Waterlogged Wonderland: High water, rainy weather put damper on West Michigan tourism, recreation industriesBy Marla R. Miller
Unseasonably rainy weather coupled with near record-high Great Lakes water levels have left many West Michigan business owners hoping the region will dry out in time to salvage the season for visitors and tourists.
GRAND RAPIDS — Two senior officials are planning to leave the city’s planning and development departments for new opportunities, MiBiz has learned.
MUSKEGON — The city of Muskegon has purchased the former West Shoreline Correctional Facility, the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority announced today.
MUSKEGON — Jim Edmonson’s return to a position he first held 15 years ago provides momentum for Muskegon Area First, whose directors are planning for the future after restructuring the economic development organization into a private-sector-led model.
When tobacco companies settled claims with dozens of states in the late 1990s over the use of deceptive marketing tactics, trial lawyers took home billions of dollars in what remains a contentious example of lawyers’ fees for representing the government.
MUSKGEON — Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. LLC plans to keep the beer flowing at its Western Avenue taproom for now, while fine-tuning brewing operations in its new facility.
MUSKEGON — City leaders continue to explore ways to move Muskegon’s retail sector forward by enhancing business districts outside of the downtown core.
GRAND RAPIDS — Restaurant operator Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. plans to invest $100 million to develop 40 new Wendy’s restaurants.
State lawmakers are pushing once again to expand civil rights protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as key legal cases on the issue sit before the U.S. Supreme Court.
GRAND RAPIDS — Michigan’s second-largest city crossed the 200,000-person population milestone for the first time last summer, as communities along the western side of the state posted strong growth.
MUSKEGON — After restructuring into a private-sector-led group, the economic development organization for Muskegon County brought back a prior chief executive.
MACKINAC ISLAND — Education reform took center stage at this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference, the annual gathering of the top business and government leaders in Michigan organized by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.
As the busy summer travel season kicks off with the Memorial Day weekend, the head of the state’s travel bureau expects another record year for Michigan’s tourism industry.
Everybody knows the U.S. economic expansion that’s approaching a decade in duration will eventually come to an end. When that dip will actually occur remains the unknown, as assorted economic outlooks continually predict slower growth ahead, but stop short of forecasting an outright recession.
Vulnerability Discovery & Analysis Labs LLC, a Grand Rapids-based cybersecurity firm, is opening a new headquarters at 5234 Plainfield Ave. NE.
Michigan’s medical marijuana market has experienced a flurry of activity in the past two weeks involving court rulings, state guidelines and legislation, and culminating in a showdown within the marijuana business community. The contention hinges on competition between state-licensed and unlicensed businesses and growers.
The economy continued “chugging along” in West Michigan during the early spring, even as economist Brian Long’s monthly survey of industrial purchasing managers again found signs of slower growth.
Private prison operator Geo Group Inc. plans to reopen its closed North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin.
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary. CEO Jeff Mason, who has led the organization since July 2017, is optimistic about the state of Michigan’s economy in 2019, and emphasized the importance of improving the state’s infrastructure.
Michigan House Republicans have advanced a pair of bills blocking local units of government from adopting “sanctuary” policies for undocumented immigrants, although critics say the bills could interfere with local law enforcement.
MUSKEGON — Higher Great Lakes water levels this spring should benefit the shipping industry and even recreational boat harbors, but also create shoreline erosion and other problems for docks and piers.
MUSKEGON — Federal guidance on a new incentive program designed to encourage investment in economically-distressed communities comes at an opportune time for Muskegon. Amid an ongoing wave of redevelopment in the city, property investors looking to shield some gains from taxes now have new ways to redeploy their capital and seek returns via Opportunity Zones.
Problems with Michigan’s infrastructure go beyond deteriorating roads and bridges. Michigan also ranks poorly — 42nd among the 50 states — in terms of digital connectivity, according to an annual report on entrepreneurship in the state.
West Michigan businesses are adapting their strategies to help address the unexpected rise of PFAS contamination as an issue, albeit mostly in measured steps as the quickly changing scenario continues to play out. But regardless of how they are reacting to doing business in the era of intense public scrutiny around PFAS, companies involved in everything from analytical testing to litigation expect the issue to remain front and center for the foreseeable future.
Add the contaminant PFAS to the checklist of issues prospective buyers need to consider when acquiring a business. Buyers need to make PFAS part of due diligence in an acquisition, particularly in industries that have a history of products involving the family of chemicals, said attorney Dan Parmeter, a partner at the Grand Rapids office of Mika Meyers PLC.
A new state law preventing environmental regulations from being stricter than the federal government’s could see a test under the Trump administration’s proposal to scale back national water standards. The proposal to redefine the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule would scale back regulations adopted by the Obama administration that set which waters receive protection under the Clean Water Act.
GRAND RAPIDS — Companies looking to break into the lucrative medical marijuana industry want to ensure their place in line for the city’s lottery process that will determine the order in which their proposals are considered. In an effort to boost their chances of being selected in the lottery, some applicants have submitted multiple proposals — sometimes even for adjacent properties — in concentrated areas where city zoning allows medical marijuana-related businesses.
MUSKEGON — A new travel-friendly schedule at Muskegon County Airport continues to attract new business and leisure travelers, leading to higher overall passenger numbers. Recent spring break travel filled up many flights, and airport officials are even more optimistic as the region gears up for summer travel season.
The latest quarterly economic survey from Business Leaders for Michigan shows continued optimism about the state economy, although few executives expect higher growth through 2019 and into next year.
Members of one organization advocating for small businesses in Lansing left no doubt in their opposition to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposal to raise the state gas tax 45 cents per gallon to generate $2.5 billion for fixing roads.
West Michigan’s economy plodded along to start 2019, growing slowly as it has been for a decade, according to economist Brian Long’s monthly survey of industrial purchasing managers. Key indexes for new orders and purchases in Long’s report for March eased from February and the index for production “retreated” but remained positive.
The Michigan Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments this summer on whether the state Legislature could amend laws on paid sick leave and minimum wage increases during the lame-duck session that were passed earlier in the legislative session.
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has unveiled a new program it says will help communities attract businesses to available properties across the state.
Michigan’s handling of past chemical contamination incidents offers perspective on what it’s going to take to clean up the state’s PFAS problems. Expect it to take decades, billions of dollars and some awkward dances of cooperation. Reporting on PFAS to date has focused mostly on environmental concerns and pointing blame at the companies and organizations that have discharged the emerging contaminant into water supplies. MiBiz's three-part series will go beyond the heated rhetoric to offer a dose of reality about how to handle the complex challenges stemming from the equally complex chemical.
The city of Portage provides municipal water to 95 percent of its 48,500 residents. As such, City Manager Larry Shaffer said clean water is a fundamental aspect of keeping residents safe. Most of the up to 5 million gallons of water produced daily comes from groundwater.
A growing group of Michigan residents are working but not bringing home a paycheck big enough to cover their basic expenses, according to a new study by the Michigan Association of United Ways. The ALICE research project, which released new data last week, found that 14 percent of Michigan’s population lives below the federal poverty level. Another 29 percent are “asset-limited, income-constrained, employed” (ALICE), a measure of the so-called working poor who earn more than the federal poverty level but less than the cost of living.