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Most research firms project the commercial real estate market in West Michigan will maintain slow but steady growth in 2016. 

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for April 4, 2016:

• M&A: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio-based Americhem Group acquired Vi-Chem Corp. of Grand Rapids, according to a statement. Vi-Chem is a supplier of plastic compounds for injection molding, extrusion and blow molding applications. Its customers include companies in the automotive, medical and industrial sectors. Terms of the deal, which closed March 18, were not disclosed. Americhem, a manufacturer of color and additive plastic compounds for the polymer industry, will maintain Vi-Chem’s Grand Rapids operations, where the company employs 85 people. 

West Michigan contractors and architects point to the diversification of backlogged projects as further proof of a healthy regional economy. 

Foreign investors have considered Michigan an attractive place put their capital to work in the post-recession years.

Despite a global economic slowdown and fears of overheating in major markets, stakeholders in West Michigan’s commercial real estate industry say current regional indicators continue to show signs of a healthy market. 

KALAMAZOO — Ernie Pang’s goal to produce healthier snack foods didn’t quite pan out at first.

As Michigan’s industries have evolved over the years, so too have the roles economic developers play when it comes to helping businesses grow and expand in communities across the state.  

KALAMAZOO — Stryker Corp. is so confident about the efficacy and reliability of a new surgical safety device that it’s willing to issue a guarantee to hospitals that use it. 

HOLLAND — A West Michigan equipment manufacturer wants to leverage its engineering pedigree to navigate a consolidating industry.

Despite some uncertainty about the health of the global economy, West Michigan product development and engineering firms remain bullish on the manufacturing sector, at least for the short term. 

JACKSON — Michigan’s second-largest electric utility says it is developing a program to meet the needs of large energy users who want more of their electricity to come from renewable sources

GRAND RAPIDS — A new crowdfunding platform aims to connect student entrepreneurs at colleges and universities with people willing to invest money and time in their ideas.

Midwest energy analysts say Michigan could leverage a $105 million public investment into roughly $3 billion in private clean energy development under what’s known as a “green bank.”

BATTLE CREEK — The former Southwest Regional Rehabilitation Center Inc. has settled claims that it improperly billed Medicare for care that was later ruled to be medically unnecessary.

As craft beer exports present consistent growth opportunities for American producers, internationally-distributing companies such as Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co. note that overseas markets are making up an ever-increasing portion of their sales.

When it comes to statewide budgeting, arts and cultural organizations often are considered a luxury and not a necessity.

American Airlines Inc. will soon begin offering direct flights from Lansing to Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Longtime East Hills neighborhood restaurant Jamaican Dave’s plans to relocate from Wealthy Street to a strip mall at 530 South Division Ave.

The Grand Rapids office of Cohen Financial has secured a $4.5 million loan for the owner of Blue Heron Pointe, an apartment complex in Ypsilanti.

The HopCat chain of craft beer bars continues its rapid expansion.

The Small Business Association of Michigan wants to find a route to further improve the state’s entrepreneurial climate.

Ada-based River Valley Credit Union has begun construction of a new office building and branch in Ada, according to a statement.

North Ottawa Community Health System and Mercy Health plan to work together under a new strategic alliance that executives say holds benefits for both health systems.

Pro-Temp Inc., a commercial HVAC and refrigeration service firm, was acquired by Holland-based Kroger Enterprises Inc., according to a statement.

Lake Michigan Credit Union in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo-based Consumers Credit Union ranked among the 50 best-performing credit unions in the U.S. for 2015.

A joint venture between Spectrum Health and Holland Hospital expects to begin construction this spring on a $50 million medical campus in the Grand Haven area.

Aluminum manufacturer Tubelite Inc. announced today the completion of a 33,000-square-foot expansion project at its corporate headquarters in Walker.

The Sparta-based parent company of ChoiceOne Bank announced this morning that CEO James Bosserd plans to retire.

The associate dean of the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University has accepted a new position in Florida.

Grand Rapids-based Barfly Ventures LLC today confirmed reports from earlier this week that it would open a HopCat location in Chicago.

A $50 million medical facility that Spectrum Health and Holland Hospital planned to develop in the Grand Haven area has drawn objections from community officials.

Rua Associates LLC announced yesterday a new joint venture with The Midland Group, a Fort Wayne, Ind.-based business advisory firm.

The plan to streamline the delivery of entrepreneurial support services in the West Michigan area has taken another step forward.

President and CEO of Michigan Blood, Bill Rietscha, announced his retirement today.

An affiliate of a New York City-based investment firm has acquired a hotel in Lansing.

Lake Michigan Insurance Agency of Grand Rapids has added to its geographic service area with the acquisition of Traverse City-based Bonner Insurance Agency Inc.

Americhem Group, a manufacturer of color and additive plastic compounds for the polymer industry, announced its acquisition of Grand Rapids-based Vi-Chem Corp. today.

Phoenix, Ariz.-based Knight Transportation Inc. announced plans today to open its first Michigan branch at 555 Fourth St. NW in Grand Rapids.

Electronics manufacturer Firstronic LLC is planning to increase capacity at its Grand Rapids facility with the help of a $200,000 performance-based grant.

While revenues declined slightly in the fourth quarter, Steelcase Inc. benefited from a tax restructuring and the partial sale of an investment to drive earnings.

Brian Ryks, executive director of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA), has accepted a new job as the executive director and CEO of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

LANSING — Neogen Corp. reported record sales and earnings for the third quarter of the 2016 fiscal year.

A Grand Rapids provider of physical therapy plans to open a new clinic in Arena Place, a forthcoming mixed-use development downtown.

Spartan Motors Inc. plans to build a new manufacturing plant at its campus in Charlotte, Mich.

Andy J. Egan Co. has acquired Flint-based construction technology and digital modeling firm 3D Imaging Services LLC, according to a statement.

Walker-based Meijer Inc. appears to be continuing its northwest expansion.

A Canadian logistics firm plans to expand into Zeeland Township.

Atlanta-based staffing firm Insight Global plans to become a tenant in the mixed-use Arena Place project when the facility opens later this year.