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Brian Edwards

Brian Edwards

Editor & Publisher

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The Great Recession was a boon for some West Michigan businesspeople. Consider David Bevins, for example.

Employment in the automotive industry is on its way back up, after a 10-year slide between 1999 and 2009. Analysis from the Center for Automotive Research projects the addition of 167,000 jobs to U.S. automotive manufacturing between 2011 and 2015. CAR sees 15 percent of these jobs being added by the Detroit Three, 80 percent occurring at supplier companies, and the remainder from the foreign-owned automakers at their U.S. facilities.

Three of the region’s largest public companies reported strong 2011 financial results in late January, while also providing some guidance for 2012. Kalamazoo-based Stryker Corp. (NYSE: SYK) reported net sales increased 13.5 percent to $8.3 billion in 2012 and net earnings increased 5.7 percent to $1.3 billion. The maker of medical devices said acquisitions helped propel top-line growth over the previous year, though a $76 million charge for restructuring had an impact on earnings.

Mergers and acquisitions are keeping Jack Hendon and his partners at H&S Companies pretty busy these days. The Fremont-based accounting and consulting firm is advising clients on transactions, but the 60-person firm with offices around the region also closed a couple deals of its own in the first month of 2012. H&S Companies acquired companies in Mt. Pleasant and Rockford and continues to look for add-on acquisition opportunities to expand geographically, add capabilities and leverage overhead, Hendon says.

State and national economic climates are the top concerns of Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce members in 2012, according to the results of an annual survey.The rising cost of health care and state and municipal budget management rounded out the top five concerns in the survey, which helps the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce set advocacy priorities for the year.

GVSU MinicoverGRAND RAPIDS — The health care jobs that are projected to grow the fastest in the years ahead reflect talent demands that are driven by an aging and unhealthy population, as well as changes in how care is delivered.

A need for more nurses easily tops an annual heath care employment outlook for West Michigan issued by Grand Valley State University economists. Using 2008-2018 projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, plus local graduation, retirement and turnover rates, GVSU projects health care providers will hire an average 1,747 nurses annually in the region for the next several years.

Monday, 30 January 2012 08:44

FNB of Michigan plans GR expansion

John SchreuderKALAMAZOO — The planned opening of a Grand Rapids office marks First National Bank of Michigan’s first foray out of its hometown Kalamazoo market.

Just as it’s done in Kalamazoo, FNB of Michigan aims to build business in the much-larger Grand Rapids market through a high-touch style of community banking aimed at small businesses and retail customers.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012 10:01

Q&A: Cathy Brubaker-Clarke

Plans to update downtown Muskegon with mixed-use land development slowed to a crawl during the recession, but the pace is picking up, said Cathy Brubaker-Clarke, the city’s director of community and economic development. Brubaker-Clarke talked with MiBiz about recent strides and plans to keep Muskegon’s momentum going forward.

The return of the charitable tax credits. Community foundations along with public museums, universities, food banks and many others have been able to offer their donors credits to their Michigan Income Tax liability.

David EislerElection years can be years of inaction as politicians are focused more on running for office and posturing for votes than on actual governing.

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