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GRAND RAPIDS — Developers relied on low-income tax credits to add nearly 2,000 units of affordable housing in the city over the last five years. While the credits provide key gap financing to affordable housing developers, officials who administer the funding say the program is consistently “oversubscribed,” leading to delays for new projects.

WALKER — With a massive amount of new housing in the works, the city of Walker hopes to further define its identity. Developers have planned and the city has approved more than 400 housing units for the Grand Rapids suburb, including 206 single-family units and up to 221 multifamily residences.

GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health joined a consortium of large health systems across the U.S. as way to reduce the cost and ensure the availability of generic medications. Through the nonprofit Civica Rx, the Grand Rapids-based health system hopes to cut by 20 percent or more the cost of generic drugs used in surgeries and patient treatments.

Lost in my inbox during the year-end shuffle was an item serving as a reminder that despite massive changes occurring in the industry, one steady constant remains in Michigan’s health care sector. In this case, it was the annual report from the American Medical Association that once again identifies Michigan as one of the least competitive states in the country for commercial health insurance.

Patients in West Michigan are more apt than people in the southeastern part of the state to connect with a doctor virtually to manage two chronic illnesses. That’s one finding in Grand Valley State University’s 2019 Health Check report, which shows a far higher utilization rate in the region for telehealth as an ongoing treatment option for diabetes and coronary artery disease.

The Michigan Public Service Commission has started what could be a two-year process to govern how renewable energy projects are connected to the electric grid. The plan to make new interconnection rules seeks to resolve an unprecedented backlog of requests from independent power producers to build solar projects at a time when utility customers increasingly are turning to solar for self-generation.

Grand Haven-based GHSP Inc. is a global manufacturer “rooted into the West Michigan area,” according to Chief Technology Officer Marc Smeyers. In the past, GHSP was known for auto technology that combined electronics and mechanical engineering. Now, the company — a division of JSJ Corp. — is working across multiple industries for smart technology applications. At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, GHSP introduced a future concept vehicle, products that use ultraviolet C (UVC) light to disinfect themselves, and a kitchen backsplash that’s an edge-to-edge touchscreen. Smeyers spoke to MiBiz about crossover technology in an increasingly fast-paced environment.

GRAND RAPIDS — The executives behind an iconic American superbike brand are breathing new life into the company and relaunching “boutique” motorcycle production in West Michigan. By establishing low-volume production of EBR Motorcycles in Grand Rapids, owner Bill Melvin hopes to bring sustainability to the company founded by famed motorcycle racer Erik Buell some 35 years ago.

As Larry Lewis advanced in his career as an engineer in the manufacturing, construction and telecommunications industries, he relied on computers as an essential tool for his everyday work. His aptitude grew alongside the technology, to which he was first exposed at Dartmouth College in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

MUSKEGON — While development took off in Muskegon’s downtown in recent years, the city’s Downtown Development Authority mostly sat on the sidelines as it paid off bonds on the old Muskegon Mall.

A new effort aims to find ways to kickstart economic growth along The Rapid’s Silver Line bus route from Grand Rapids though southern Kent County.

The state chapter of a small business advocacy group is among the supporters of a bipartisan bill package introduced this month to reform the way law enforcement seizes property from people suspected of crimes.

A $500,000 grant from the Grand Rapids SmartZone will fund a program to use 3-D printing technology to accelerate the development and production of medical device components.

Van Wyk Risk Solutions has signed a lease to occupy Class A office space in the new Warner Building downtown.

The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area surpassed its all-time record in fundraising in 2018, receiving close to $21 million in contributions.

Researchers led by scientists at Van Andel Research Institute developed a new blood test that can lead to the earlier detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

WYOMING — A Cleveland-based producer of specialty abrasive products plans to move part of its business to the Grand Rapids area after it was acquired by local private equity firm Stone Fox Ventures LLC.

Allegiant Travel Co. is expanding its footprint at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport with the opening of a $42.8 million base.

Kingma’s Market will close its store in Ada almost 18 months after opening the second location.

GRAND RAPIDS — The construction industry, both nationally and statewide, continues to express persistent concerns related to a labor shortage and escalating construction costs in the year ahead. 

GRAND HAVEN — After first launching a device to kill germs in health care settings, UV Partners Inc. has a new product to disinfect and charge cell phones while working or driving. The company’s UV Angel Aura Clean & Charge embeds into a wireless charging base technology that senses germs and automatically disinfects a smartphone, which according to a 2012 University of Arizona study can carry far more bacteria than a toilet seat.

NORTON SHORES — A lakeshore community is asking a manufacturer Wacker Neuson Corp. to pay back lost tax revenue after the company left town before fulfilling the obligations of its tax abatement. Wacker Neuson, a manufacturer of construction equipment that had been located in Norton Shores since 2007, closed its facility at 1300 E. Mount Garfield Road in August 2018, two and a half years before the expiration of one of six tax abatements it received.

One of the most active development and property management firms in Grand Rapids in the years after the Great Recession now faces liquidation, MiBiz has learned.

Sales are not a problem for Perrigo Co. plc. The lack of a robust new product pipeline and pricing pressures as more competitors enter the market have been the primary issues ailing the company, along with customer service issues, CEO Murray Kessler told investor this week.

Insurance broker First Agency Inc. has sold to Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

SPARTA — Riveridge Produce Marketing Inc., the largest supplier of Michigan apples, has acquired the sales operation of Sparta-based Jack Brown Produce Inc.

Pioneer Construction Co. will serve as construction manager for the city’s renovation of VandenBerg Plaza, known commonly as Calder Plaza.

Approximately 6 million television viewers in more than 20 markets, including West Michigan, have lost access to local news, sports and entertainment programming because of a contract dispute between two mega media groups.

A Southwest Michigan box manufacturer has agreed to pay $400,000 after it faced allegations of misconduct in connection to a multi-state subcontract with the federal government.

Pine Rest Christian Mental Services was one of five organizations selected to participate in a federally-funded study on treating people with Alzheimer’s disease.

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