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More bank branches closed in Michigan than in 45 other states in the years following the most recent financial crisis.

Giving up a Harvard University education to help develop a high-tech wearable device for elite athletes might sound crazy to some.

When Jim Hackett retired from the corner office at Steelcase Inc. in 2014, he told MiBiz the “narrative is still being written” about what he planned to do in the next phase of his professional life.

Deals in the craft beer sector have become commonplace in recent years, but now the deal flow has spread to Michigan’s more mature wine industry.

Spartan Motors Inc. has appointed James Sharman to serve as chairman of the company’s board of directors.

The owners of an Eastown brewpub have plans for a significant expansion.

The CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) and president and chairman of the Michigan Strategic Fund will step down at the end of June.

Boutique retailer Apothecary off Main plans to expand its presence in downtown Grand Rapids.

Jim Hackett, the former top executive at Grand Rapids-based office furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc., has been tapped to lead Ford Motor Co.

Automotive and manufacturing employment in Michigan will ease during 2017 as vehicle production dips, according to a new outlook from Comerica Inc.

Investors continue to seek out housing opportunities in West Michigan.

An operator of fast food and other restaurants has added a large portfolio of Wendy’s locations to its portfolio.

An Arizona-based consolidator of car wash operations continues to bolster its position in the greater Grand Rapids market.

Vision Real Estate Investment Inc. today announced plans to begin developing an industrial business park in southern Kent County just south of the U.S. 131 and M-6 interchange.

Bloomfield Hills-based civil engineering firm Hubbell, Roth & Clark Inc. has opened a Kalamazoo office.

Bill Hughson has joined Grand Rapids Ophthalmology as CEO, coming from from IntegraMed Fertility, the largest fertility network in North America with 28 practices where he was CEO and continues as vice chairman of the board. He previously served from 2009 to 2013 as president of the health care group for DeVry Education Group.

Spectrum Health rolls out a new mobile mammography unit next week that will offer breast cancer screenings at Meijer Inc. stores across West Michigan.

Zoetis Inc. plans to expand production capacity in Kalamazoo and increase employment over the next few years.

Huntington Bancshares Inc. will layoff 129 workers in Holland to improve operational efficiencies following its acquisition of FirstMerit Corp. in 2016.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for May 15, 2017: 

• M&A: Muskegon-based KL Outdoor LLC will add a bevvy of new products to its business through a recent merger with GSC Technologies Corp., a Montreal-based manufacturer of kayaks and other plastic products. About three months ago, KL Outdoor — a manufacturer of kayaks, paddleboards and other watercraft — was purchased by New Water Capital LP, a private equity firm based in Boca Raton, Fla. The private equity firm plans to wrap GSC Technologies under the KL Outdoor brand, according to Dan Harris, vice president of sales at KL Outdoor. Harris expects the merger to expand KL Outdoor’s product offerings, as GSC manufactures a variety of products including outdoor furniture, totes and other related products.

Over the past decade, many small business owners put off expansions or capital equipment purchases for as long as they could.

As Neil Brown and Wade Thompson considered acquiring Central Interconnect Inc. late last year, they found themselves interested in the opportunity the company presented.

Heralded by backers as a novel way for in-state businesses to raise capital, 2014’s Michigan Invests Locally Exemption (MILE) Act came with great promise.

The new head of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Michigan office believes lending should continue to grow, even as volumes for the agency’s federally backed loans keep moving upward.

When Mark Lindquist purchased Rapid-Line Inc. in 1989, he completed the transaction with a strategy for exiting the business already in mind.

GRAND RAPIDS — The growth of a fund established three years ago by a same-sex couple from Grand Rapids proves there’s interest in addressing issues the LGBT community faces in West Michigan.

Even as West Michigan’s economy continues to improve, its public education system faces considerable uncertainty.

MUSKEGON — As a result of the challenging economics of maintaining decades-old coal plants, communities nationwide have wrestled with how to replace lost tax revenue and repurpose large industrial brownfield sites when those facilities close.

Employment in Michigan’s health care sector grew steadily during the first half of the decade, reaching nearly 588,000 jobs as of 2015 and generating an economic impact of about $35 billion.

Legislation requiring doctors to use a state-run drug-monitoring system before prescribing a controlled substance represents the “start of a journey” to address the opioid epidemic in Michigan.

As executive director of the Kent County Land Bank Authority, David Allen thinks his organization contributes to more affordable housing options in the greater Grand Rapids area.

As a business consulting firm, O’Keefe & Associates Consulting LLC has increasingly seen a need to advise its clients on the best ways to invest in automation equipment. Tim Thompson, the firm’s managing director at its Grand Rapids office, spoke with MiBiz about how investing in automation equipment can affect an organization’s long-term investment strategies.

GRAND RAPIDS — One West Michigan electronics manufacturer plans to leverage a recent deal in Europe to further capitalize on the growing electronics manufacturing market.

When Siliconature Corp. examined potential sites in West Michigan for its North American headquarters, the company knew finding an existing building that fit its specific needs would be challenging.

LANSING — A New York-based venture capital firm wants to propel Michigan’s nascent fashion industry to runways everywhere.

GRANDVILLE — Grand River Bank’s parent company has raised $14.4 million in new investor capital to support the firm’s continued growth, MiBiz has learned.

FREMONT — After closing abruptly two years ago, a state-of-the-art biodigester facility in Newaygo County is getting a second life from one of the nation’s leading clean energy investors.

As of May 1, the Grand Rapids-based Michigan Obstetrics & Gynecology P.C. is a part of Metro Health – University of Michigan Health.

A new partnership and grant dollars aim to help train future technology sector employees.

Even as headlines about the death of brick-and-mortar retail continue to pile up, niche retailers from outside the market continue to eye West Michigan for expansion.

Whirlpool Corp. has formally opened its headquarters in Milan, Italy.

As bars and restaurants continue to appear rapidly west of the Grand River, specialty coffee sellers are also getting in on the action.

Concerto Health, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of specialized care for frail elderly patients who are dual eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, plans to open a clinic in Kalamazoo.

Big Lake Brewing LLC plans to launch out-of-state distribution later this year.

G.B. Russo & Son Ltd. expects to open a new downtown grocery store this summer.

The firm that operates West Michigan Regional Airport in Holland has been acquired by the owner of a company that runs Muskegon County Airport.

An out-of-state platform manufacturing company owned by Grand Rapids-based Blackford Capital has acquired Oklahoma City, Okla.-based Custom Composites.

Fox 17 WXMI could soon share corporate ownership WWMT Newschannel 3, the Kalamazoo-based CBS affiliate.