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Statewide business groups announced their support today for House Republicans’ COVID-19 spending plan that’s a rebuttal to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s $5.6 billion plan unveiled last week.

GRAND HAVEN — A planned 124-unit apartment development in Grand Haven has been approved for a Michigan Community Revitalization Program loan for $4.75 million along with $1.38 million in brownfield incentives.

GRAND RAPIDS — The largest privately held insurance brokerage in the world, Lockton Companies Inc., is expanding its Michigan operation by opening an office in downtown Grand Rapids. 

SAND LAKE — The first cannabis dispensary in Sand Lake is opening Friday to sell exclusively recreational cannabis.

GRAND RAPIDS — The venture capital fund formed a year ago in Grand Rapids to invest in minority-owned businesses has netted $8.5 million in commitments from investors and aims to hit $10 million this year.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today named a commission that will work to raise awareness on the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and promote the need for people to get vaccinated.

Huntington Bancshares Inc. intends to close 198 branch offices — about half of which are based in Meijer Inc. stores in Michigan — after completing the proposed $22 billion acquisition of Detroit-based TCF Financial Corp.

DOWAGIAC — Seven Generations Group, a professional services portfolio of companies, is rebranding and has also managed to grow its portfolio with the formation of Blue Star Integrative Studio, a full-service architecture firm based in Tulsa, Okla., and the spin off of Kalamazoo-based Steelhead Engineering Co. 

LANSING — The director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services abruptly resigned today.

GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health and Mercy Health plan to open a large COVID-19 vaccine clinic next week at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Friday that restaurants and bars can resume indoor service on Feb. 1 with a 25 percent capacity limit and 10 p.m. curfew.

GRAND RAPIDS — Five recreational cannabis dispensaries will be operating in the city of Grand Rapids by Friday morning. 

With a relatively strong foothold already in the Philadelphia market, Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co. recently announced that it has become an official sponsor for NBA team the Philadelphia 76ers.

GRAND RAPIDS — In-house food delivery and expanded outdoor capacity are just a few pandemic lessons Rob Schellenberg has learned as he prepares to open a new bar with live music space on Grand Rapids’ West Side.

Online sports betting and casino gaming will go live statewide beginning on Friday at noon.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has unveiled a $5.6 billion pandemic recovery spending plan that primarily uses federal funding to help control the spread of COVID-19, which state officials and economists say is crucial to ensure broader economic recovery.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mercantile Bank Corp. ended 2020 with higher quarterly earnings despite the ongoing costs and economic turbulence from the COVID-19 pandemic.

GRAND RAPIDS — Feyen Zylstra LLC, a Grand Rapids-based electrical services and industrial technology firm, has expanded its footprint into North Carolina following a recent acquisition.

KALAMAZOO — A new funding tool recently signed into law is intended to help finance an event center in downtown Kalamazoo, but it’s unclear if there is a desire or solid plans to move forward with the venue.

As owner of Forerunner 3D Printing LLC, Paul DeWys utilizes the evolving process of additive manufacturing to primarily produce short runs of complex parts for area businesses, or help them bring those same capabilities to the shop floor.

Joseph Van Harken and his company Th3rd Coast Digital Solutions have long provided companies with cutting-edge digital training solutions.

As a company that has operated for more than 70 years, Jenison-based Nu-Wool Co. Inc. certainly was not oblivious to the fact that higher levels of technology and automation could transform its production process, according to executives.

The $15 million Sturgis Bancorp Inc. raised through a debt offering will go to support further growth across Southwestern Michigan.

The latest state effort to provide financial aid to Michigan small businesses and entertainment venues that are ailing from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions has a relatively short application window based on previous demand.

As an industry that bounced back relatively quickly after the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, agriculture in Michigan and across the U.S. faces key issues that will shape its fate in 2021, experts say.

The new round of federal Paycheck Protection Program loans includes a number of changes from the prior funding intended to aid small businesses hurting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

SPRING LAKE — It has been nearly a year since Seven Steps Up in Spring Lake had a crowd of people packed together for a live music performance, but owners Gary and Michelle Hanks hope to see shows return in some capacity in 2021. 

SPARTA TOWNSHIP — Stoney Ridge Winery LLC officially opened in June 2020 after a few soft opening events at the start of the pandemic.

Michigan’s statewide building codes are set for an update this year. While there could be some new energy efficiency measures added, the codes are far behind where they should be to address climate change, according to some local design firms and environmental advocates.

The next 10 months will culminate in a landmark year for Michigan politically as new legislative district boundaries are drawn by an independent commission tasked with quashing partisan gerrymandering.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread uncertainty about the future of commercial office space, including for the relatively new sector around coworking, or flexible workplaces.

Owners of historic homes and buildings will soon be able to apply for funding through a newly reinstated state tax credit for historic preservation projects that was eliminated in 2011 as part of former Gov. Rick Snyder’s tax reform strategy.

KALAMAZOO — The newest invention from Tim Fischell and his business partner offers what’s promised as a safer and simpler device to use in cardiac catheterization procedures.

An $800 medical bill following his spouse’s 2014 emergency room visit that resulted in antibiotic and pain relief medications led Chris Bailey to think deeper about telehealth and better ways of connecting with doctors when needed.

At some point in 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will make a decision that may very well lead to altering the competitive balance for heart care in West Michigan.

The corporate foundations of the state’s two major energy utilities have distributed nearly $26.5 million in direct relief funds to meet basic needs such as food, shelter and personal protective equipment since the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

An online simulation tool rolled out by Heart of West Michigan United Way in September is designed to build empathy and help people understand what it’s like to live as an ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) household.

After ping-ponging around the globe in various professional roles, Jane Ghosh finally ended up back in Kalamazoo, where her new job involves promoting the city she calls home. In December, Ghosh was named the new president and CEO of Discover Kalamazoo, which promotes tourism to Kalamazoo County. With an economics degree from Harvard University, Ghosh has marketing experience with titans like Johnson & Johnson and Kellogg Company. She will apply that experience to help raise the profile of Kalamazoo in a time when dining, entertainment and many other forms of hospitality have slowed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

GRAND HAVEN — A 133-unit condominium and apartment project gained unanimous final site plan approval Tuesday from the Grand Haven City Planning Commission.

DOWAGIAC — The CEO since the founding of Mno-Bmadsen, the non-gaming economic development and investment arm of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, is resigning his post to take a role at a similar tribal organization in Washington.

GRAND HAVEN — A West Michigan-based company that developed a patented ultraviolet light technology to kill off pathogens on surfaces and in the air will see its technology deployed in select McDonald’s restaurants.

GRAND RAPIDS — Food packaging manufacturer Performance Systematix Inc. (PSI) has kicked off the new year under new ownership.

WALKER — The Walker Planning Commision is set to consider plans for two conjoined hotels totaling 156 rooms just south of I-96.

GRAND RAPIDS — Brooklyn-based furniture designer Uhuru Design has reached an agreement with Grand Rapids-based Renegade Customs to purchase the custom furniture design firm’s assets.

Real estate experts from Colliers International’s West Michigan office predict the market in 2021 will have pent-up demand with some improvement in most sectors from last year. But that will depend on the rate of COVID-19 cases and how the vaccine is rolled out.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. plans to open applications next week for the $58.5 million in grant funding to aid small businesses and entertainment venues that were closed or curtailed by the most recent state-ordered restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan’s economy that has already rebounded well from the depths of the spring dive should take another year or more before returning to “solid ground.”

KALAMAZOO — Dr. Paula Termuhlen, the regional dean of the Duluth campus at the University of Minnesota Medical School, will serve as the new dean in May at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine.