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Economic Development

COLDWATER — Hope Network will close a long-term housing center in Coldwater for people with severe disabilities as a new fee schedule is set to take effect under recent automotive no-fault insurance reforms.

WASHINGTON — Former Bay Mills Indian Community Chairperson Bryan Newland told a Senate committee how his firsthand experience growing up on a reservation in Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula would shape his perspective if confirmed to lead the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

GRAND RAPIDS — The city’s Local Development Finance Authority has recommended that Start Garden Inc. and Spartan Innovations L3C administer the Grand Rapids SmartZone business incubator through a collaborative approach.  

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters is trying to stop proposed federal changes that would take away the metropolitan area status and jeopardize crucial federal funding for six Michigan communities.

KALAMAZOO — Representatives from Western Michigan University announced on Tuesday that the school has received the largest private gift ever bestowed on a public university.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Right Place Inc. has published a new digital database of businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans and people in the LGBTQ community operating in a 13-county region of West Michigan. 

When Darren Riley graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2014, he took with him in-demand skills rooted in software development and cybersecurity.

As an entrepreneur, Matt Baxter acknowledges that opportunities like the one in front of him rarely come along.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for June 6, 2021.

GRAND RAPIDS — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unveiled a multi-million dollar plan Thursday that targets boosting wages, helping small businesses and providing access to childcare.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced the creation of a statewide office that will coordinate efforts to make high speed internet service more accessible and affordable in Michigan.

BluJay Solutions, a global provider of supply chain software with a major presence in Holland, has been sold to Austin, Texas-based E2open in a deal valued at around $1.7 billion.

Here's the MiBiz Growth Report for May 24, 2021.

Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced a transition in leadership last week that will bring economic development expertise from the bayous of Louisiana to the peninsulas of Michigan.

Increasing diversity within support organizations and improving access to marketing resources are among the top concerns for West Michigan entrepreneurs, according to a recent analysis commissioned by Grand Valley State University’s Innovation Hub in Muskegon.

COMSTOCK PARK — The West Michigan Whitecaps will lift all capacity restrictions at its home facility LMCU Ballpark beginning on June 1 in accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s accelerated plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions, the organization announced today.

KALAMAZOO — Zeigler Automotive Group has added a new brand to its portfolio after announcing the purchase of a new location in Northwest Indiana.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has selected Quentin Messer Jr. from New Orleans as its next CEO.

Kalamazoo County and the Southcentral Michigan Planning Council are receiving a total of $900,000 in federal grants to assess commercial and industrial brownfield properties.

While Michigan’s online sports betting figures made an expected drop in April, the state continued to see strong performance from online casino gaming, making it one of the nation’s top markets.

Michigan’s economy should record “significant expansion” in 2021 after last year’s decline from the COVID-19 pandemic, although a global shortage of computer chips is “choking off” auto production during a period of high demand, according to a new economic outlook.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce today urged Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to update state restrictions after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can go maskless in most indoor settings.

West Michigan’s industrial economy grew at a “significant pace” in April, although rising prices and material shortages continue to pose worries for purchasing managers.

Amway Corp. and the David & Carol Van Andel Family Foundation last week announced a total of $750,000 to support COVID-19 relief efforts in India, where the country is seeing its worst surge yet overtake its health system.

It’s been a year since social media timelines were filled with Black Lives Matter hashtags, messages of solidarity with people of color, and promises to address racism as organizations responded to the national racial justice movement.

While Michigan is making progress to vaccinate the vast majority of residents against COVID-19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration wants to put in place long-term workplace safeguards in case the virus still maintains a presence here.

Michigan lawmakers are running out of time to pass legislation expanding civil rights protections for the LGBTQ community before a planned ballot measure with wide business support is potentially approved for the November 2022 election.

Here's the MiBiz growth report for May 9, 2021.

PLAINFIELD TWP. — The West Michigan Sports Complex has been rebranded as the Meijer Sports Complex under a new corporate sponsorship between the company and the West Michigan Sports Commission.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has outlined a new plan that lifts restrictions on restaurants, event venues and workplaces as the state meets a series of COVID-19 vaccination thresholds.

WEST OLIVE — Ottawa County has hired an Ann Arbor-based nonprofit research organization owned by Michigan public universities to analyze local broadband internet service, identify gaps and recommend potential cures.

GRAND RAPIDS — NBA G League team the Grand Rapids Drive has entered into a new affiliation partnership with the Denver Nuggets beginning with the upcoming 2021-22 season, the organization announced on Tuesday. 

GRAND RAPIDS — The autonomous shuttle that runs through downtown could transition to an on-demand format with new vehicles under a proposal before city officials to renew the pilot program that’s set to expire on April 30.

In her 23 years at Grand Rapids-based tech firm Open Systems Technology Inc., Meredith Bronk has seen the company grow from seven employees to more than 300.

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for April 25, 2021.

The Biden administration on Thursday nominated former Bay Mills Indian Community Chairperson Bryan Newland to the top leadership position for the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

LANSING — After leading Michigan’s roll out of online sports betting and casino gaming, Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) executive director Richard Kalm is stepping down.

The Pure Michigan campaign that for 15 years has worked to brand and change perceptions of Michigan will focus on in-state and regional travelers this summer as opposed to a nationwide campaign.

Internet gaming and online sports betting receipts each increased nearly 20 percent in March over the previous month, continuing steady growth for Michigan’s sector that launched in January.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce has launched Black, Asian and Latinx business councils within its organization to better serve businesses owned by people of color.

GRAND RAPIDS — A Cleveland-based logistics and data security company is the future tenant of a vacant industrial site on the city’s south side.

COMSTOCK PARK — The West Michigan Whitecaps announced plans for public ticket sales as the organization prepares for the return of minor league baseball for the first time in more than 620 days.

GRAND RAPIDS — A Pennsylvania-based civil engineering firm that specializes in the design, inspection and rehabilitation of bridges is opening an office in Grand Rapids. 

Men and women both experienced steep declines in employment at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but on average, the workforce for men is back to pre-pandemic levels in Michigan while women have left the workforce at disproportionate rates. 

President Biden’s recently proposed $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan comes as state officials and local planning experts make gains in plotting investment needs across Michigan.

This is the MiBiz Growth Report for April 11, 2021.

HOLLAND — A West Michigan-based business that has developed a video interviewing platform for employers and potential employees has named its first president.

Eight West Michigan schools will receive free wireless internet hotspots to help bridge connectivity gaps for vulnerable students, officials with AT&T and a national and statewide nonprofit announced Monday.