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While the COVID-19 pandemic has sent the global economy reeling, it also forced many manufacturers to reexamine the foundations and principles their businesses were founded upon.

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt companies across the nation, numerous small businesses have turned toward the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for relief. However, while the program has proven immensely popular among small businesses, banks have been overrun with applications — creating a roadblock for small businesses to receive the funds at a time when they need them the most. 

While we’ve all been anticipating what the “new normal” might look like post COVID-19, many commercial real estate investors in West Michigan are optimistic about opportunities ahead.  In the short-term, the focus will be on assisting existing tenants; however, wise investors can look forward to new real estate opportunities in a market that remains well positioned for long-term success.

The current pandemic has forced us to redefine our work’s space, schedule, and processes. Bedrooms, living rooms, and unused corners of the basement have become our new offices. Kitchen counters, dining room tables, and pieces of plywood on sawhorses are our new desks. Our schedules have evolved as we try to rebalance work and family life without children heading to school. Even quick collaborations at the printer have been replaced with texts and Zoom meetings.

When life and business get turned upside down, it's natural to go into "hunker down" mode. It's understandable to want to cut all expenses and anticipate the worst. None of us should feel bad about these very valid (and sometimes practical) reactions.

Business has long been compared to Darwin's theory of evolution and "survival of the fittest.” This could not be more true in the face of a global economic recession. When business will return to "normal" is anyone's guess right now, and what will “normal" even look like? What we (H&S) believe to be a certainty, however, is that Darwin’s theory – “survival of the fittest" - will prevail. 

Business as usual is anything but these days given the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis. Nonetheless, a number of technologies are enabling businesses to continue operating — even if it means working differently. The cloud is one of them. 

A few months ago, you were fully engaged in running and building your business. Things were going well. Now all of a sudden, COVID-19 has shuttered and halted a large portion of our economy. “How am I going to survive,” is the question everyone is asking themselves.

Real Time Hand Sanitizer + Skin Conditioner Business Survival Kits provide business and organizations with great prices on hand sanitizer from a reliable source.

Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order (EO 2020-21) directs all Michigan businesses and entities to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. In recent weeks, state and local law enforcement officials have begun to enforce the order against both individuals and businesses by showing up at businesses and asking questions and by stopping employees and others in transit and inquiring about the purpose or legitimacy of the person’s travel. Below is a list of best practices to keep in mind if you encounter law enforcement officials.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a business relief program providing small business loans that are generally forgivable. Despite initial issues, more than 1.5 million applicants were approved for PPP loans, reaching the Program’s entire $350 billion budget in less than two weeks. There is a consensus that the Program will receive significant additional funding this week. 

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act (the “Act”). The purpose of the Act is to address the numerous areas impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including public health, business, economic, and others. This article discusses major impacts of the Act on health care providers and suppliers.

Navigating the waters of COVID-19 is daunting for most leaders. Amid a public health crisis like none we’ve ever seen, grasping the impacts to your workforce is like trying to keep your head above water with new legislative and public health guidance coming in waves one after another. All while, your employees are looking to you for calm, assurance, and strength against the storm.

For nearly 20 years we’ve worked with innovation teams nestled inside large corporations, hustling to bring new products and designs to market as quickly as possible. They have plenty of funding for research, plenty of resources for fostering innovation, and of course… plenty of red tape.

As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, the nation has rightly lauded the bravery of healthcare professionals, grocery store clerks, over-the-road truckers, teachers, delivery drivers, nursing home employees and everyone else working on the front lines to save lives and keeping us all going right now. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to them all. 

The federal government's $2.2 trillion stimulus package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act contains significant benefits for small businesses and nonprofit organizations, but one of them in particular — the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) — requires prompt action to take full advantage of the benefit.

Evolving developments and news surrounding COVID-19 (the “coronavirus”) has prompted immediate action from employers and businesses worldwide. While many businesses have been forced to temporarily shut down, the ones that remain operational have been forced to adjust to working remotely and adopt other protocols to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers. As employers face the challenge of balancing business with growing health concerns related to the coronavirus, they face additional challenges as their cybersecurity protocols will be tested like never before.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Legislative summaries, statistical data and technical interpretations are everywhere as our new reality is defined by the cataclysmic shift COVID-19 has caused. But far too little is being said about how employee relations may be impacted as a result of the way business must now be (or not be) done.  

A significant amount of the world’s wealth is generated by family owned businesses. Some estimates provide that the total economic impact of family businesses to the global GDP is over 70%, and family businesses employ just over half of workers in the United States.  Despite these impressive statistics, family businesses often struggle to implement successful succession plans.

When it comes to manufacturing, a low-cost product does not have to be synonymous with a low-quality product. That was a main takeaway from a recent webinar hosted by the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West, MiBiz  and The Right Place. The webinar on Design for Manufacturing and Assembly — often referred to as DFMA — brought together West Michigan manufacturing executives to discuss the importance of intentional product design in manufacturing. 

Most people don’t anticipate an inheritance dispute in their family, but when it happens, it can destroy family relationships. There are common scenarios that lead to inheritance disputes. David Skidmore and Laura Morris are probate litigation attorneys with Warner Norcross + Judd, and they represent individuals and families in inheritance disputes across the state of Michigan. With this article, they share lessons learned from their past cases and ways to avoid inheritance disputes in your family.

Typically, small-business owners do not get into business to become experts at energy management. Navigating energy usage, efficiency opportunities and utility relationships can often be overwhelming, especially if you aren’t sure what the actual impact will be to your business’ bottom line.

After more than a decade touring the country with acclaimed comedy institutions like The Second City, Joe Anderson took a close look at what was going on in his hometown of Grand Rapids and realized there was a niche to be filled. He and fellow comedian and friend Ben Wilke did extensive demographic research and decided, just like with comedy, timing WAS everything and it was time for The Comedy Project.

The Grand Rapids Chamber is thrilled to announce the 132nd Annual Meeting on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at DeVos Place. At the Chamber’s largest event of the year, over 800 attendees will celebrate what was accomplished in the community to “Create Great” in 2019, as well as the work the Chamber executed to support a thriving and prosperous West Michigan for all.

Moving buildings after seven decades presented a variety of challenges and opportunities for South Christian High School. First, and foremost, the school’s leadership wanted to create a space that would help it meet its mission for the next 100 years. Practically speaking, that meant developing an educational setting where students and teachers could leverage technology and learn, but also gather, worship and build community.   

While Industry 4.0 is typically thought of in terms of robotic arms, highly automated processes, and “internet of things” (IOT) devices, the next big revolution in manufacturing is also heavily steeped in another emerging technology: big data.

In an era where online courses and degrees are becoming increasingly popular and universities across the state are facing declining enrollment, brick and mortar schools are seeking new ways to improve student retention and recruitment.
While academics remain a strong selling-point, capital improvement projects have also become an attractive way for universities to market themselves. By improving academic spaces through design, universities can better foster social interaction, a shortcoming of online learning.

We create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, and that number (which, yes, you read correctly!) is only increasing. Contained in that mind-boggling statistic is an equally staggering amount of information we share with others about everything in our lives. The more that we rely on the internet for so many daily activities, the more information others, often with whom we do not even interact, get to know about us. 

Addiction can take a massive toll on a person’s life and the people around them. Whether the addiction is with drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, or something else, Hope Network’s Center for Recovery provides a highly professional, boutique-style environment for a safe and confidential recovery. 

Once again, Dan Vos Construction Company Inc. took home top honors at the 10th annual Michigan Contractor of the Year (MCOY) Awards, hosted by the American Subcontractors Association of Michigan (ASAM). 

Bill McIntyre and Michael Merren, owners of ComForCare Grand Rapids, have been providing in-home health care to families in the Grand Rapids area for over 10 years. Their success – compassion. Care like people are your family.

Starting and operating a business in today’s fast-paced market can be challenging for the owner. It’s tough to find enough time for sales, project management, production, billings, collections and client maintenance. And that’s not even taking into consideration managing a staff.  

Message from The AIA Grand Rapids President
AIA Grand Rapids, a local component of the American Institute of Architects, advocates for the value of architecture and gives architects the resources they need to do their best work through educational opportunities, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession.  Our local chapter of the AIA believes in driving positive change in the West Michigan community through the power of design.

Technology may always be changing, but the Industry 4.0 revolution is here to stay.  

Increased attention in Michigan is being given to the classification of workers as independent contractors or employees. As recently as August 29, 2019, Michigan legislators were in the process of creating proposals designed to limit payroll fraud.

The more you get your brand in front of your prospects the better! Multiple brand impressions help your business stay top of mind. If others think of you first when they need your product or service that creates opportunities and enables growth. Here are 4 ways you can increase brand awareness.

 “I couldn’t complete my homework because I couldn’t find the internet.” Sounds like the digital era’s version of “The dog ate my homework.” Yet for thousands of Michigan’s children, it’s not an excuse but a reality that even has its own term: “homework gap.”

Heed this warning! Failing to invest the time and resources in preparing for a cybersecurity incident could be the death knell for your business. Various studies and reports indicate that a significant number of small companies are unable to sustain their businesses over six months after a cyber attack. What can we do and where can we turn to avoid becoming a statistic?

When The Right Place, Inc. and a small group of local companies formed the Manufacturers Council in 1989, they united under a banner of collaboration and mutual trust. Now, 30 years later, The Right Place | The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center – West’s Manufacturers Council serves as a vast repository of industry knowledge and a cornerstone of the manufacturing sector in the region. Yet, despite its growth over the years, the council still retains its mission of encouraging collaboration and sharing best practices between manufacturers in West Michigan. 

On October 17, 2019, the American Subcontractors Association of Michigan (ASAM) will be celebrating the 10th Annual MCOY Award Gala at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. MCOY recognizes Michigan’s general contractors and construction managers with a track record of best practices, professionalism, and collaboration within the subcontracting community. 

Grand Rapids & Detroit, MI—Mark Ermatinger never would have guessed a customer-appreciation event would evolve into one of the fastest-growing advanced manufacturing shows in the Midwest.

Sooner or later, every business owner faces the question of whether or not to sell the business. If you own a business, here are three key questions to ask yourself before considering a sale.

Around the world there are an estimated 125 million family businesses – but no one really knows for sure. The Family Owned Business Institute at Grand Valley State University states that the United States is home to 5.5 million family businesses, employing more than 98 million people!

It all started as a part-time job in banking while I was in college almost 20 years ago. I’ve always been interested in business and financial markets. And I’ve observed how the entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in West Michigan.

What businesses or industries are benefiting the most by using Sales & Marketing Automation?

It’s no secret: West Michigan companies need to find a deeper pool of talent. For businesses, the questions are always the same: Where do we find them? How do we attract them? Who will train them? How do we keep them?

The manufacturing industry is rapidly approaching a place where only those companies that have implemented automation and robotic equipment will survive. With recent improvements to modularity, flexibility and return-on-investment (ROI), even the most resilient manufacturers have little reason to avoid investing in the technology. 

Brandon Marquoit, owner of a commercial printing services business, had reached a breaking point.  “We were totally hamstrung and had no more space to grow or run our business,” he stated.