Virtual shift rescues industrial training company from pandemic shutdowns
GRAND RAPIDS— Safety training company TrainMOR saw business come to a screeching halt last spring when the COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions to the general industrial clients that it serves.
Break Room Therapy offers an outlet during COVID-19, expands in new location
BYRON CENTER — It’s hard for Break Room Therapy owner Dawn Levian to tell whether she is getting more customers by word of mouth since opening two years ago or because people are looking for an outlet for pandemic-induced stress.
Applying for COVID-19 aid a rocky process for some restaurant, bar owners
Tami VandenBerg successfully applied for the first round of federal Paycheck Protection Program loans for her small businesses in 2020.
Recruiting firm helps companies find talent under pandemic variables
KALAMAZOO — As she connected with businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, long-time professional recruiter Sheri Welsh noticed that HR departments were becoming largely depleted as the economic slowdown decimated many industries.
More flexibility comes with latest round of PPP loans
The new round of federal Paycheck Protection Program loans includes a number of changes from the prior funding intended to aid small businesses hurting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Walker-based medical workstation manufacturer ramps up product development
The COVID-19 pandemic was a driving force that influenced product development and launches for Altus Industries Inc. in 2020.
State resilience fund provides $1.5M boost to more than 300 small businesses
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer met virtually today with small business owners who received support from a state grant program and discussed the importance that additional federal support would have on their businesses.
Startup athletic facility adopts online and individualized training model
When the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the opening of Daimond Dixon’s athlete training and recovery facility, he and his wife Regina decided they would still find a way to train athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
Detach Primitive to offer off-grid camping experience in Rockford
ALGOMA TOWNSHIP — Jarred Sper is turning 45 acres of his backyard property near Rockford into a rustic off-the-grid camping experience meant to let visitors unplug and connect with nature.
Black Calder Brewing Co. brings new flavors, representation to craft beer scene
GRAND RAPIDS — Black Calder Brewing Co. is launching its first beer on Nov. 27, or “The Blackest Friday,” as the new brewery’s owners are calling it.
Flagstar Bank grants $150,000 for minority-owned small businesses in West Michigan
Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses and the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce received $75,000 each from Flagstar Bank to offer grants to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comcast donates $25,000 in pandemic relief for Grand Rapids Black-owned businesses
GRAND RAPIDS — Black-owned businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Grand Rapids can apply for financial assistance from a $25,000 donation from Comcast Corp.
Pandemic drives health screening innovation for GR-area companies
When Jeanne Rathbun and her team at Criterion Manufacturing Solutions Inc. noticed a growing need for health screenings to safely bring employees back to work, they leveraged decades of experience in custom automation to develop a more streamlined solution.
Lawmakers consider bills to bolster mental health care access
Against the backdrop of what behavioral health experts say is a worsening crisis in the COVID-19 pandemic, state lawmakers are weighing a number of bills to increase access to mental health care in Michigan.
Home health provider accelerates telehealth product during pandemic
Grand Rapids-based home health care provider Atrio Home Health Lakeshore was already looking for a telehealth platform to remotely monitor clients’ conditions before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Startups in the time of COVID: Entrepreneurs launching businesses this year discuss pandemic setbacks, successes
With widespread wedding and formal school dance cancelations during the pandemic, Archie Sudue’s newly opened men’s suit shop has been struggling.
Experts warn of rising mental health indicators — and how to treat them
Holland specialty market delays opening during pandemic, expands space
HOLLAND — Owners of a new specialty market pushed back the opening this spring of Market Zero in downtown Holland because of the pandemic, but they are already eyeing an expansion to the storefront next door.
After experimenting with formats, Grand Rapids Symphony readies for audiences
GRAND RAPIDS — Leaders of the Grand Rapids Symphony got creative over the past six months with new ways of sharing music with the community. But as capacity restrictions begin to lift on venues, the orchestra is gearing up again for in-person audiences.
Pandemic causes software team to rethink meeting-scheduling app
In the summer of 2019, Chris Ake and a couple of fellow tech entrepreneurs entertained the idea of building out artificial intelligence-fueled smart scheduling software they were already using to quickly and easily schedule meetings.
To weather COVID, GR restaurant owners launch pizza concept that may stay long-term
GRAND RAPIDS — The owners of That Early Bird Cafe and Little Bird restaurants — like countless other businesses — have taken stock of what works well during the pandemic, both to weather the short-term disruption as well as set themselves up for long-term success.
Wealthy Theatre ‘hardest hit’ for Grand Rapids Community Media Center
Grand Rapids Community Media Center — which runs WYCE-FM radio station, GRTV, The Rapidian news outlet and the Wealthy Theatre — continues to serve the community during the pandemic but had to scale back many of its operations this year.
GROW rolls out second round of COVID relief to small businesses
GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Rapids Opportunity for Women is accepting applications through Sept. 26 for its ReStart Kent loan program.
SIX MONTHS IN: Small businesses reflect on the ups, downs, optimism and bleakness of the COVID-19 pandemic
In early May, MiBiz began featuring small businesses across Western and Southwestern Michigan in a section called “Coping with COVID-19.” The goal was to tell the stories of small businesses adjusting to the global pandemic and capture their outlook at this historic point in time.
Virtual school puts strain on parents, local business owners
GRAND RAPIDS — The owners of Brewery Vivant have gotten creative out of necessity when it comes to virtual schooling for their two children, sharing the responsibilities with two other families in their neighborhood.
Couple comes out of retirement during pandemic to run historic Kalamazoo inn
KALAMAZOO — Laurel and Terry Parrott sold Kalamazoo House Bed & Breakfast in 2014 and moved to Arizona, but the pandemic has brought them out of retirement to return as innkeepers of the historic building.
Muskegon sparkling water company pivots to e-commerce during pandemic
MUSKEGON — New investors were aligning this past spring to back a capital round for HyVIDA Brands Inc.
Cusack Music supplies new market of quarantined guitarists
HOLLAND — Live music stages in West Michigan and across the country have been largely empty over the last six months with the COVID-19 pandemic suspending traditional concerts.
Year-round market, bakery, event space opening despite construction delays
DOUGLAS — About 15 people were hard at work on Aug. 7 hammering, sanding and painting away to construct what will become Isabel’s Market + Eatery — a specialty market, street food eatery and event space in Douglas.
Los Amigos restaurant surviving pandemic despite funding obstacles
MUSKEGON — Despite initially struggling to access COVID-19 relief funding, Ana Olson has kept Los Amigos Mexican Bar & Grill open with takeout orders throughout the entire pandemic.