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Grand Rapids-based Varnum LLP has undergone some changes that will position it for the future, says Executive Partner Tom Kyros. The law firm opened a Detroit office in September, hired an attorney with a national practice in data security and on Jan. 1 will bring on 16 attorneys from Law Weathers.

Buyers and sellers should keep John Kerschen and his colleagues at Charter Capital Partners busy next year. He says the U.S. economy should remain on its present growth path and drive business for the Grand Rapids-based M&A firm and investment bank.

As bankers look ahead to 2016 within their industry, they’re faced with adapting to the tastes of today’s tech-savvy customers, not to mention dealing with costly federal regulatory burdens enacted in the wake of the recent economic crisis.

While airport executives invest in providing better customer service, the broader aviation industry faces a looming pilot shortage, leading to a period of uncertainty for facilities managers, communities and economic developers as they wait to see how airline carriers respond.

Stakeholders in West Michigan’s commercial development industry say 2016 will look much like 2015, particularly in the increasingly popular urban multifamily housing market.

The office furniture industry today faces a complex, challenging future. Company executives must manage their operations amid increasing margin pressure and an influx of imported products and new regulations, all while running short on talent.

Beware the Cadillac tax

Written by | Monday, 21 December 2015 12:16 |

Set to take effect in a little more than two years, the 40-percent federal excise tax on the value of benefit-rich health policies that exceed a certain threshold may affect far more employers than initially believed.

Nonprofit experts in West Michigan and beyond are monitoring a major national charitable endeavor, the announcement of which has earned both criticism and praise.

Executives offer their outlook on 2016

Written by | Monday, 21 December 2015 00:32 |

For each Crystal Ball edition of MiBiz, we ask executives around the region to share their outlook for the coming year for their company, their industry and the state. Here’s what they had to say.

Economists expect Michigan’s economic resurgence to continue in the new year and push unemployment lower, although job growth in the manufacturing sector may peak as the auto industry’s rebound from the Great Recession plateaus.

If any meaningful policy changes at the state level are to happen in 2016, they will likely come at the bookends of the Legislature’s session, observers say.

A sentiment survey commissioned in mid-November found widespread satisfaction among respondents about the state’s direction and expectations that the Michigan economy will either hold steady or improve over the next year.

The annual year-end Crystal Ball edition from MiBiz has been an ever-evolving concept since it was first introduced in 2007. Underlying each iteration was a desire to look ahead, to provide valuable information to readers as they develop business strategies for the coming year.

An experienced economic developer and business leader, Marie Briganti accepted a leadership position at Battle Creek Unlimited in April.

While the economy will continue to grow into the new year, it will be at a more tempered rate than in 2015, primarily because of less job growth in the manufacturing sector than in the past, says Paul Isely, the associate dean of the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.

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