Breaking News

Demand for lumber throughout the retail, construction and industrial markets drove strong sales for Universal Forest Products Inc. last year.

Bank of America plans to lease 40,000 square feet of space at 250 Monroe NW in Grand Rapids as the bank looks to grow its market presence in the region.

An investment by a Chicago private equity firm provides Grand Rapids Ophthalmology the capital to expand its footprint across Michigan and potentially into neighboring states.

Vander Mill LLC and Long Road Distillers LLC have struck a partnership to further capitalize on the growing market for craft spirits.

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum of St. Joseph has completed its merger into Grand Rapids-based West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum.

Wolverine World Wide Inc. closed its fourth quarter with revenues modestly higher than expected by Wall Street analysts, while reporting full year fiscal results in-line with its previous guidance.

American Grease Stick Co. of Muskegon was acquired last year by 3 Rivers Capital, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based private equity firm.

Citing financial constraints, heavy-duty vehicle manufacturer Spartan Motors Inc. has ceased its development of the next-generation delivery vehicle for the United States Postal Service.

Plumb Inc., a Muskegon-based grocery chain, has ceased all operations, according to a letter sent to MiBiz.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Feb. 20, 2017. 

• M&A: AMI Entertainment Network LLC in Grand Rapids has acquired NSM Music Group Ltd., a Leeds, U.K.-based manufacturer of jukeboxes. The deal for NSM Music marks the first overseas expansion for AMI, a provider of digital jukeboxes and other products for the nightclub and bar industry, according to a statement. Founded in 1951 in Germany, NSM will maintain its independent branding and headquarters. General Manager Martin Agabeg will report to AMI President Mike Maas. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Going forward, AMI plans to invest in NSM and enhance the company’s products and service, according to a statement.

GRAND RAPIDS — Care providers seeing patients through telemedicine visits need to develop what Barry Brown call a “web-side manner.”

GRAND RAPIDS — Citing concerns over widespread inequality, economic development stakeholders want to improve their outreach to the growing Latino population in the greater Grand Rapids area.

BENTON HARBOR — Lake Michigan College’s new president starts next month with an initial goal to become well connected with the local business community.

Citing increasing public awareness resulting from high-profile incidents, Grand Valley State University plans to place greater emphasis on cybersecurity training.

KALAMAZOO — Western Michigan University will launch a new product design institute to create a hub of designers in Southwest Michigan and supply local companies with talent.

As President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries continues to play out in the courts, university administrators and international students in West Michigan say they’re keeping vigilant.

A new dashboard unveiled today by a coalition of West Michigan economic developers and other organizations aims to increase accessibility to key data about the region.

Spectrum Health stands to regain more than $747,000 it paid in property taxes after successfully earning tax-exempt status on a medical center in Grand Rapids Charter Township.

Federal regulators this month rejected a plan by the multi-state electric grid operator to redesign the capacity auction process for parts of Michigan and Illinois, a move that would have affected electric choice customers and providers.

When it comes to economic development efforts in Michigan, practitioners and policymakers say it’s important to legislate the tools to attract and retain companies, not individual projects.

GRAND RAPIDS — Two acquisitions to start 2017 give Lake Michigan Insurance Agency a wider presence across the state to drive growth and pursue further deals in an era of industry consolidation.

More than a decade into the “Envision Ada” planning process, stakeholders can now see construction activity on new mixed-use buildings they hope will attract new retailers, restaurants and residents to the village.

Online giving continues to be the fastest-growing type of fundraising for nonprofits, but the dollars it brings in remain very low compared to more traditional methods.

BATTLE CREEK — Following several years of product development and commercialization, Micro Laser Assisted Machining Technologies LLC ended its first year of sales and is gearing up for further growth now that its first year of sales is behind it.

ADA — A softening market in China led sales to dip in 2016 for Amway Corp., a trend that’s dogged the global direct-selling giant since 2014.

HOLLAND — Backed by strong growth in the European market and synergies created through its residential business unit, Haworth Inc. closed 2016 with better sales growth than the company had in the prior year. 

GRAND RAPIDS — In seeking to raise up to $50 million for its first fund, Grand Ventures I LP could soon add to the availability and accessibility of venture capital in Michigan. 

GRAND RAPIDS — The Verve Pipe had billed its show at 20 Monroe Live, the long-awaited new Grand Rapids concert hall, as a 20th birthday party for the West Michigan rock band’s platinum-selling “Villains” album.

Growing up in Kalamazoo, Rishi Makkar vividly recalls his father working nights mopping floors at a gas station while chairing the criminal justice department at Western Michigan University by day. 

Sporting goods retailer MC Sports might need a Hail Mary pass right about now.

Uvex Winter Holding, a safety equipment manufacturer based in Fürth, Germany, has acquired a minority stake in Grand Rapids-based Hex Armor.

Richard Carlson, the president and CEO of the Muskegon-based Goodwill Industries of West Michigan (GIWM), will retire March 31, being succeeded by Jeanette Hoyer.

In a bid to increase transparency among consumers and government, Senate Democrats today announced a bill requiring publicly-traded companies to disclose employees by location.

Special-Lite Inc. has invested $1 million in an expansion project that will alleviate capacity constraints and allow for further growth.

In another step in a series of hiring sprees, LG Chem Michigan Inc. announced today an expansion project that could yield upward of 150 new jobs at its headquarters in Holland.

Mercy Health aims to elevate its cardiac care through new partnership with the University of Michigan’s health system.

MC Sports, a Grand Rapids-based sporting goods retailer operating in seven Midwest states, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan.

High-end luxury carpet manufacturer Scott Group Custom Carpets LLC has acquired cross-town rival PWV Studios Ltd.

More than a year into his tenure at Wolverine World Wide Inc., Tom Kennedy will now lead the global footwear manufacturer’s Sperry brand.

A new venture capital fund based in Grand Rapids plans to target investments in early-stage companies in the Midwest, MiBiz has learned.

Fast food and casual restaurant operator Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU) said yesterday it has initiated a string of acquisitions that will continue to grow its operations. 

Legislation that passed the state Senate last Thursday seeks to level the playing field for economic development organizations trying to attract companies to Michigan’s border communities.

AMI Entertainment Network LLC of Grand Rapids has acquired a U.K.-based manufacturer of jukeboxes.

A Northern Michigan provider of vendor management solutions for hospitals and health care systems has been acquired by a private equity firm.

After a year of modest sales growth, Haworth Inc. today reported annual sales of $1.94 billion for 2016.

Southland Auto Wash of Wyoming, Mich. has been acquired by Tucson, Ariz.-based Mister Car Wash.

Against the backdrop of business leaders increasingly voicing concerns about a lack of downtown parking, the city of Grand Rapids plans to increase parking capacity with the construction of a new lot.

Carbide Specialties Inc. of Grand Rapids has been acquired by an Elkhart, Ind.-based tooling company.