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Finance

SPONSORED BY CHEMICAL BANK

A Grand Rapids-based venture capital fund that will invest nationally in startup companies owned by minorities has secured commitments now totaling $6.25 million, with potentially millions more on the way.

Meijer Inc. recently invested $500,000 in Rende Progress Capital, a racial equity loan fund in Grand Rapids.

After taking a step back in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, angel investors say they are actively seeking deals, particularly in startups that are able to take advantage of the resulting economic disruptions.

Just 13 of the 80 venture capital professionals working in Michigan in 2019 were racial minorities. An equal number of all VC professionals in the state, or 16 percent, were women.

Securities regulators hope a change in the federal definition of accredited investors brings more people into the investor pool for startups and other companies seeking private capital, although it remains unclear whether it will significantly affect the flow of capital.

Huntington Bancshares Inc. has pledged to lend and invest $5 billion in Michigan over five years to support financial opportunities for businesses, consumers and community organizations.

KALAMAZOO — First National Bank of Michigan plans to open a new branch office in Lansing.

Since forming two years ago, High Street Insurance Partners Inc. grew steadily through acquisitions.

The COVID-19 pandemic that shut down much of the economy in March had all businesses scrambling to maintain operations — if they were allowed to stay open — and keep employees safe. Banks closed their branch lobbies and directed customers to use drive-thru lanes or digital banking to handle transactions. 

KALAMAZOO — A new $50 million venture capital fund that organizers launched in Kalamazoo seeks to offer opportunity to a new generation of business executives while keeping established businesses local.

Michigan’s economy fell further than the nation as a whole in the second quarter and could take three years to return to the peak of late 2019, according to a new economic outlook from Comerica Inc.

Grand Rapids-based private equity firm Blackford Capital has closed on the sale of Ellison Bakery, a maker of cookies and other baked goods that’s headquartered in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The opening of a new branch in Wyoming and construction of another office in Walker are part of a broader regional growth plan for Consumers Credit Union.

Former Chemical Bank offices statewide now carry the TCF National Bank name.

West Michigan Community Bank has extended its Grand Rapids-area footprint with a new office in Grand Rapids Township.

The software platform behind a new tech startup backed primarily by West Michigan investors learns about users and offers them ideas on what to buy next.

GRAND RAPIDS — A new venture capital fund to invest in businesses owned by racial and ethnic minorities looks to secure financial backing locally before reaching out nationally for investors.

Given how hard the economy fell in the second quarter, earnings for West Michigan-based banks held up relatively well, although they were primarily lower than a year earlier as banks set aside more in reserve to cover potential future loan losses.

A financial technology startup launched in Detroit and backed primarily by West Michigan investors stems from what Jeff Lambert calls 20 years of frustration from a disconnect between public companies and individual shareholders.

An acquisition last fall helped ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. report quarterly earnings that tripled from a year ago.

Independent Bank Corp. has reported higher second quarter earnings with a larger reserve to cover loan losses.

A smaller number of venture capital deals were reported across Michigan in the second quarter, though the amount invested increased from a year earlier.

Macatawa Bank Corp. reported lower earnings for the second quarter after raising a reserve to cover potential future loan losses.

TCF Bank’s pledge to lend $1 billion over five years to minority- and women-owned businesses extends into West Michigan, where the company’s market leader in Grand Rapids says the effort will require leveraging community partnerships.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mercantile Bank Corp. reported lower earnings for the second quarter, partly from increasing loan-loss reserves in light of “weakened economic conditions” resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The M&A market that slowed in the first half of 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic should rebound well over the next 12 months as deals that got put on hold go forward, according to a midyear survey by law firm Dykema Gossett PLLC.

DOWAGIAC — After they prepared for the opening of the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, the leaders of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi years ago sought ways to use the revenues to assist tribal citizens to achieve self-sufficiency.

GRAND RAPIDS — FormulaFolios Investments LLC plans to merge with Brookstone Capital Management in Chicago in a deal that will create an investment adviser firm with more than $6.5 billion in assets.

ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. closed today on the $20.8 million acquisition of Community Shores Bank Corp.

GRAND RAPIDS — New capital investments involving existing investors will bring two health care startups backed by Genesis Innovation Group LLC closer to the market.

NEW BUFFALO — The largest credit union in Indiana looks to further expand in the Michigan market after acquiring the parent company of New Buffalo Savings Bank.

  GRAND RAPIDS — In partnering on a $25 million small business relief fund, Kent County and the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce want to tap a number of community and entrepreneurial support organizations to get the word out to companies and provide volunteers to vet grant applicants. 

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women and the Community Foundation for Muskegon County have teamed up for a new aid fund for small businesses directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

SPARTA — The planned $21.9 million merger of Community Shores Bank Corp. into ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. heads to a close after earning shareholder approval.

Changes by the Federal Reserve Board should draw greater interest to the new $600 billion Main Street Lending Program for small and mid-sized businesses hurt financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Federal Reserve Bank’s $600 billion Main Street Lending Program promises to offer small and mid-sized businesses hurt financially by the COVID-19 pandemic with another option to access credit and operating capital. 

Bankers across the region have been focused on working with small business clients to secure loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, as well providing payment deferrals and adjusting loans for business borrowers hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Tetra Therapeutics Inc.’s sale to a Japanese pharmaceutical company provides a final pathway toward bringing to market potential new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease and a form of autism, as well as generates a handsome return for financial backers.

The FDIC intends to keep providing regulatory flexibility to banks as they navigate the economic recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal regulatory agency wants banks to remain agile and do what they can to support consumers and small business owners during the crisis, according to FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams. McWilliams, who began a six-year term on the FDIC Board of Directors in June 2018, previously served as executive vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary for Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio.

GRAND RAPIDS — Independent Bank Corp. raised $40 million in a debt offering that comes amid the economic downturn and uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a recent conference call, the president and CEO of Detroit-based TCF Financial Corp. — the parent company of what remains known in Michigan as Chemical Bank — voiced a simple ethic that all businesses, no matter their industry or their size, must keep in mind in the COVID-19 pandemic.

GRANDVILLE — The parent company for Grand River Bank wants to raise $7.5 million to provide a cushion for the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

TCF Financial Corp. approved more than 16,000 U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loans for $2 billion, all while adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic as most non-branch employees transitioned to working from home. 

Michigan’s hard-hit economy will record a major dive for the second quarter from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, losing nearly one-third of its output, before partially recovering in the third quarter. 

Michigan is facing a more than $3 billion shortfall for the state’s general fund and school aid budget in the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, according to analyses by state fiscal agencies.

Comerica Inc. now projects a “W-shaped pattern” for U.S. economic performance with a steep decline in Real GDP for the second quarter, a partial rebound in the third and a small decline to end the year.

In mid-2018, executives and directors at Community Shores Bank Corp. began to study “strategic alternatives” to grow the bank.

TRAVERSE CITY — High Street Insurance Partners, a private equity-backed agency platform, recently completed three acquisitions, including two deals in West Michigan.