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Grand Rapids law firm Varnum LLP has pledged another $1 million in free legal services to startups in Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — SpartanNash Co. has to overcome a key hurdle in attracting craft beer shoppers to the retailer’s high-end D&W Fresh Market Breton Village store. 

While a recent report shows that charitable giving is on the rise nationwide, the trend is far more complex on the local level in West Michigan.

Earlier this month, the state Legislature adjourned for most of the summer so lawmakers can focus on constituent issues in their home districts, as well as this year’s election. 

Updates to a Michigan law now allow credit unions to branch into new services while streamlining their state regulatory burden.

Downtown-ish Grand Rapids could finally get a “real” grocery store sometime in the future, if plans from Meijer Inc. and Rockford Construction Co. Inc. come to fruition. 

New commercial real estate projects continue to pop up around West Michigan at a frantic pace.

Automotive analysts are looking at recent sales results and warning that the industry cycle may have peaked. 

MUSKEGON — A pair of West Michigan entrepreneurs want to create a market for onsite electrical power generation by undercutting large utilities with cheaper electricity costs. 

Apart from uncertainty caused by global turmoil and the current political landscape, the office furniture industry seems primed for at least two more years of positive, albeit modest, growth.

potential affiliation with Metro Health Corp. would give the University of Michigan Health System the role it’s long wanted in West Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — A West Michigan venture initially launched to connect college entrepreneurs across the U.S. with prospective alumni investors has merged with a U.K.-based crowdfunding platform for the education sector.

state lawmaker wants to restore an angel investment tax credit in Michigan as a way to create a larger pool of prospective investors in startup companies.

ZEELAND — When news of a lawsuit questioning the legality of Herman Miller Inc.’s acquisition of Design Within Reach made headlines this month, few people in the industry understood the complexity of the case. 

A wedge-shaped parking lot in the middle of downtown Grand Rapids could be transformed into the site of the tallest building in Grand Rapids and one of the tallest in the state.

Grand Rapids-based Blandford Nature Center has launched the public phase of its $10.3 million expansion, renovation and endowment campaign.

After serving as the CFO and executive vice president of Whirlpool Corp. since 2012, Larry Venturelli will retire in early 2017.

Omega Construction Co. was acquired by Vic Laing of Belmont-based Broadwater Companies Inc., according to a statement.

Universal Forest Products Inc. expects to acquire Idaho Western Inc., a Nampa, Idaho-based distributor of building materials.

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital exceeded a $16 million fundraising goal by nearly $1 million to support the recent expansion and renovation at its Grand Rapids campus.

German company Kion Group AG, an industrial truck, material handling and logistics automation equipment manufacturer, plans to acquire Dematic Corp. for approximately $2.1 billion in what executives described as a “landmark” transaction.

Metro Health Corp. would affiliate with the University of Michigan Health System in an arrangement that could bring a significant new player into the Grand Rapids-area health care marketplace.

Herman Miller Inc. has settled a lawsuit against Madison Seating LLC, a New York-based retailer that allegedly made unauthorized use of the office furniture manufacturers’ trademarks.

Coastal Automotive, a tier-1 supplier of high-tech foams for the automotive and aerospace industries, today announced plans to open a new manufacturing facility in Holland.

Food processing giant Kellogg Co. will launch a $100 million in-house venture capital fund.

The 400-slip Grand Isle Marina in Grand Haven has been acquired by Dallas-based Safe Harbor Marinas LLC, an owner and operator of inland and coastal marinas across the U.S.

Perrigo Co. plc will sell off its vitamins, minerals and supplements business to International Vitamin Corp. of Freehold, N.J.

Michigan’s life sciences industry recorded growth in most sectors between 2012 and 2014 in both jobs and the number of businesses, according to a report from a national trade group.

According to the most recent state jobs data, wages for manufacturing production workers in May sunk to their lowest levels in the last 12 years as the average hours worked dipped to the lowest point since 2009. Meanwhile, the number of people working in manufacturing hit its highest level in almost a decade.

A trademark lawsuit involving two drug companies in West Michigan has been settled out of court, according to documents filed yesterday in federal court.

A West Michigan manufacturer of adhesive tapes will invest $20 million to expand production at its facility in Sparta.

Manufacturer Whitehall Industries of Ludington has been acquired by a Japanese aluminum supplier.

Universal Forest Products Inc. said today that it has agreed to acquire some assets of a Tampa, Fla.-based treated lumber manufacturer.

Meijer Inc. could look to develop a neighborhood grocery concept as part of a mixed-use redevelopment in Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood.

OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy in Kalamazoo has received a $500,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to support a $1.2 million investment for OptiMed’s new home.

While most reports show the fundamentals of the West Michigan economy remain strong, economists and local executives warn we’re closer to the next recession than we are to the previous one. In this special report, MiBiz takes a mid-year look at the Michigan economy and what the experts say lies ahead.

Kent County and other stakeholders plan “two firsts” in providing abatements for Switch Ltd.’s colocated data center in Gaines Charter Township.

Herman Miller Inc.’s highly praised $154 million acquisition in 2014 of high-end furniture retailer Design Within Reach Inc. may not legally have occurred.

Chicago-based real estate investment firm Capri EGM LLC this week announced a sale-leaseback deal for the four-building corporate headquarters of Hagerty Insuance Agency Inc. in downtown Traverse City.

GRAND RAPIDS — Walking around the southern end of the historic Heritage Hill neighborhood, Mark Miller points out clues for how Grand Rapids could achieve greater housing affordability in the coming years. 

handful of economic outlooks and surveys signal that Michigan’s economy should continue on an upward trajectory for the second half of this year and into 2017. 

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for June 13, 2016.

• M&A: National Coatings Inc. in Traverse City was acquired by Color Masters Painting of Raleigh, N.C. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Established in 1996, National Coatings is a commercial and industrial painting company. Color Masters employs 120 people and will add 160 employees with the acquisition as it targets 2017 sales of $30 million, according to owner and founder Zeb Hadley. M&A firm Calder Capital LLC in Grand Rapids represented National Coatings and sourced the buyer.

consortium of academics, government officials and industry leaders wants to refocus the state on wood products and create a hub for bio-materials produced from Michigan’s forests.

Both the Michigan and U.S. economy are plugging along in fairly good shape, although just about everybody would like to see a higher rate of growth.

The build-out of West Michigan’s nascent startup and entrepreneurial support network will be a marathon, not a sprint. 

West Michigan’s construction executives hold to the notion that the region’s industry will continue to accelerate for the foreseeable future, despite increasing concerns of a broader economic slowdown. 

Even though a pair of sweeping energy reform bills advanced in the state Senate late last month, key business groups stood opposed to the plans. 

While ongoing crises with the Detroit Public Schools and Flint’s poisoned water get the majority of headlines, Gov. Rick Snyder says he’s committed to tackling a number of other important issues around the state. The term-limited governor says the remainder of his two years in office will focus on fixing problems, everything from determining how Michigan will fund much-needed infrastructure upgrades to positioning the state as a hub for mobility. Snyder sat down with MiBiz for a wide-ranging discussion during the Mackinac Policy Conference in early June.