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MUSKEGON — A new partnership is bringing Michigan State University’s resources and expertise in food processing to companies and entrepreneurs throughout West Michigan.

BENTON HARBOR — Whirlpool Corp. has broken ground on a $22 million multifamily housing development near downtown Benton Harbor that officials say will help fill gaps in workforce housing availability.

ROCKFORD — Wolverine World Wide Inc. has finalized a deal to acquire London-based premium women’s activewear brand Sweaty Betty.

GRAND RAPIDS — Dick DeVos has announced plans to step down as president of The Windquest Group.

GRAND HAVEN — Groundwater contamination around a site where the city’s municipal utility wants to develop a new natural gas-fired power plant will require clean up before the project can proceed.

KALAMAZOO — Nine months ago, some of the first COVID-19 vaccines left Portage and found their way into the arms of patients around the country. 

State lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continue to find common ground on measures to help Michigan manufacturers respond to the unique challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

GRAND RAPIDS — Michigan Capital Network plans to form a fourth venture capital fund.

The committee behind a statewide ballot initiative to expand civil rights protections for LGBTQ people is prepared for a legal battle after state election officials ruled the campaign had an insufficient number of public signatures to advance the proposal.

Congress will inevitably relax decades-old federal restrictions on cannabis, West Michigan industry experts say, but how and when lawmakers will act are key unanswered questions that could determine who gains access to the market.

A partnership among West Michigan organizations supporting advanced manufacturing has announced an opportunity for area companies to learn more about Industry 4.0.

Michigan’s State Land Bank Authority seeks to redevelop state and county land bank properties quicker through a new process that allows developers to submit their credentials in advance.

Airport officials in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Muskegon have yet to see passenger travel fully rebound to 2019 levels, but they remain optimistic about the gradual return of business travel and their ability to support capital investments.

Supporters are hopeful that a statewide bill to alter the process of doctors seeking prior authorization from insurers for patient care will become law this fall.

TRAVERSE CITY — High Street Insurance Partners Inc. now ranks as one of the top acquirers of insurance brokerages in the country.

With the emergence of artificial intelligence over the last decade, insurers’ painstaking work to identify trends and analyze data increasingly has become automated. 

Driven by higher medical claims trends, insurance rates for small business and individual health policies would increase significantly in 2022 compared to recent years under rate proposals before state regulators.

In 2019, Becky Huttenga led a comprehensive survey of Ottawa County’s agricultural landowners in an effort to understand the industry’s most pressing needs.

Daniel Estrada says his company’s resilience often resonates with investors.

The Food Bank Council of Michigan is partnering with state officials and local food banks to help reduce food insecurity among senior residents, an ongoing problem that was exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After serving as CEO of Dallas-based Borden Dairy Co., Tony Sarsam took the reins of Byron Center-based grocery distributor and retailer SpartanNash Co. (Nasdaq:SPTN) last September during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is the MiBiz growth report for August 1, 2021.

GRAND RAPIDS — Independent Bank Corp.’s earnings declined in the second quarter from the prior year, largely because of lower non-interest income and higher non-interest expenses.

PLAINFIELD TWP. — Funding the construction of a 52,000-square-foot community center with a 20-year millage will be up to township voters to decide during the Nov. 2 election. 

SPARTA — ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. reported higher second-quarter earnings as the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health will require COVID-19 vaccinations of employees, students, volunteers and contractors, although not until the vaccines are fully approved by federal regulators.

KALAMAZOO — City officials announced today that the Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence has received an anonymous $400 million donation to support the nonprofit’s mission to continue providing key city services without increasing local taxes.

KALAMAZOO — Stryker Corp.’s sales grew 55 percent in the second quarter, driven primarily by a return of business lost last year with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

GRAND RAPIDS — Sports technology firm MaxOne LLC announced this week that it has raised $3.5 million in capital, which includes an investment from professional basketball star Chris Paul.

The Michigan Catholic Conference has contributed nearly $240,000 to a campaign committee opposing a business-backed initiative to expand Michigan’s civil rights law to include protections for LGBTQ individuals.

KENTWOOD — Phoenix Theatres LLC plans to invest $4 million to refurbish the Woodland Mall’s movie theater space formerly occupied by Celebration! Cinema. 

Alison Freas saw the opportunity to lead a Grand Rapids nonprofit focused on career development as a broader platform for her longtime work in the private sector. Freas, who begins her new role as executive director of Grand Rapids-based The SOURCE on July 26, has a decade’s worth of experience in various human resources roles at Herman Miller Inc., most recently as manager of career development. Formed in 2003, The SOURCE now partners with roughly 20 area companies to promote employee retention and advancement through specific job training, personal growth classes and other support services to help employees overcome workforce barriers. Freas spoke with MiBiz about her goal to expand The SOURCE’s partnerships in the region and lessons learned from the pandemic.

LANSING — State and local officials announced a series of grants and tax incentives for a major Indiana-based recreational vehicle manufacturer to expand in St. Joseph County.

WYOMING — Metro Health-University of Michigan Health and Mercy Health have finalized a joint operating agreement to partner on heart care.

CALEDONIA — Grocery distributor and retailer SpartanNash Co. today celebrated the grand opening of its first micro-fulfillment center, which the company expects to more effectively serve a growing number of online customers.

ZEELAND — Quarterly sales for automotive supplier Gentex Corp. have rebounded since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, though the company’s growth remains hampered by widespread supply chain disruptions.

EAST GRAND RAPIDS —Mark Gurney retired as CEO of drug developer Tetra Therapeutics Inc. at the end of June, more than a year after selling the company to Japan-based pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co. Ltd.

GRAND RAPIDS — Rock band Metallica continues to invest in a unique welding program that it was instrumental in launching at Grand Rapids Community College.

GRAND RAPIDS — Wood products manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. continues to achieve record-breaking sales numbers as it navigates a volatile industry.

CANNON TWP. — The Mitten Brewing Co. is once again leaning on pizza — a company mainstay that helped it through its early brewing years as well as the COVID-19 pandemic — with a new takeout and delivery concept.

KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo Wings have finalized an affiliation partnership for the upcoming season with the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets and their American Hockey League partner, the Cleveland Monsters.

GRAND RAPIDS — The CEO of Gun Lake Investments — the economic development arm of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potawatomi Indians, or Gun Lake Tribe — has resigned after six years in the position.

  Employers in West Michigan have recovered relatively well from the depths of the economic hit from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions, according to economic development organization The Right Place Inc.

CADILLAC — Consumers Energy has unveiled a new “brownfield to brightfield” solar project that converted formerly abandoned industrial property into a clean energy power source.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mercantile Bank Corp. more than doubled earnings for the second quarter as growth in commercial and residential mortgage lending remained strong.

GRAND RAPIDS — Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist was in Grand Rapids Monday touting the Whitmer administration’s Economic Jumpstart Plan for small businesses as billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funding comes into Michigan.

ZEELAND — After closing on its transformational $1.8 billion acquisition of Knoll Inc. Monday, furniture maker Herman Miller Inc. has unveiled its new name for the combined companies.

Online casino gaming and sports betting activity in Michigan continues to crawl through the traditional summer slowdown.