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Everybody knows the U.S. economic expansion that’s approaching a decade in duration will eventually come to an end. When that dip will actually occur remains the unknown, as assorted economic outlooks continually predict slower growth ahead, but stop short of forecasting an outright recession.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids and five Spectrum Health-owned hospitals earned top grades in a semi-annual report on patient safety. Spectrum Health’s Big Rapids, Ludington, Pennock Hospital in Hastings, United Hospital in Greenville and Zeeland Community Hospital joined Saint Mary’s in earning an “A” grade in the spring report card issued by The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C.-based advocate for health care quality and patient safety.

Continental Linen Services Inc. is wrapping up the first phase of expansion at its Kalamazoo headquarters as it plans to break ground next week on a new office to serve customers in Northern Michigan.

Compliance One LLC of Kalamazoo has acquired Rockton, Ill.-based Keyes Life Safety Compliance LLC.

Vulnerability Discovery & Analysis Labs LLC, a Grand Rapids-based cybersecurity firm, is opening a new headquarters at 5234 Plainfield Ave. NE.

After more then six decades under the ownership of the Stafford family, the Greenville Daily News is selling to new owners.

After helping save one historic building from the wrecking ball and rehabilitate it into usable office space, the Inner City Christian Federation is looking to do “an encore performance.”

Opus Packaging Group Inc., a West Michigan-based packaging company, plans to build a new plant in Whitestown, Ind., located about 22 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

GRAND RAPIDS — Two years ago, the venture capital arm that health system Spectrum Health formed to back innovative health care startups had to go looking for deals because nobody in the field knew it existed. Today, Spectrum Health Ventures LLC faces a much different situation. Investment prospects now often come from referrals by other large health systems across the U.S. that also operate venture capital arms and want co-investors for deals.

GRAND RAPIDS — The $2.05 million in funding Sportsman Tracker Inc. raised this spring will go to further develop a social media platform and mobile app for hunters. As some social media platforms begin to give lower value to hunting content, Sportsman Tracker CEO Jeff Courter saw an opportunity to further build his HuntWise app that has been downloaded by 2 million users.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Lansing hopes to revive Michigan’s historic preservation tax credit, which they say will encourage redevelopment in communities across the state. Bills introduced in the state Senate and House earlier this year would reinstate a tax credit of up to 25 percent for rehabilitation expenses on historic properties.

Michigan’s medical marijuana market has experienced a flurry of activity in the past two weeks involving court rulings, state guidelines and legislation, and culminating in a showdown within the marijuana business community. The contention hinges on competition between state-licensed and unlicensed businesses and growers.

The closure of two recycling drop-off locations in West Michigan highlights the need for the industry to focus on operational efficiency at a time when margins are shrinking. But recycling advocates say the loss of access stemming from the two closures could act as a deterrent in the push to increase Michigan’s recycling rate, which is about 15 percent and ranks among the bottom of all U.S. states.

KALAMAZOO — Peter Bergmann began his tenure as president at Ascension Borgess three months ago with a host of issues on his plate to manage. Among them is finalizing the proposed acquisition of 25-bed Allegan General Hospital and integrating it into the Kalamazoo-based regional health system, which includes hospitals in Kalamazoo, Dowagiac and Plainwell, as well as outpatient centers and physician offices.

The challenges confronting Michigan’s tool, die and mold makers are deeply rooted. The state hosts more than twice as many tool and die workers compared to any other state, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the undisputed leader of the industry, Michigan also suffers the greatest consequences of its uncertainty.

While tool and die shop owners are hunkering down and tightening their belts in anticipation of a decrease in available work, some small- to mid-sized operations in West Michigan have already been forced to close their doors.

Barriers to entry for advanced manufacturing continue to come down as automation becomes a more viable option — even for job shops — through what’s becoming known as modular manufacturing. Vickers Engineering Inc., a Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier based in New Troy, Mich., has become a breakthrough story in the automation industry, growing from approximately $10 million in revenue in 2010 to a projected $60 million in 2019.

At Southfield-based Harbour Results Inc., Laurie Harbour leads a company of analysts and consultants who use data and experience to help small- to medium-sized manufacturers develop strategies to improve their operations, reduce risks and optimize business.

A large penetration of electric vehicles is not in Michigan’s near-future, so advocates say EV drivers shouldn’t be hit with steep fee increases based on the state’s road funding formula. That is the prospect under a road funding law enacted in 2015, but clean energy groups hope the issue is revisited before electric vehicle drivers potentially see some of the highest registration fees in the country.

GRAND RAPIDS — In selling shares in the design and construction management firm he started 23 years ago, Guy Bazzani begins to wind down a lengthy career that had a significant influence on the green building movement in West Michigan. Bazzani Building Co. is among the pioneers locally of design and building principles and practices that follow a Triple Bottom Line philosophy that blends economic, social and environmental sustainability.

GRAND RAPIDS — More than seven years, $2 million and 500 companies later, Varnum LLP signed on for a third round of providing free legal services to help new companies get off the ground. The Grand Rapids-based law firm will give away another $1 million in legal services through the MiSpringboard program that launched in 2011 under a push by then-Gov. Rick Snyder to support entrepreneurism as Michigan’s economy began recovering from the Great Recession.

EAST LANSING — With a new investment fund at Michigan State University, students can gain experience on either side of the venture capital industry. The Student Venture Capital Fund offers students with an idea for a business or an innovation “priceless” experience in seeking capital and pitching to prospective investors, said Jeff Wesley, the executive director of Red Cedar Ventures at MSU.

In Michigan, the second most diverse agricultural state in America, one in six children goes to bed hungry. That was among the findings in Map the Meal Gap 2019, the latest report from Feeding America on food insecurity and the cost of food at the local level.

According to Nielsen data supplied by the United States Association of Cider Makers, the cider beverage category continues to expand, with off-premise sales up 9.4 percent in the third quarter of 2018 versus the prior year. Customers also are buying local: Regional cider sales are growing four times as fast as national cider brands.

Here is the growth report for May 12, 2019.

The economy continued “chugging along” in West Michigan during the early spring, even as economist Brian Long’s monthly survey of industrial purchasing managers again found signs of slower growth.

Davenport University plans to expand a bachelor’s program for nursing in the Grand Rapids area to meet a talent shortage.

After producing mead commercially for the past year, Alto-based Grims Bee LLC plans to expand and open its first consumer-facing store and tasting room in nearby Middleville.

Perrigo Co. plc intends to use the proceeds from the sale of its animal health business to buy Ranir Global Holdings LLC, a Grand Rapids-based maker of oral care products.

Perrigo Co. plc plans to see off its animal health business for $185 million in cash to PetIQ LLC, an Eagle, Idaho-based pet health and wellness company.

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