Economic Development


State lawmakers have steered another $846.1 million into a state fund to support major economic development projects in Michigan.

The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, or Gun Lake Tribe, will receive a $1.5 million federal grant from the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration for infrastructure investments to support economic growth.

Local officials in Mecosta County on Monday night approved long-term tax incentives for a potential electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant eyed for the Big Rapids area.

State and local economic development officials are in the process of luring a major Chinese electric vehicle battery manufacturer to Mecosta County that could result in thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment over the next decade.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for September 26, 2022:

The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will host a conference this week in Greenville and Grand Rapids focused on rural economic development. Scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, the conference will discuss the “challenges and opportunities facing rural economic development.” Among the scheduled speakers is Martin Lavelle, a business economist with the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He spoke with MiBiz on the issues the conference will address, including access to housing and how the pandemic and the rise of remote work has changed the equation.

GRAND RAPIDS — Tribal Business News, a national publication headquartered in Grand Rapids that covers the $130 billion tribal economy, is hosting the first-ever Great Lakes Tribal Economic Summit on Oct. 6.

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is turning to a veteran law enforcement professional to run the Cannabis Regulatory Agency as the state embarks on a national search to select a permanent executive director.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce today launched a new initiative that intends to create greater economic diversity and inclusion.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for September 12, 2022:

ZEELAND — Symbiote Inc., a designer and engineer of laboratory furniture for high-tech environments, has experienced a wave of changes since August 2019, and not entirely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 A Q&A with Ana Gonzalez, director of the Family Owned Business Institute at GVSU

GRAND RAPIDS — The passion and soul that Mercedes Lopez puts into the food served at El Granjero Mexican Grill in Grand Rapids is evident to customers and the close-knit staff, which includes much of Lopez’s own family. 

GRAND RAPIDS — A meeting over coffee between the leaders of a pair of family-owned businesses in West Michigan ultimately led to a new collaboration involving their companies. 

Amid its many strains on companies, the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have prompted more owners to think about the future and eventually pass a family business down to the next generation.

survey this year of hundreds of U.S. family-owned businesses showed that owners prioritized keeping employees on the payroll even as the pandemic disrupted their business and that most regularly give to local charities.

Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Berrien County will receive large chunks of funding to regrant to various housing projects that the state approved Wednesday through the Revitalization and Placemaking Program. 

Job growth in Michigan will ease through 2023 as the U.S. economy slows as a result of rising interest rates intended to tame inflation.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mutually Human LLC, a Grand Rapids-based digital transformation and software consultant, acquired Mirrorlytics LLC, a respected data and business analytics firm also based in Grand Rapids.

Public projects across Kent, Barry, Mason and Oceana counties will receive a funding boost following today’s approval of more than $3.4 million in state funding from the Revitalization and Placemaking Program. 

Recent sales of major West Michigan craft breweries has led to new financial assets — as well as institutional knowledge — being redeployed as investments in startup companies and philanthropic programs.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for August 29, 2022:

Like virtually every other sector, Michigan’s life sciences industry faces a key obstacle in trying to attract and retain talent, many of whom are leaving for opportunities out of state. 

The world’s attention focused on Southwest Michigan in late 2020 as the region began producing the first COVID-19 vaccines.

Ateam of Grand Valley State University researchers has set out to catalog and measure the economic effects of more than $300 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding being dispersed across four West Michigan counties.

Successful exits from West Michigan-based craft breweries are allowing company founders and investors to put their proceeds to work in new ways that reinforce the region’s entrepreneurial culture. 

Economic development organization Lakeshore Advantage Corp. is seeking proposals for using a portion of federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to support local businesses.

HART — Backed by a new federal grant, the city of Hart in Oceana County plans to upgrade its wastewater treatment infrastructure to support the lakeshore region’s growing cluster of food processing companies. 

Seven Native American tribes and tribal entities in Michigan have received more than $1 million in U.S. Department of Labor funding to provide workforce development services to low-income adults and youth.

University of Michigan economists expect the U.S. economy to experience a “very mild decline” the rest of this year before slowing to near zero growth in 2023.

Linda Palmatier recently closed her Kalamazoo cannabis testing facility, The Spott Laboratory, hoping state regulators create what she sees as a more level playing field for business owners.

Land use changes driven by population growth and habitat loss and degradation continue to stress the health of the Great Lakes, according to a recent report jointly issued by federal environmental agencies in the U.S. and Canada.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for August 15, 2022:

GRAND RAPIDS — Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist announced today in Grand Rapids that an additional $6 million in grant funding will be available to qualifying students in the Michigan Reconnect program to cover unexpected costs to help students complete their education. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Dr. Paul King is returning to his hometown of Grand Rapids to open the state’s first Black-owned cannabis safety compliance facility.

GRAND RAPIDS — City commissioners narrowly approved a resolution Tuesday to amend Grand Rapids’ cannabis social equity program and hold off on enforcement until the beginning of 2023.

The cycling event that Bob Hughes co-founded nearly a decade ago returns in 2023 with a new name and under management by a Grand Rapids company that’s built a portfolio of endurance athletic events in Michigan.

HOLLAND — City of Holland voters narrowly approved a $30 million proposal to build out a publicly owned, fiber broadband internet network. 

A recently formed Grand Rapids investment fund supporting entrepreneurs of color is serving as a model for a similar effort in Colorado, while fund organizers say the effort could be replicated in even more U.S. cities.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for August 1, 2022:

GRAND RAPIDS — Attorneys are disputing whether a Thursday Michigan Supreme Court ruling banning discrimination based on sexual orientation still allows a Grand Rapids wedding venue to not host same-sex marriages.

HOLLAND — City of Holland voters heading to the polls next week will determine whether to allow the city to bond for up to $30 million to build out a publicly owned, fiber broadband internet network.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earlier this month signed three pieces of legislation into law that begin to roll back workplace protections for both employers and employees before eliminating them entirely by July of 2023.

State laws enacted early in the COVID-19 pandemic that shielded employers from liability — and required employees to stay home if they got sick — end in a year.

Walstrom Marine Inc., a Harbor Springs-based yacht sales and service company and marina operator acquired last year by Continuum Ventures, has expanded into southeast Michigan with its first add-on acquisition. 

Muskegon Heights’ downtown revitalization plan has received a $250,000 boost from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

Statewide business advocacy groups are raising alarms over a Tuesday court ruling that determined state lawmakers in 2018 illegally watered down ballot initiatives that would have strengthened the state’s minimum wage and paid sick leave requirements.

As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer prepares to sign off on the next state fiscal year budget, the administration and GOP-led Legislature will now shift their attention to reaching a potential compromise on tax relief for the public.