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Economic Development

The Michigan Economic Developers Association has created a fellowship named after Birgit Klohs, the long-time CEO of The Right Place Inc. in Grand Rapids who plans to retire at the end of January.

FRUITPORT TWP. — Federal action expected tomorrow will move the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians one step closer to being able to develop a $180 million casino on land it owns in Muskegon Country.

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a series of bipartisan bills that include providing pandemic liability protections to employers and curtailing surprise medical billing in Michigan.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s top public health official expressed concern Wednesday about the rising trend of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since the Michigan Supreme Court struck down dozens of executive orders earlier this month.

Nearly half of Michigan retailers optimistically expect higher sales in the coming holiday shopping season.

The state of Michigan plans to use nearly $18 million granted by the U.S. Department of Education to help job seekers make a smoother transition from education and training to the workforce.

Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio is resigning his government position to take the helm at Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable.

HOLLAND — Good Samaritan Ministries has been awarded $300,000 from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to help 200 more Ottawa County households avoid eviction.

LANSING — State lawmakers passed legislation early Wednesday morning that would grant liability protections to employers during the COVD-19 pandemic.

Golf courses around West Michigan have experienced both ends of the spectrum in just the last six months.

Convention centers across West Michigan are gearing up for business following recent orders from state officials, hoping to return as key drivers of economic activity in communities.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for October 11, 2020.

BYRON CENTER — Shares in SpartanNash Co. soared today following a filing to federal securities regulators about a “commercial agreement” with e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc.

GRAND RAPIDS — Kent County Administrator Wayman Britt has announced he is retiring in July 2021. 

Conquer Accelerator, a business accelerator run by the Michigan State University Foundation, has selected its first five cohort companies in Grand Rapids.

The state has awarded $12.7 million in grants for projects to improve rural broadband internet access.

County health departments and business groups are still evaluating the potentially far-reaching legal effects of a Michigan Supreme Court opinion Friday, but a continued focus on stemming the public health crisis and keeping workplaces safe remains.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to clarify when a major ruling from Friday afternoon takes effect, saying unemployment benefits for more than 800,000 Michigan residents are in jeopardy.

Ottawa County will reduce restrictions on Grand Valley State University students after a “marked improvement” from a spike in COVID-19 cases last month. 

WAYLAND — Sports betting will kick off at Gun Lake Casino on Saturday with the formal launch of the Wayland-based casino’s new Stage 131 Sportsbook and Lounge.

GRAND RAPIDS — New zoning restrictions on cannabis businesses near youth centers in Grand Rapids are “highly likely” to face litigation, the city attorney’s office says.

GRAND RAPIDS — After two years of planning, the city of Grand Rapids has launched an e-scooter sharing program. 

Entertainment spaces allowed to reopen Oct. 9 under a recent executive order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer aren’t all rushing to do so.

GRAND RAPIDS — Passenger travel has steadily rebounded since the depths of the pandemic slowdown, but Grand Rapids airport officials are concerned about the uncertainty over future business travel as well as a looming CARES Act deadline that could cause tens of thousands of layoffs at airlines.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for September 27, 2020.

Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos has unveiled its new sports book, which will operate out of Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel near Traverse City and also feature a satellite location at Leelanau Sands Casino.

Business Leaders for Michigan plans to begin collecting and tracking data on diversity and inclusion efforts among members.

FREMONT — The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a 10-year Renaissance Zone tax abatement for Gerber Products Co.’s $36 million expansion at its Fremont facility.

Thanks to recent upgrades to its network, Comcast Corp.’s residential and commercial clients across a large swath of West Michigan now have easier access to 1 gigabit-per-second internet speeds.

M&A activity that declined sharply in the second quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and slammed the economy appears to have started rebounding after mid-year.

GRAND RAPIDS — Kent County municipal officials and business advocacy groups have released an area “welcome plan” meant to address concerns among the immigrant community, including restoring trust with law enforcement agencies and promoting equity in education and business opportunities.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says existing state law provides employers the protection needed should they get sued by an employee or customer alleging they contracted COVID-19 while at work or at a business.

Grand Rapids-based office technology solutions provider Applied Imaging has grown its presence in Florida through a recent acquisition.

WYOMING — Booking Holdings Inc. is downsizing its global workforce, and the move is being felt in West Michigan.

Employers could buy pandemic-related personal protection equipment without having to pay state sales or use taxes under proposed statewide legislation.

GRAND RAPIDS — As fall and winter weather approaches, city of Grand Rapids officials are examining ways to make outdoor seating that restaurants have relied on during the COVID-19 pandemic into a year-round option. 

Ottawa County today issued a stay-in-place order that requires Grand Valley State University to remain in their residences for 14 days.

The 81 employees who were furloughed by national restaurant chain Dave & Buster’s in Kentwood will be laid off permanently.

GRAND RAPIDS — Gerald R. Ford International Airport officials have announced a new expansion project meant to eventually support nonstop international commercial flights.

GRAND RAPIDS — Former Second Lady Jill Biden and congressional candidate Hillary Scholten visited the Kids’ Food Basket headquarters on Tuesday in Grand Rapids to highlight the growing issue of food insecurity.

The trade group for Michigan’s hospitality industry has launched a new campaign seeking state support to further reopen ahead of what’s expected to be a challenging fall and winter after the tourism season ends.

Grand Rapids-based technology and digital consultant OST announced last week an acquisition that would bolster its existing presence in Minneapolis, Minn.

SAUGATUCK — Business and civic leaders along the West Michigan lakeshore realized in March that COVID-19-related shutdowns could have a devastating effect on the already short summer tourism season that fuels the beach towns’ local economies.

This is the MiBiz growth report for September 13, 2020.

MUSKEGON — A federal grant will pay for an analysis on how groups that support entrepreneurs and startup companies in West Michigan can adjust for when the economy emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a new executive order clarifying an issue that was lingering over competitive sports across the state.

Three of four key activity indexes for West Michigan’s industrial economy improved in August, furthering the economic rebound of recent months from a deep decline last spring with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting stay-home orders.

Two state agencies have joined forces to help businesses understand new workplace safety regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic.