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As the service sector rises, Julie Weeks says don’t forget manufacturing.

Acrisure LLC bought the most insurance agencies in the U.S. and Canada last year, easily outpacing the number of deals by other acquirers in a consolidating industry.

PARCHMENT — Advia Credit Union’s proposed acquisition of Mid America Bank, a small community bank in southern Wisconsin, is the kind of deal that occurs infrequently in the financial services industry.

Despite a number of recent global and national industry reports pointing to potential slowdowns in the construction sector, West Michigan contractors say they remain busy and confident for the foreseeable future. 

WALKER — As industrial production levels continue to rise and West Michigan manufacturers reach full capacity, companies need to decide whether to invest in adding capacity or turn to other organizations in the supply chain. 

Automakers’ challenge in meeting regulatory requirements for Corporate Average Fuel Economy has two aspects: the technology side and the market side of the issue. 

Backed by a string of profitable years, many West Michigan manufacturers are investing in labor-saving technology and providing themselves a hedge against future softening in the market. 

PORT SHELDON — A biotech startup will use $1 million in capital to pay for preclinical trials on an innovation it has developed for use in orthopedic surgeries.

GRAND RAPIDS — A key economic development program aimed at bolstering entrepreneurial activity in the Grand Rapids area will have a new administrator at the start of April.

GRAND RAPIDS — A successful appeal by Spectrum Health to win tax-exempt status for a medical office building in Grand Rapids Charter Township could spur similar cases across West Michigan.

Lifting what essentially proved to be a chokehold on charitable giving remains one of the primary policy issues that statewide nonprofit executives will focus on in 2016.

KALAMAZOO — When a violent tragedy struck downtown Kalamazoo in late February, local nonprofits reacted swiftly to channel corporate and individual donations to the appropriate needs. 

Longtime Spartan Stores executive Craig Sturken plans to retire as chair of the SpartanNash Co. board of directors.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan attributes a “modest” $68 million loss for 2015 to one-time charges to settle litigation and losses in its heavily-subsidized Medigap supplemental policies for Medicare recipients.

Five West Michigan hospitals rank among the top 100 in the U.S. for quality and performance.

ChoiceOne Bank plans to open a lending office on West Fulton Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids.

Naperville, Ill.-based Franklin Partners LLC, a development and property management firm with offices in Grand Rapids, says it plans a complete internal makeover at the Keeler Building, a 102-year-old building at 56 North Division Ave. that it signed an option to acquire in January.

Following the loss of a contract with its main customer, plastic injection molder Grand Rapids Plastics Inc. will permanently lay off 85 people.

An investment firm that serves RDV Corp., the family office for Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, has formed a $130 million private equity fund.

Disher Design & Development plans to increase its workforce by approximately 30 percent with the help of a $200,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The proprietor of Fish Lads LLC, located in the Downtown Market, plans to open Carvers, an “artisan” butcher shop, according to a statement.

Development and property management firm Franklin Partners LLC has sold its two downtown office properties, according to principal Don Shoemaker.

Wolverine World Wide Inc. reported declining revenues in the fourth quarter and for its 2015 fiscal year.

New legislation U.S. Sen. Gary Peters is co-sponsoring would open up federal grant dollars to universities and colleges to develop concurrent dual enrollment programs with high schools.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Feb. 22, 2016:

In a bid to grow the talent pool for Michigan’s nascent craft brewing industry, Byron Center-based Pilot Malt House LLC has announced a $500 scholarship for students in the sustainable brewing program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Despite losing one-third of its student body since 2012, Davenport University has embarked on a wave of spending, including expanded facilities, new dormitories and the addition of a football team this fall.

As the automotive supply chain prepares for a rapid increase in new model launches, manufacturers must also contend with several other trends in the industry ranging from production scheduling to the ripple effects of last year’s mega deals. 

A contractual dispute over a $1.125 million equipment purchase has resulted in legal action between Mill Steel Co. and Illinois-based steel processor The Material Works Ltd. 

eAgile Inc., a maker of radio frequency identification (RFID) products and software, hopes to raise up to $3 million to expand its overseas business serving the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and food industries.

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