Small Business

SPONSORED BY SMALL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION OF MICHIGAN

From the cannabis industry to beverage manufacturers to tech-focused firms, West Michigan continues to see an uptick in startups. 

The Michigan Strategic Fund steered additional money into two capital funds that support high-tech startups and growing small businesses in the state.

The Invest Michigan Pre-Seed Fund II received $3 million to invest in startups through loans or equity. Grow Michigan LLC will receive $9.6 million for a second mezzanine-style fund that will provide loans to growing small businesses.

recent kerfuffle between Grand Rapids economic development officials and executives at Start Garden Inc. highlights the challenges cities face when they try to encourage more entrepreneurial investments. 

KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo affiliate of Grand Angels easily exceeded expectations after launching more than a year ago.

One West Michigan adviser hopes to channel the cultural shift toward localism into corporate succession planning by helping business owners preserve local ownership of their companies after an exit.

A $150,000 federal grant will enable Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women to expand virtual entrepreneurial training into new areas of Michigan.

Larry Andrus began thinking about his eventual exit from Trivalent Group Inc. almost from the beginning.

Family-owned businesses have a few new items to sort through after the passage last year of the federal Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. Here is a look at some of the key considerations. 

In the middle of an extended construction industry expansion across West Michigan, most contractors are focused on running their businesses, rather than transitioning them to new ownership. 

The federal tax reform law Congress passed and President Trump signed in December has ramifications for family-owned businesses and how they are ultimately transitioned from one generation to the next.

A continued robust economy provides the right timing for business owners to consider selling their companies throughout the remainder of the year.

When Alan Hartline purchased Kingma’s Market four years ago, he pivoted away from a corporate world in which he was at the “mercy of quarterly earnings and Wall Street.”

GRAND RAPIDS –– Partners in West Michigan’s startup ecosystem continue to explore how best to allocate resources to the region’s entrepreneurs.

More than 130 startups sought capital this year from a state-backed fund, far exceeding expectations and serving as another example of the need for funding at the earliest stages of the capital continuum.

Beyond angel funds and venture capital, entrepreneurs behind startup companies today have an assortment of business plan and pitch competitions to test their ideas and win funding.

thriving business climate and renewed interest in communities across West Michigan have sparked increased demand for event space throughout the region.

Until last year, state law barred alcoholic beverage makers and wholesalers from using social media to promote their products at the retailer level, even though many of them did anyway.

GRAND RAPIDS — Accounting, law and marketing firms are hosting more educational and social gatherings than they were just three years ago.

As the leader of a family-owned business, Aaron Zeigler can relate to the owners of car dealerships acquired by his Kalamazoo-based Zeigler Automotive Group. The $1 billion (revenues) mega-dealer has grown by acquiring other family-owned dealerships in recent years, earning it a national ranking of 64th in new car sales last year, according to Automotive News. Zeigler, a second-generation owner, spoke with MiBiz about the intricacies of buying other family-owned dealerships in an era when the automakers often control whether a transaction can move forward.

HOLLAND — When Randy Boileau started his Holland-based communications company 14 years ago, he never intended to hand it off to the next generation in his family.

When two former executives of Pitsch Holding Company Inc. filed a lawsuit against three of their siblings in 2007, they probably didn’t know they’d be starting a 10-year war.

Every business owner eventually comes to the point when it’s time to step aside and allow new leadership to take over. Leaders of family-owned businesses are no exception.

Running any business is challenging, but when you add the dynamics of family ownership into the mix, it creates an entirely different set of hurdles.

Family-owned companies often do what they can to keep their businesses in the family, but at times, that’s not always prudent

Family-owned companies often do what they can to keep their businesses in the family, but at times, that’s not always prudent

When Mark Lindquist purchased Rapid-Line Inc. in 1989, he completed the transaction with a strategy for exiting the business already in mind.

The new head of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Michigan office believes lending should continue to grow, even as volumes for the agency’s federally backed loans keep moving upward.

Heralded by backers as a novel way for in-state businesses to raise capital, 2014’s Michigan Invests Locally Exemption (MILE) Act came with great promise.

As Neil Brown and Wade Thompson considered acquiring Central Interconnect Inc. late last year, they found themselves interested in the opportunity the company presented.

Over the past decade, many small business owners put off expansions or capital equipment purchases for as long as they could.

Half of the nearly 500 small businesses across Michigan that have completed a cyber-security assessment since December remained largely unaware of the daily risks they face.

The Small Business Association of Michigan wants to find a route to further improve the state’s entrepreneurial climate.

Page 2 of 2