chris Ake and a couple of fellow tech entrepreneurs entertained the idea of building out artificial intelligence-fueled smart scheduling software they were already using to quickly and easily schedule meetings.

GRAND RAPIDS — The owners of That Early Bird Cafe and Little Bird restaurants — like countless other businesses — have taken stock of what works well during the pandemic, both to weather the short-term disruption as well as set themselves up for long-term success.

Grand Rapids Community Media Center — which runs WYCE-FM radio station, GRTV, The Rapidian news outlet and the Wealthy Theatre — continues to serve the community during the pandemic but had to scale back many of its operations this year.

It’s not enough to announce diversity, equity and inclusion hiring commitments, it takes leadership teams that reflect more cultures.

GRAND RAPIDS — The city of Grand Rapids is developing an inclusion program meant to encourage the contracting of minority-owned, women-owned and micro-local businesses in projects involving public investment through tax incentives. 

Just 13 of the 80 venture capital professionals working in Michigan in 2019 were racial minorities. An equal number of all VC professionals in the state, or 16 percent, were women.

Facing limited capacity and modified business models, restaurants in every segment are looking for all possible ways to whittle down costs.

As the weather cools and winter approaches, health professionals warn about complacency and encourage residents and businesses to remain vigilant in the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Tech Defenders — a business that specializes in repairing, refurbishing and reselling laptops and mobile devices — processing a used device and finding it a new home used to take about 60 days.

KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo Community Foundation has added a stronger racial equity analysis to its longtime Impact Investment Loan program.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand River has historically divided the city of Grand Rapids in multiple ways, but as redevelopments have ramped up in recent years, leaders of a restoration plan are stressing the importance of making the river accessible to all residents. 

Keli Christopher founded the Grand Rapids-based nonprofit STEM Greenhouse six years ago to help K-12 students — in particular, children of color — along an academic path more comfortable than she experienced. As the first Black person to receive a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from the University of Illinois, Christopher endured a challenging and isolated path through higher education. Her mission now is to increase students’ exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the greater Grand Rapids area, where she still sees a diversity gap in STEM education. Earlier this month, Christopher was a featured speaker at the Southeast Grand Rapids Community and Economic Development Conference hosted by the Grand Rapids African-American Community Task Force. In an interview with MiBiz, Christopher discussed inequities in the nonprofit sector as well as the ongoing barriers to engaging more non-white students in STEM education.

GRAND RAPIDS — Some financial relief could be on the way for Kent County businesses that have been forced to shut down because of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders.

Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos has unveiled its new sports book, which will operate out of Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel near Traverse City and also feature a satellite location at Leelanau Sands Casino.

The owner of two industrial properties in West Michigan has launched a new joint venture with a boutique Saudi investment firm to take ownership of the commercial real estate. 

Business Leaders for Michigan plans to begin collecting and tracking data on diversity and inclusion efforts among members.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer aims to create more clean energy jobs in the state by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and becoming carbon neutral within 30 years.

GRAND RAPIDS — Office furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc. continues to face headwinds related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as customers are slow to return to normal order patterns given the disruption the public health crisis has caused to traditional workspaces.

FREMONT — The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a 10-year Renaissance Zone tax abatement for Gerber Products Co.’s $36 million expansion at its Fremont facility.

Dozens of Michigan independent music venue owners are calling on state officials to create a $10 million pandemic relief fund to help them avoid closing permanently.

Michigan’s two major investor-owned utilities are joining other large Midwest power companies in pledging to build out an interstate charging network to support more widespread electric vehicle adoption.

CROCKERY TOWNSHIP — Agri-Med LLC has added a third recreational cannabis dispensary to its West Michigan portfolio as its Exit 9 Provisionary in Crockery Township is now authorized for both medical and adult-use sales.

Thanks to recent upgrades to its network, Comcast Corp.’s residential and commercial clients across a large swath of West Michigan now have easier access to 1 gigabit-per-second internet speeds.

Kent County Health Department officials are reporting a recent decline in the number of COVID-19 tests being scheduled and administered at its testing sites, which are now operating below capacity.

M&A activity that declined sharply in the second quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and slammed the economy appears to have started rebounding after mid-year.

GRAND RAPIDS — Kent County municipal officials and business advocacy groups have released an area “welcome plan” meant to address concerns among the immigrant community, including restoring trust with law enforcement agencies and promoting equity in education and business opportunities.

KALAMAZOO — With an uncertain future ahead and the opportunity to make a clean exit from his business, owner Kevin Tibbs and his team at Kalamazoo-based Tibbs Brewing Company announced this week that it would be shutting its doors.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says existing state law provides employers the protection needed should they get sued by an employee or customer alleging they contracted COVID-19 while at work or at a business.

Grand Rapids-based office technology solutions provider Applied Imaging has grown its presence in Florida through a recent acquisition.

ZEELAND — With some lingering economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic weighing it down, Zeeland-based office furniture giant Herman Miller (NASDAQ: MLHR) still offered a better-than-expected earnings report late Wednesday.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids City Commission has approved a brownfield tax incentive plan for a 10-unit apartment project in the city’s East Hills neighborhood.

WYOMING — Booking Holdings Inc. is downsizing its global workforce, and the move is being felt in West Michigan.

Employers could buy pandemic-related personal protection equipment without having to pay state sales or use taxes under proposed statewide legislation.