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When things seem uncertain, there’s no substitute for a great plan. After a decade of recovery following the Great Recession, Michigan’s economy is imperiled by COVID-19-related business closures and layoffs. How our state responds will define us for a generation.

This year has brought unprecedented challenges to West Michigan’s manufacturers. From closures in the spring and pivoting to the production of essential supplies, to restarting operations and adjusting to the “new normal”, local manufacturers are in a state of flux. It can be difficult to know where to go from here, particularly when the future is uncertain. 

Continued demand initiating many new, ground-up construction projects

Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge (SHRR) has been helping clients overcome challenges since 1941. Despite all our shared experiences over the decades, it is unlikely any event has had a more collective impact on our clients and our practice than COVID-19. 

It’s a well-known fact that one of the best ways to recruit and retain top talent is to offer excellent benefits, the kind that go beyond the basics of meeting an employee’s health care needs and offer more than just reasonable copays and deductibles. With the outbreak of COVID-19, maintaining strong health has become more important than ever, and employees are looking for ways to stay healthy while enhancing their day-to-day lives.

Your business may grow through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the corner of Portage Street and Lake Street in the Edison neighborhood of Kalamazoo, workers are putting the finishing touches on an attractive new multi-use building known as the Creamery. The building, which was partially funded with an innovative Impact Investment Loan program from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF), will soon house affordable apartments for low- and middle-income people, a YWCA 24-hour childcare center and a small business accelerator. 

COVID-19 has hit the world hard, including the business landscape. Many companies are struggling under the strain the pandemic has put on our economy, from decreased spending to wide-scale shutdowns. In the face of this economic uncertainty, businesses of all sizes and their employees are facing tough choices when it comes to spending. 

Being directly related to profitability, growth, and efficiency, productivity is key to company success. Manufacturing processes are constantly seeing improvements in with the introduction and development of new technology. These technological advances include the utilization of real-time data and the IIoT to increase productivity, leading to a highly competitive and ever-growing manufacturing sector.

Navigating PPP Loans in M&A Transactions with Rhoades McKee.

A common and costly mistake when it comes to business succession planning is not starting the process early enough. By waiting too long, an owner runs the risk of not having the right people in place to run the business, as well as having much of the business’ value consumed by estate taxes. Either misstep can and sadly often does cause a business to fail when it passes from one generation to the next.

The Grand Rapids Chamber is thrilled to announce the return of the West Michigan CEO Summit on October 6, as a virtual, live-broadcast experience. 

Like many cities across the US, Grand Rapids continues to see a need for affordable and low-income housing. The topic has long been in discussion in the community thanks to a limited housing supply, high demand market and increasing rental rates.

Are you looking for ways to help your community, both in this time of increased need and well into the future? Our communities thrive because of individuals coming together for the greater good. But it’s not always easy, and it can be difficult to know how to make the greatest impact.

If you own or operate any type of facility, in the last six months you read articles, attended webinars, and maybe even used Google to search “HVAC ventilation COVID.” Although you learned about the effectiveness of humidifiers, ultraviolet lights, and bipolar ionization, your operating budgets have tightened up and it is hard to know if these technologies will be right for you in the long run. 

Despite the upheaval caused by COVID-19, the global pandemic has opened the door for manufacturers to improve one of the most untapped methods of increasing company performance: culture. 

When things seem uncertain, there’s no substitute for a great plan. After a decade of recovery following the Great Recession, Michigan’s economy is imperiled by COVID-19-related business closures and layoffs. How our state responds will define us for a generation.

In the wake of COVID-19, litigation is on the rise, and with that, escalating costs. Electronic discovery (“eDiscovery”) is often the most expensive component of litigation. As we use more technology in our daily lives – computers, cell phones, email, smart watches, smart home devices, etc., the amount of data we are creating is growing exponentially. When litigation strikes, that data now must be collected, reviewed and potentially produced.

Many of the safeguards required by Executive Order 2020-114 involve screening employees and visitors prior to entering a workplace. For facilities with relatively low entrance/exit counts, screening requirements may be no more than a minor inconvenience. However, facilities like manufacturers with a labor model based on shiftwork have different needs, necessitating quick and efficient screening of large numbers of employees before they begin work.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves through global manufacturing and supply chains, forcing business leaders to reconsider the resiliency of their operations. This represents a shift from the recent emphasis on production and distribution efficiencies alone. Predictive intelligence, agility toward crisis response, and the successful application of smart devices throughout manufacturing and distribution processes have taken new precedence.

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.