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Small Business

The $20 million in capital that West Shore Bank Corp. raised toward the end of 2021 will go to support further commercial loan growth.

After nearly two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, smaller family-owned businesses are generally better positioned to overcome labor and supply chain challenges than non-family-owned companies. 

KALAMAZOO — SPARK Business Works in Kalamazoo has acquired Houston, Texas-based digital marketing agency Convergent1.

Small business advocates are calling for more support from the state Legislature to help companies that they say are not recovering at the same rate as other sectors in Michigan’s economy. 

Retailers had better sales in November compared to the same period in recent years, a statewide trade group reported Wednesday. 

Access to capital, markets and networks are the three primary barriers to success for Black entrepreneurs, according to Jamiel Robinson.

BYRON TWP. — Rohr Gasoline Equipment Inc. — a longtime provider of petroleum equipment sales, installation and service work — has been sold to an eastern Michigan company.

GRAND RAPIDS — Running and active lifestyle specialty store Gazelle Sports has announced plans to open a sixth retail location in downtown Grand Rapids in 2022.

CADILLAC — A decades-old Northern Michigan fireplace and chimney business was recently purchased by four of its own employees.

Michigan’s economy overall is recovering from last year, but lingering effects from COVID-19 are having a disproportionately negative effect on small businesses, according to a new report released by the Small Business Association of Michigan.

With fewer COVID-19 restrictions on in-person shopping and rising consumer confidence, retail experts and small business owners hope to see an increase in holiday shopping compared to 2020

ADA TWP. — Grand Rapids business consulting firm Gantry Business Solutions LLC has acquired Amicus Management Inc.

GRAND RAPIDS — When Michelle Olson joined Lambert & Co. in 2019, she knew what she wanted to do for the integrated marketing, public relations and investor relations firm.

GRAND RAPIDS — The city of Grand Rapids’ Economic Development Office is expanding the number of businesses that can apply for COVID-19 adaptation grants of up to $10,000.

Angela Hill offers a unique perspective in providing  cybersecurity and general I.T. services to clients. Hill went to work with the U.S. Navy after 9/11 as a military intelligence analyst and a federal contractor for organizations including the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

GRAND RAPIDS — Five years ago, Jason Richardson couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy a tricycle freezer cart he found on Craigslist. It was the first step in starting artisan popsicle business Any Colour You Like Treats LLC with his wife, Korin Hollinshead.

WYOMING — Performance Plus Quick Oil Change Centers Inc. has added to its portfolio of oil change and car wash stores with the acquisition of Muskegon-based Van’s Car Wash Inc.

GRAND RAPIDS — Jo Ellyn Clarey, former president and director of the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council, has worked to promote the often-overlooked roles that women have played throughout local history.

As the COVID-19 pandemic heads into its 19th month in the U.S., bankruptcy attorneys remain perplexed about why a once-expected wave of bankruptcy filings has not yet occurred.

Michigan’s emerging cannabis market is marked by many complexities, including an ongoing period of industry consolidation, a push for racial equity and a move to ensure businesses of all sizes can operate. Andrew Brisbo, executive director of the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency, is overseeing it all. He recently discussed the state’s “nuanced market” that has caused division among industry advocates and the shifting dynamics that are leading to license changes and ongoing dialogue with businesses.

Retailers across the state reported a small increase in sales in August over July.

A majority of Michigan small businesses oppose President Biden’s recently announced vaccine mandate as staffing shortages and rising costs remain the biggest obstacles for business owners, according to a new survey by the Small Business Association of Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — Sportsman Tracker Inc., creator of the HuntWise mobile app, announced this week that it has sold the business to a Texas-based company that offers online recreational safety education and certification programs.

GRAND RAPIDS — MiBiz Inc. has selected manufacturing and economic development executive Justine Burdette as the new associate publisher of the regional business publication.

When Jermale and Anissa Eddie opened Malamiah Juice Bar LLC in 2013, the couple aimed to be role models not just for their three sons, but also for the rest of the Black and brown community.

HOLLAND — Leon Slikkers’ recent retirement as chairman of Tiara Yachts Inc. marks a new chapter for the family business, which has seen a boom in recent years as younger generations consider joining the company.

HOLLAND — Leon Slikkers, a marine industry fixture whose boat-building career dates back to the 1940s, is retiring from Holland-based Tiara Yachts Inc., the company announced today.

WYOMING — Linus and Renata De Paoli left their corporate lives working as engineers in Germany and have opened a new brewery to introduce a range of international food and beer culture to West Michigan.

The widespread shift to remote working has caused many small dry cleaning businesses to shut down or adapt to stay afloat.

MUSKEGON — Kaja Thornton-Hunter unknowingly laid the groundwork for her young business several years ago when she hosted a crab boil at her home.

GRAND RAPIDS — Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist was in Grand Rapids Monday touting the Whitmer administration’s Economic Jumpstart Plan for small businesses as billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funding comes into Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — Eligible small businesses located on the west and south sides of Grand Rapids can soon apply for grants of up to $10,000 to help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Directors at the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce have promoted Guillermo Cisneros to president and CEO from executive director, citing his “outstanding performance.”

BYRON CENTER — After selling off his telecommunications firm in the mid-2000s, Adam Harris ventured into another emerging technology field poised for rapid growth: renewable energy.

GRAND RAPIDS — Cindy Schneider was ready to apply for a small business loan in March 2020 to open a new restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids when COVID-19 put her plans on hold.

Art collecting is often seen as only accessible to people willing to invest substantial funds, and an activity generally reserved for the extremely wealthy.

GRAND RAPIDS — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed legislation that eases restrictions on the self distribution of spirits while also giving local distillers an easier path to bring canned cocktails to market.

GRAND RAPIDS — When Winsome Kirton worked in advertising, she was often disappointed by executives’ uninspired corporate gifts that didn’t match the company’s values. 

When restaurants were forced to change how they did business during the pandemic, Garrick Pohl saw an opportunity to test the market for a curbside service that focused on local small businesses.

KALAMAZOO — A grant program launched last year to provide crucial relief to small businesses in Kalamazoo at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic will offer a second round of funding to 90 additional businesses.

MUSKEGON — Agri-Med LLC’s three dispensaries — which operate as Park Place Provisionary in Muskegon, Edmore Provisionary in Edmore, and Exit 9 Provisionary in Nunica — will be rebranded and operate as New Standard stores under an agreement announced this week. 

PORTAGE — For years, Le Nails owner Jennifer Nguyen provided manicures for some of her regulars on a strict two-week schedule. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Ferris Coffee & Nut Co. is closing two of its Grand Rapids locations at the end of the month as the company rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Restaurant owners can start applying today for $28.6 billion available under the federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

After taking a year off, Start Garden is bringing back a business pitch competition that awards $1,000 to 100 contestants and $20,000 to 10 finalists.

GRAND RAPIDS — Saugatuck Brewing Co. announced that it has purchased the former Creston Brewery, giving the Douglas-based brewer a foothold in Grand Rapids.

Turn Key Installation LLC, a Grandville-based contracting company that specializes in conveyor systems, made a recent strategic acquisition by purchasing another West Michigan business.

GRAND RAPIDS — Chris Wawee, owner of MWS Wholesale Auto Outlet in Grand Rapids is expanding operations just north of his business after acquiring property that houses Al’s Trailer Mart.