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While many pieces still need to be assembled, Michigan’s growing forest products industry remains on track to transform into a robust and sustainable market. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Restoring the Grand River to its former state and encouraging more recreational uses of the waterway in downtown Grand Rapids may be part of the long game of economic development, but a variety of companies have started banking on the notion that improvements will occur. 

A new line of defense in the proverbial fight between man and weeds may be gaining traction among farmers and other business in West Michigan. But instead of being based on chemicals or other manmade products, this solution is much more back to nature. 

GRAND RAPIDS — BarFly Ventures LLC, the parent company that operates the growing HopCat craft beer bar chain, has secured a new $5 million investment to further its expansion in the Midwest, MiBiz has learned. 

Lake Michigan Insurance Agency, a division of Grand Rapids-based Lake Michigan Credit Union, acquired Minor Field Agency in Kalamazoo.

Universal Forest Products Inc. (Nasdaq: UFPI) today signed a definitive agreement to buy idX Corp. in a deal valued at about $68 million.

Walker-based big box retailer Meijer Inc. will roll out a home grocery delivery service later this month to customers in Detroit and Southeast Michigan.

Wolverine World Wide Inc. is investing approximately $1 million into an expansion at its Big Rapids facility, which primarily manufactures its Bates brand of military footwear.

Coming off its merger with eMerge West Michigan earlier this year, Grand Rapids-based Start Garden LLC  has spun off its venture capital arm into a new entity.

Moving outside of its Detroit-area market for the first time, Level One Bank plans to enter the Grand Rapids area.

Agility Health Inc. increased revenue for the second quarter.

Global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. has taken the next step in its proposed $146 million expansion to its manufacturing facility in Southwest Michigan.

Vision Real Estate Investment Inc., a Grand Rapids-based real estate investment firm, has acquired a Big Rapids student housing facility.

Food distributor and retailer SpartanNash Co. has promoted COO Dave Staples to the role of president and COO.

The new business dean at Baker College wants to build partnerships with companies around that state to boost the curriculum and give students real-world experiences as they earn their degrees.

A private equity-backed company from Lansing has purchased two Algonac, Mich.-based manufacturers. 

GRAND RAPIDS — An investment banking adviser believes the current environment in the contract furniture industry should lead to more deals getting done before the end of the year. 

At this time next year, economic developers from around Michigan will gather in Holland.

Union workers at Meijer Inc. superstores should soon be seeing more money in their paychecks. The regional retailer’s union employees voted last week to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement that contains wage increases, benefit improvements and flexible contract language, according to a statement.

A number of community colleges in West Michigan will partner with Michigan State University and other institutions across the state to offer joint certificate programs for students interested in the agricultural industry.

An executive with long ties to the West Michigan business community has a new appointment to the leadership team at a Pennsylvania university.

At the company’s quarterly board of directors meeting, long-time executive Tammy Hurley was named the chief accounting officer for the West Michigan-based food distribution and retailing company, according to a statement. She has been in her former role since 2015.

Koops Inc., a manufacturer of custom automation equipment, plans to invest $4.9 million into a new 40,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its headquarters in Holland.

A call center operator says the loss of a key contract led to its decision to close its facility in the greater Grand Rapids area.

Dialog Direct Inc. plans to shutter its Grand Rapids-area facility and lay off 106 employees by Oct. 17, according to documents filed with the state.

Two mixed-use projects in Grand Rapids received state incentives, following approval from the board of the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) this morning.

Global advertising firm McCann Erickson and sister company Weber Shandwick won nearly $35 million in new contracts today from the Michigan Strategic Fund. 

Michigan should continue to see steady job growth into next year, although manufacturing and the auto industry will become less of a driver.

Automotive supplier Spectrum Industries Inc. will expand into a recently-sold industrial building on the south side of Grand Rapids.

Zelenka Farms has emerged from bankruptcy under new ownership and a new name.  

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