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Joe Boomgaard

Joe Boomgaard

Editor, covers craft beverage industry.
Twitter: @jboomgaard
Email: [email protected]

Sunday, 26 April 2020 18:37

COPING WITH COVID-19: Speciation Artisan Ales leverages business model for survival, pushes ahead on second location

Mitch Ermatinger’s outlook has improved in the weeks since the mid-March closure of all Michigan bars and restaurants, but the economic effects of the pandemic are still weighing heavily on the co-founder of Speciation Artisan Ales LLC. 

Sunday, 26 April 2020 18:57

COPING WITH COVID-19: Brass Ring Brewing finds ways to give back during pandemic

The recent shutdown forced many small craft beverage companies to shift their business models on the fly. 

Sunday, 26 April 2020 18:43

COPING WITH COVID-19: Oktober Design can seamer helps breweries make the switch to takeout beers

Oktober Design LLC proves the aphorism of being in the right place at the right time when it comes to finding success in business. 


Sunday, 26 April 2020 17:17

After unbridled growth, Michigan craft beverage companies gird for devastating lows

Michigan’s craft beverage industry is facing a challenge with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic that is unlike any other in its history. 

Sunday, 26 April 2020 17:00

Experts weigh in on next steps for Michigan’s craft beverage industry

Craft beverage companies have been rocked by an unprecedented crisis, one caused not by bad business decisions or fundamental industry shifts, but by widespread closures related to a sweeping public health concern. 

Sunday, 26 April 2020 15:05

Startup craft beverage companies face delays, financial strain amid pandemic

Launching a new craft beverage business can prove challenging in even the best of economic times, let alone in the middle of a global pandemic.


Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:06

Business owners discuss reacting, coping and planning for the future in the era of coronavirus

Call it the six stages of COVID-19 coping: Experiencing shock. Assessing. Recalibrating. Cash Flowing. Helping. Imagining. That seems to sum up an emotional and intellectual path many West Michigan business owners have travelled recently as their companies faced extraordinary circumstances brought on by the spread of coronavirus. 

Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:51

Michigan coronavirus prevention measures could mean fewer fish in years ahead

series of measures intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus could have implications for Michigan’s recreational fishery in the coming years. 

Monday, 06 April 2020 05:45

Funding for Asian carp barrier diverted as part of Michigan’s coronavirus response

Michigan’s contribution to a key project aimed at stopping the spread of invasive Asian carp has been put on hold as the state shifted funds last week to help respond to the coronavirus pandemic.


Monday, 06 April 2020 05:15

Entrepreneurs with multiple businesses could face challenges with SBA relief programs

Small business owners with multiple entities affected by the coronavirus may be in for a surprise when they go to apply for U.S. Small Business Administration loans. 

Friday, 03 April 2020 04:05

Lambert & Co. acquires Fairly Painless Advertising

GRAND RAPIDS — Public relations and investor relations firm Lambert & Co. has acquired ad agency Fairly Painless Advertising Inc. of Holland.

Wednesday, 01 April 2020 14:00

AHC Hospitality lays off 1,000 workers, closes JW Marriott

GRAND RAPIDS — Amway Corp. affiliate AHC Hospitality has laid off 1,000 workers and closed all but the downtown Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.


Wednesday, 01 April 2020 13:37

Stryker withdraws guidance, citing ‘uncertain scope and duration’ of pandemic

KALAMAZOO — Medical device maker Stryker Corp. expects the growing push to defer elective surgeries as health care organizations deal with a rush of COVID-19 patients to have “a significant negative impact” on its operations and financial performance. 

Sunday, 29 March 2020 22:01

Editor’s Notebook: Find value in what you read? Thank a journalist.

The coronavirus that’s affected lives and upended operations across the globe has become the kind of transformational business story that only comes around once every generation.

Sunday, 29 March 2020 18:50

Race to add hospital capacity keeps West Michigan manufacturers on the job

ZEELAND — As Brad Davis tracked news about the spread of the coronavirus in early March, he cautioned his production team at MedViron LLC that the company might need to shut down to do its part with social distancing.


Thursday, 26 March 2020 11:53

Wolverine leverages footwear repair facility to make protective masks

ROCKFORD — Footwear and apparel retailer Wolverine World Wide Inc. is in the “early stages” of converting one of its manufacturing facilities to produce protective masks for health care workers. 

Thursday, 26 March 2020 10:23

UFP Industries warns coronavirus could ‘materially and adversely’ affect operations

GRAND RAPIDS — Universal Forest Products Inc. warned investors today that the coronavirus pandemic could pose serious challenges to the business. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2020 15:32

Herman Miller to pay workers during three-week shutdown

ZEELAND — Herman Miller Inc. is continuing to pay its Michigan workers affected by the temporary shutdown of its manufacturing operations in compliance with the state’s stay-home order. 


Tuesday, 24 March 2020 18:46

Whirlpool cites ‘unprecedented uncertainty’ over coronavirus in withdrawing 2020 guidance

BENTON HARBOR — Appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corp. has joined other publicly traded companies in withdrawing its 2020 earnings guidance, citing “unprecedented uncertainty” and concerns over disruptions related to coronavirus. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2020 17:55

Steelcase issues layoffs, slashes costs amid worries over coronavirus disruptions

GRAND RAPIDS — Steelcase Inc. said Tuesday that reduced or halted operations at its global manufacturing and distribution centers because of the coronavirus will “temporarily, but significantly” affect the company’s ability to generate revenue in its current quarter. 

Thursday, 19 March 2020 10:08

Wolverine withdraws 2020 guidance citing uncertainty, volatility due to coronavirus

ROCKFORD — Citing “heightened uncertainty and recent volatility” related to the coronavirus, footwear and apparel marketer Wolverine World Wide Inc. says it is withdrawing its previous guidance for the 2020 fiscal year.


Thursday, 19 March 2020 08:58

DeVos-owned distillery to donate hand sanitizer to area health care providers

HOLLAND —  Coppercraft Distillery is joining a number of distilleries in the state with plans to produce hand sanitizer. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2020 18:36

Feds ease regulations to allow distilleries to make hand sanitizer

The federal regulatory body that oversees the alcohol industry has cleared the way for U.S. distilleries to begin producing hand sanitizer. 

Monday, 16 March 2020 09:59

Michigan bar/restaurant closure ‘will be a bloodbath’

West Michigan brewery owners are reeling this morning over news that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will issue an order later today to temporarily close bars, restaurants and other venues over concerns related to coronavirus. 


Monday, 09 March 2020 18:58

West Michigan public company stocks fall sharply amid coronavirus outbreak, oil tensions

Stock prices for West Michigan’s publicly traded companies continued to plummet on Monday, a sign of Wall Street’s growing concern about the effect the coronavirus outbreak could have on the U.S. economy and rising tensions over oil production between Russia and Saudi Arabia. 

Friday, 28 February 2020 12:37

Goodrich Quality Theaters files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

GRAND RAPIDS — Goodrich Quality Theaters Inc., a Grand Rapids-based chain of 30 movie theaters in five states, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan.

Friday, 21 February 2020 05:00

Bill would eliminate token system for Michigan beer festivals

A bill introduced in the state Legislature would change how beer festivals operate in Michigan.


Wednesday, 19 February 2020 09:48

Delivery service that lost Amazon contract to close Walker facility

WALKER — A final mile logistics company that lost a contract to deliver packages for e-commerce giant Amazon.com is closing its facility in West Michigan. 

Sunday, 09 February 2020 17:45

West Michigan manufacturers brace for disruptions from Chinese Coronavirus outbreak

A tooling engineer from Grand Rapids-based Tier-1 supplier ADAC Automotive was traveling in the Wuhan area of China when the Coronavirus public health crisis broke in late January. 

Sunday, 09 February 2020 18:30

New law provides ‘parity’ for spirits producers, vendors to host festivals

New laws aim to bring parity to the state’s alcoholic beverage sector. 


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