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Economic Development

GRAND RAPIDS TWP. — The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park today announced a slate of newcomers as well as returning artists for its 30-show summer concert series. 

The state’s tourism office is taking the Pure Michigan advertising campaign in a “fresh” direction heading into the peak tourism season.

LANSING — Michigan will give companies $410 million to open two electric vehicle battery plants following approval of transfers by a legislative panel on Wednesday.

After spending months behind the scenes on complex negotiations and crafting incentive packages to lure major advanced manufacturers, Michigan economic development organizations now face another challenge to landing projects: public sentiment.

Kewadin Casinos Gaming Authority has agreed to pay developers up to $35 million to settle a dispute over failed casino projects in Michigan.

MOUNT PLEASANT — The economic development subsidiary of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan has launched two new consulting firms that aim to further diversify the tribe’s holdings and also support similar strategies for other tribes and non-tribally owned businesses.

In 1995, Bob Fish thought he had come up with a creative play on words for the name of his new East Lansing coffee shop. It wasn’t until after opening that he learned it was also a slur.

The federal corruption charges announced Thursday against former Michigan House Speaker Rick Johnson and three others likely signal a beginning, not an end.

CASCADE TWP. — West Michigan private jet service provider Northern Jet Management Inc. plans to merge into a Florida company to create a top-20 private air service provider in the U.S.

LANSING — Federal prosecutors announced corruption charges Thursday against former Michigan House Speaker Rick Johnson and three others in connection to bribes paid for marijuana licenses.

GRAND RAPIDS — A Canadian company that provides timing and other services for endurance sporting events globally will move its headquarters to Grand Rapids as part of an investment from Carbon River Capital LLC.

Corporations and associations might not yet be hosting in-person events at the scale they once did, but the state’s top meeting and convention venues are optimistic about their recovery in the coming two years.

A bipartisan bill introduced today by U.S. Rep. Hillary Scholten would beef up penalties levied on companies that use illegal child labor practices.

State economic officials approved Tuesday a $120.3 million grant for site readiness at a megasite in Marshall, where Ford Motor Co. is building a $3.5 billion battery factory.

A roundup of mergers and acquisitions, expansions, and other growth plans across West Michigan.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed into law bills repealing the state’s “right-to-work” law and reinstating a law that requires higher wages and benefits to be paid on state-financed construction projects.

GRAND RAPIDS — Even as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, quality child care remains hard to come by for many Michigan families. That’s due in part to providers who left the field and didn’t return — and a handful of Michigan organizations hope to use new state grants to reverse the trend.

LANSING — Michigan notched a win with Ford Motor Co’'s decision to build a $3.5 billion, 2,500-job electric vehicle battery factory in Marshall.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mayor Rosalynn Bliss outlined the “next version” of Grand Rapids during her eighth State of the City address, emphasizing the need for more housing density to meet demand, completing major riverfront projects and improving policing.

GRAND RAPIDS — Sustainability, transportation and placemaking are top priorities for Grand Rapids residents as city officials prepare a 20-year master plan to guide future development.

Ottawa County would extend broadband internet service to unserved and underserved areas of the county through a $27 million public-private partnership with a southeast Michigan firm.

GRAND RAPIDS — Deidra Mitchell, president and CEO of Waséyabek Development Co. LLC, was selected to guest lecture at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to promote best practices in tribal economic development.

GRAND RAPIDS — Fox Motors Group LLC has widened its reach on the southeast side of the state, acquiring three new dealerships and a collision center in metro Detroit. 

Local governments across Michigan are using cannabis excise tax revenue to fund basic public services as well as programs that aim to expand equity in the industry.

A roundup of mergers and acquisitions, expansions and other briefs across West Michigan.

Tribal affairs experts say the federal government erred in determining that the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians failed to meet the criteria for federal recognition and remain optimistic that the tribe will successfully obtain the crucial designation.

GRAND RAPIDS — Crain Communications announced leadership changes today at MiBiz and the Grand Rapids Business Journal to unify the organization in preparation for the launch of Crain’s Grand Rapids Business.

LANSING — Michigan’s decade-old “right-to-work” laws are in peril now that Democratic legislators are acting to rescind them — as promised — two months after taking power in Lansing.

LANSING — The Michigan House on Wednesday approved bills to add protections for LGBTQ people to the state’s civil rights law, capping a decades-long legislative effort to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, public services and housing.

GRAND RAPIDS — A long-running public art competition in Grand Rapids has tapped a former planner for the South by Southwest festival in Austin to lead the event into its next era.

Some Michigan municipalities are getting creative with how they spend tax revenue coming back from their licensed cannabis businesses, while others are using the annual funding for core services and resolving budget deficits.

This week, MiBiz is celebrating the winners of the 10th annual M&A Deals & Dealmaker Awards, which recognizes top businesses and individuals contributing to the region’s economic vitality.

A new 20-mile pipeline more than a decade in the making will support growth plans for multiple West Michigan agribusinesses that have been hampered by limited wastewater infrastructure.

Ten years ago, when MiBiz set out to recognize West Michigan’s top deals and dealmakers, we began with a simple premise. Our goal was to showcase the best business practices that the region has to offer and to demonstrate how West Michigan punches well above its weight class. 

Arjun Murthy’s career has taken him from the halls of Congress to Cascade Partners LLC, where he works as the investment banking firm’s youngest director. 

In his role at Allied OMS LLC, a doctor-owned and -led management services organization, Brian Hamilton traveled more than 40 weeks out of the year in 2022.

West Michigan M&A professionals describe a market where deals today get closer scrutiny, particularly as lenders ask more questions as the economy slows with higher interest rates.

Buoyed by a rise in popularity of employee stock ownership plans among business owners, deal attorney Justin Stemple wrapped up the second busiest year of transactions he’s had in his 18-year career at Grand Rapids-based Warner Norcross + Judd LLP.

From transitioning to being an employee-owned company and moving its headquarters, Twisthink LLC is going through many changes as the digital consulting firm aims to attract more people to its team.

Jeff Helminski of Auxo Investment Partners was sitting in his downtown Grand Rapids office in May 2020, during the early days of the pandemic, when his phone rang with a cold call from a prospective investment partner. 

 Twenty-five years after founding AppleTree & Gilden Woods, President and CEO Brigdett VanDerHoff realized the timing was right for her to transition away from the early childhood and preschool care provider. 

When Jody Vanderwel first heard about Grand Angels, she knew very little about the business of angel investing. 

The Shepler family’s decision to sell the third-generation-owned ferry transportation company was “not taken lightly, but it was necessary.”

Grand Rapids-based Edustaff LLC has quickly grown over the last dozen years from a regional company to the third-largest staffing organization in the country for substitute teachers.

GRAND RAPIDS — Randy Thelen believes West Michigan needs to move away from its “best-kept secret” identity to a position of confidence if it wants to keep its momentum in attracting employers and talent.

A roundup of mergers and acquisitions, expansions and other briefs across West Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — The U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed denying a decades-long effort by the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians to obtain federal recognition, a status that would bring numerous benefits to the tribe and its members.

University of Michigan economists remain confident that the state’s economy will hold up well over the next two years, even as U.S. economic growth slows and a potential mild recession looms.