Breaking News - MiBiz: West Michigan Business News

As a new governor and state Legislature prepare to take office in January, Roger Martin, a partner at the advocacy firm Martin Waymire Inc., is among the people who remain hopeful for a new spirit of bipartisanship in Lansing to address some of the major issues facing Michigan. That includes deteriorating infrastructure across the state that goes beyond the roads. How well Democratic Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican-controlled legislature work together remains the big unknown, although Martin sees her experience as a legislative leader as a big plus coming into office that predecessors Rick Snyder and Jennifer Granholm lacked.

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Since 2011, median home prices have increased by nearly 70 percent while per capita income went up by only 11 percent. Now, Deanna Rolffs, vice president of housing and family services at ICCF, has a waitlist of more than 700 families who are in need of safe, affordable housing. Going into 2019, she thinks community leadership and collaboration could be the key to solving the region’s housing crisis. 

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The nonprofit sector must be focused on serving needs in their communities, even if that means taking big steps and thinking outside of the box, according to Carrie Pickett-Erway, the president and CEO of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. 

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Teri Behrens took over as executive director of the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University on Oct. 22. She previously served as the director of strategy and programs at the Johnson Center and worked to integrate an applied research mission with the needs of the changing nonprofit sector. 

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Todd Jacobs becomes president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County on Jan. 1. The Muskegon native succeeds Chris McGuigan, who has run the foundation since 1999 and plans to retire. Jacobs moves to the Community Foundation for Muskegon County from the Fremont Area Community Foundation, where he’s worked as vice president and chief philanthropy officer. 

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In 2019, City Built Brewing Co. hopes to add a rooftop bar and a street parklet so it can offer outdoor seating during the warmer months at its location in Grand Rapids’ Monroe North neighborhood, according to co-founder Edwin Collazo. “We’re right on the river. We’re going to take advantage of those things that bring people to this area anyways.” 

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After completing the acquisition of Legacy Seeds Inc. in August 2018, Tillerman Seeds LLC aims to continue executing on its growth strategy and supporting its portfolio of seed companies. President Jim Sheppard said the goal is to find the right fit when acquiring new companies. 

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Strata Business Services LLC is a “specialized small business solutions company” that focuses on investments in the medical marijuana sector in Michigan and other states. As of Dec. 6, adult-use recreational marijuana became legal in Michigan after voters approved Proposal 1 during the midterm election. 

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On Jan. 1, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer will take the oath of office to become the 49th governor of Michigan, succeeding Republican Rick Snyder, who was term-limited after eight years in office. Whitmer spoke with MiBiz Editor Joe Boomgaard earlier this week as the contentious lame-duck legislative session came to a close. 

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MUSKEGON — A bill to transfer a lakeshore prison property to the state’s land bank is heading to the governor.

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GRAND RAPIDS — To the disappointment of executives and several nonprofits present, the Kent County Board of Commissioners voted today to dissolve the Kent County Land Bank Authority.

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GRAND RAPIDS — The public body that owns a 14.2-acre “opportunity site” along the Grand River is seeking bids on the property for a possible sale.

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Contract furniture manufacturer Herman Miller Inc. today reported strong quarterly sales and earnings gains.

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A Northern Michigan Tier 1 supplier of engineered plastic assemblies has been acquired by a private equity firm.

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A federal court ordered a West Michigan-based food manufacturer of ready-to-eat foods, including prepared salads, dips, and sauces, to discontinue selling food products until the company complies with federal regulations and other requirements.

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The Kent County Board of Commissioners is considering dissolving its agreement with the Kent County Land Bank Authority.

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GRAND RAPIDS — A $40 million investment by a Japanese pharmaceutical company provides Tetra Discovery Partners Inc. a strategic partner and capital to test and commercialize a new drug compound that could treat Alzheimer’s disease and a form of autism.

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Steelcase Inc. posted strong, double-digit gains in sales and earnings for its most recent quarter.

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The developer of a proposed downtown hotel tower received approval today for state cleanup funding.

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Innovative Cardiovascular Solutions LLC, the developer of a device to improve patient safety during a heart procedure, closed on $8 million in capital raised to support clinical trials and production.

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Spartan Motors Inc. has acquired a Florida-based company that helps outfit vehicles with lighting, accessories and communications equipment.

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McLaren Health Care broke ground Monday on a new $450 million, 240-bed hospital.

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GRAND RAPIDS — Dr. Norman Beauchamp hopes a new innovation center at the Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center downtown will help get clinical discoveries to patients faster.

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KENTWOOD — Charter Industries Extrusions LLC, a supplier of carpentry components for the furniture and casegoods industries, has been acquired by a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based private equity firm.

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WALKER — A specialty chemicals company has scooped up space at a Walker-based industrial park for an eventual expansion of its West Michigan operations.

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A public-private partnership approved today by the Michigan State University board of trustees will continue development of the downtown Grand Rapids Research Center campus.

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GRAND RAPIDS — A contaminated former gas station property in Grand Rapids will be redeveloped after being receiving brownfield funding from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

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Watermark Properties announced today that it will purchase Macatawa Legends Golf Club in Holland.

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Grand Rapids Community College will receive $100,000 from heavy metal band Metallica to support new programming, the school announced today.

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GRAND RAPIDS — Nine proposed affordable housing projects in West Michigan have been awarded tax credits.

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