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Fifth Third Bank’s $30 billion corporate commitment over the next four years for community development offers a massive pool of money for West Michigan organizations to potentially tap to fund projects and initiatives.

HOLLAND — The impact of Kandu Inc.’s closure last year could have been far worse for adults with disabilities in Ottawa County were it not for the opening in October of the Hope Network Development Center.

KALAMAZOO — When Folia Water Inc. sought to partner with a paper manufacturer to advance its water filtration technology from the initial proof of concept phase, the company faced a dilemma. 

GRAND RAPIDS — When hackers shut down popular websites including Twitter and Spotify in October, they enlisted myriad devices, ranging from coffee makers and appliances to webcams, to carry out the attack. 

LANSING — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. could expand its toolbox of incentives under a proposed payroll tax abatement program.

KALAMAZOO — Southwest Michigan’s legacy in the life sciences industry and the area’s strong talent pool led accuFD Inc. to set up shop in Kalamazoo.

EAST LANSING — A new venture capital firm formed by Michigan State University’s research foundation targets a critical need for early-stage capital for startups in the state.

After one of the largest political upsets in recent history, West Michigan automotive suppliers have started assessing how a Donald Trump presidency could affect their industry. 

LANSING — Sweeping energy policy reform that has taken nearly two years to move through the state Legislature could face a contentious debate during the remaining days of the post-election lame duck session.

A microbrewery could soon makes its way to Grand Rapids’ southeast side.

Brian Britton has been named president and CEO of National Heritage Academies.

Riverside, Mo.-based NorthPoint Development sees opportunity in former automotive manufacturing sites around the state’s capitol.

Insurance broker Acrisure LLC of Caledonia has completed the $2.9 billion management-led buyout of private equity firm Genstar Capital.

Madcap Coffee Company Inc. plans to expand its downtown presence.

Grand Rapids Community College has today named Bill Pink as the college’s next president.

After a successful launch last year in Kent County, Priority Health has extended a narrow-network insurance product into Southwestern Michigan for consumers who buy their own health coverage.

After 35 years under the ownership of founder Arlen Smith, Central Interconnect Inc. has been sold to new owners at the culmination of an 18-month-long process.

A $6 million federal grant will pay for Grand Rapids Community College to train more health care workers.

North Central Co-op will invest $10.1 million in an expansion project at its feed mill in Newaygo County.

The state’s Department of Talent and Economic Development (TED) will likely have a new director come end of the month.

Michigan State University researchers seeking financial backing to commercialize an innovation now have a potential capital source available right on campus.

Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Grand Rapids-based private equity firm Blackford Capital, was named Private Equity Professional of the Year in the 15th Annual M&A Advisor Awards.

After 23 years of active duty in the U.S. Army, Jason Schenkel faced an uncertain future when he retired from the military a little more than a year ago.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Nov. 14, 2016: 

• M&A: Byron Center-based SpartanNash Co. (Nasdaq: SPTN) signed a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets of Caito Foods Service Inc. and its Blue Ribbon Transport business for about $217.5 million in cash, according to a statement. The deal includes an earn-out potential of an additional $12.4 million if the business hits performance targets. SpartanNash, which expects the transaction to be accretive to 2017 earnings, will fund the deal with proceeds from its lending facility. Subject to regulatory and other approvals, the deal is anticipated to close in early January 2017. The combined Caito and Blue Ribbon Transport businesses generate annual revenues exceeding $600 million. Caito supplies fresh fruit and vegetables to groceries and distributors in 22 states in the Southeast, Midwest and Eastern regions of the country. The company has facilities in Indiana, Ohio and Florida. SpartanNash was advised on the deal by Deutsche Bank (financial) and Morgan Lewis (legal).

As Michigan life sciences companies grow and seek to commercialize their innovations, the firms often face key constraints when it comes to access to capital in the state. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Given the demand for more engineers in West Michigan, two local universities hope to be the institutions that can step up and fill that need.

For today’s engineering graduates, technical expertise remains paramount, but companies are asking more of their young workers, especially when it comes to so-called soft skills and the basics of business. 

HART — After operating for a decade, The Starting Block has helped the West Michigan craft food movement grow from an idea into the fledgling industry it is today.

BATTLE CREEK — Imagine preparing 100 meals and immediately tossing 40 of those into a garbage can.

As Michigan legislators prepare to enter their final session of the year, policy watchers across the state are closely monitoring legislation that could get a vote in the lame duck session. 

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