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Sunday, 28 June 2020 21:02

‘Timing was right’ for GR youth housing organizations to merge

Two Grand Rapids youth housing organizations and longtime partners have merged into one organization after years of consideration, aligning with recent consolidation trends among nonprofits.

Sunday, 21 June 2020 15:55

Pandemic exacerbates concerns for migrant farm workers

Dozens of crops grown in West Michigan are hand-picked by seasonal and migrant farmworkers. 

Sunday, 17 May 2020 14:10

Native Traits raises $1.5M to move seed technology into field trials

KALAMAZOO — Southwest Michigan biosciences company Native Traits Corp. plans to use a recent investment to move its high-yield and weather-resistant seed technology into field testing and production.

Sunday, 10 May 2020 18:30

Fulton Street Farmers Market stays open, adapts to new safety measures

GRAND RAPIDS — In March, organizers at the Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids were preparing for their biannual soup-tasting fundraiser. Usually, vendors and West Michigan restaurants donate soups for the event. Hundreds of people gather to taste food from the cooler weather season, catch up with one another and support the market.

Sunday, 10 May 2020 18:36

Sharpe Cars makes shift to online vehicle sales

GRAND RAPIDS — Coming off of strong sales in 2019, executives at Sharpe Cars had plans to reinvest capital into the company’s showrooms and facilities. 

Sunday, 10 May 2020 18:03

Local Epicurean encouraged by response to e-commerce shift

GRAND RAPIDS — Last year was “the best year ever” at Local Epicurean LLC, a maker of handmade pasta, sauces and specialty food products. 

Sunday, 10 May 2020 18:20

Suburban Inns ‘hanging on by our fingertips’

HUDSONVILLE — Nearly all of Suburban Inns Inc.’s more than 1,000 hotel rooms in West Michigan are sitting empty.

Friday, 24 April 2020 14:26

Gardening centers, greenhouses ready to open under modified state order

Michigan greenhouses and nurseries say they are pleased and ready to open following an executive order today by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer loosening restrictions on some businesses as COVID-19 cases level off.

Sunday, 26 April 2020 17:22

Foodservice disruptions create crisis for farmers

As the new coronavirus spreads throughout the Midwest and people’s behaviors change as a result, Michigan’s turkey farms are struggling to stay afloat. 

Monday, 20 April 2020 15:55

Head shop Purple East files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

GRAND RAPIDS — Purple East Plus Inc., a lifestyle retailer of paraphernalia used for the consumption of cannabis and tobacco, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan.

Sunday, 19 April 2020 15:12

Garden centers, greenhouses focus on survival amid COVID-19 shutdown

Like most non-essential businesses in the state, many garden centers and greenhouses in West Michigan have been forced to close as part of continuing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Tuesday, 07 April 2020 05:03

Survey shows ‘absolutely horrendous’ first-quarter economic fallout from COVID-19

Much of the economic data collected in the second half of March do not yet reflect the extent of the effects of the COVID-19 fallout, and yet the economic situation in West Michigan has seldom looked so grim. 

Friday, 03 April 2020 04:36

State issues new environmental regulations for Michigan’s largest livestock farms

The state has tightened environmental restrictions on Michigan’s largest livestock farms. 

Sunday, 29 March 2020 18:10

Coronavirus price gouging spurs efforts to rein in ‘bad actor’ resellers

Panicked consumers stocking up on essential items during the early phases of the coronavirus outbreak have exacerbated what attorneys say are already weak agreements between manufacturers and distributors that spur unscrupulous resellers.

Sunday, 29 March 2020 16:00

During pandemic, food-focused nonprofits face heightened demand, volunteer constraints

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the first two cases of COVID-19 in Michigan and declared a state of emergency on March 11, Lisa Wideman knew Meals on Wheels Western Michigan would be forced to adapt to a new reality. 

Monday, 23 March 2020 14:02

Food and ag workers considered ‘essential’ under Whitmer’s stay-home order

Michigan’s food and agriculture industries and related workers are considered as “essential critical infrastructure” to ensure continued food security across the state under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home executive order. 

Sunday, 15 March 2020 16:00

Volunteer-powered coalition helps Kent County residents file tax returns

Powered by hundreds of highly trained volunteers, the Kent County Tax Credit Coalition helps working individuals and families in the region receive important refunds during tax season.

Sunday, 15 March 2020 15:30

Economic, community development officials call for action to raise wages

significant and expanding group of people in Michigan are working but still not bringing home a paycheck big enough to cover their basic expenses. 

Sunday, 01 March 2020 18:40

Feds to investigate USDA aid to farmers after Senate finds ‘deep inequities’

Following a request from Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the U.S. Government Accountability Office will investigate the integrity of the U.S. Department of Agriculture aid to farmers affected by the U.S. trade war with China. 

Sunday, 01 March 2020 16:50

New West Michigan service offers assistance in response to cybercrime

Instances of cybercrime and online fraud against businesses and individuals are far-reaching, but now, a new resource offering advice and assistance for victims is also spreading throughout the state. 

Sunday, 01 March 2020 16:20

Michigan’s $7.8 billion boating industry continues to evolve

Michigan’s outdoor recreation industry has fueled a thriving boating sector, and boat manufacturers in the state are developing new ways to grow the next generation of boat builders and enthusiasts.

Sunday, 01 March 2020 16:00

Apparel companies embrace Michigan’s outdoor recreation

Michigan residents have taken to wearing their state pride on their sleeves. 

Sunday, 01 March 2020 15:00

Nonprofit programs address barriers to employment in West Michigan

Increasing prosperity and the decade-long economic expansion have provided a record number of jobs in Michigan, yet people who want to work are still facing barriers to employment. 

Sunday, 16 February 2020 13:00

Report highlights concern over ‘tainted money’ in nonprofit sector

Nonprofits that depend on private donations and often publicly honor major gifts are increasingly finding themselves in ethically complicated spots when donors become embroiled in scandals.

Sunday, 02 February 2020 16:05

More West Michigan nonprofits consolidate to drive efficiencies

A flood of mergers has hit the West Michigan nonprofit sector in recent months and the trend is expected to continue as more organizations of all sizes seek efficiencies through consolidation. 

Friday, 31 January 2020 05:45

Ceres Farms sues Amtrak over property access dispute in SW Michigan

Indiana agricultural land manager Ceres Farms LLC is suing Amtrak over blocked access to farmland in Niles, Mich. 

Sunday, 19 January 2020 14:44

‘Too Many Negatives’: Michigan farmers continue to feel weight of financial blows

West Michigan’s farmers will be wading through the confluence of negatives brought on last year ranging from extreme weather, volatile commodity prices and trade wars well into 2020. 

Sunday, 19 January 2020 14:01

Nonprofits take leading role in community outreach for 2020 Census

As concerns over privacy and misinformation mount, federal and state officials are preparing for the 2020 Census by using nonprofits to collect an accurate count of the nation’s residents. 

Tuesday, 07 January 2020 13:36

Heartside Ministry, Mel Trotter Ministries announce merger

GRAND RAPIDS — Heartside Ministry and Mel Trotter Ministries, two nonprofits with missions concerning housing and homelessness, formally merged as of Jan. 1. 

Sunday, 05 January 2020 17:04

MAKING THE CASE: Preserving local ownership a priority as West Michigan firms attract heightened PE interest

Locally owned and operated businesses are a unique asset to West Michigan’s economy, but that dynamic is changing as more owners opt to sell to private equity firms that have increasingly targeted the region for deals. 

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