Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: July 5, 2020

BY MIBIZ STAFF Sunday, July 05, 2020 10:04am

Here is the MiBiz growth report for July 5, 2020.


  • Grand Rapids-based TG Manufacturing Group acquired the gaming machine integration division of Turnkey Fabrication LLC, which operates in a 20,000-square-foot facility in Grand Rapids and supplies businesses in the gaming sector across North America. The new division of TGM Group is called TG Integration LLC and will continue to be based in Grand Rapids. The company will now manufacture complete integrated gaming machine assemblies following two prior acquisitions of Grand Rapids-based A2Z Powder Coating and the metal fabrication division from Turnkey Fabrication. Terms of the latest deal were not disclosed. 
  • Harbor Springs-based Walstrom Marine Inc. has acquired Traverse City-based Traverse Bay Marine Inc. from longtime owner James Rautio, according to a report in the Traverse City Record-Eagle. Walstrom, a dealer for high-end freshwater boats including Sea Ray, Tiara Yachts, Chris Craft, and Pursuit Boats, adds new brands with the deal, including Lund Boats, Sea Doo and Crest Pontoons. The deal also included Traverse Bay Marine’s location at U.S. 31 in Traverse City, according to the report. 
  • Private equity-backed CloudAccess LLC, a Traverse City-based cloud hosting provider that also operates an office in Poland, has completed the add-on acquisition of Miller Media Inc., a 30-year-old Bloomfield Hills-based web development and search engine optimization company. The deal will allow teams at both companies to expand service offerings, according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. CloudAccess is a portfolio company of New York City-based Cloud Equity Group, a private equity and investment management firm focused on companies in web hosting and cloud-based infrastructure. 
  • Private equity-backed Heartland Home Services has acquired Jenison-based First Call Plumbing Inc., its second acquisition in the West Michigan area in the last nine months. A family-owned provider of residential plumbing services with a 20-year market history, First Call Plumbing joins the Macomb-based Heartland Home Services platform, which has completed four strategic acquisitions, including a deal for Grand Rapids-based Vredevoogd Heating & Cooling. Heartland Home Services is a portfolio company of North Branch Capital LLC, an Oak Brook, Ill.-based private equity firm. Terms of the First Call deal, which closed June 15, were not disclosed. 
  • Lansing-based Liquid Web LLC, a private equity-backed hosting and application services provider, has acquired Fishers, Ind.-based ServerSide Inc., a web development and managed cloud services company, according to a statement. ServerSide founder and CEO Steve Oren and the company’s team remained in place after the acquisition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Liquid Web is a portfolio company of Chicago-based Madison Dearborn Partners LLC


  • Chicago-based General Truck Parts & Equipment is investing more than $500,000 to launch a new facility in Walker, the company’s first operation in Michigan. Regional economic development firm The Right Place Inc. and the city of Walker announced the expansion, which is expected to include seven to 10 new jobs over the next three years. The new storefront, warehouse and remanufacturing facility at 2686 3 Mile Road opened on July 1.


  • Eight Grand Rapids technology startups were among dozens of businesses statewide selected to receive financial support ranging from $10,000 to $125,000 from Michigan’s Tech Start Up Stabilization Fund. Local recipients were Assemble Technologies, CertifID LLC, Eighty-Six Inc., Inductive Intelligence, The Patient Co., Sportsman Tracker, Towel Tracker and VNN Inc. The $3 million fund is administered by ID Ventures in Detroit and designed to help companies navigate the economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund garnered 214 applicants from around the state.

Real estate 

  • Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health bought property at 320 Michigan St. NE for $2 million from Warren Radio Co. on June 12, according to property records. Spectrum has leased the space for multiple departments over the past decade, but there is no timeline around future use, said spokesperson Susan Krieger. The purchase of the 9,672-square-foot, one-story commercial building was in motion prior to COVID-19. 


  • Grand Rapids-based Independent Bank Corp.’s chief financial officer, Stephen Erickson, resigned June 23, effectively immediately. His resignation came about six months after he succeeded Robert Shuster, who retired Jan. 31. Shuster returned to Independent Bank to serve as part-time CFO “until such time that the Company retains a permanent CFO to replace Mr. Erickson,” according to a filing with federal securities regulators. 
  • Sparta-based ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. (Nasdaq: COFS) was added to the Russell 2000 Index, a small-cap stock market index. ChoiceOne has 33 offices in West and Southeastern Michigan with about $1.7 billion in assets. The corporation last week completed the acquisition of Muskegon-based Community Shores Bank Corp. for $20.8 million in a deal that added three offices in Muskegon County and one in Grand Haven in neighboring Ottawa County. 
  • East Lansing-based MSU Federal Credit Union opened its first northern Michigan branch in downtown Traverse City and plans to build a second, which it will break ground on later this month.

Health care

  • A new deal with Bloomfield, Conn.-based commercial health insurance carrier Cigna Corp. gives Priority Health a broader care network across the U.S. to use when pitching potential national accounts. Under a new strategic alliance starting Jan. 1, 2021, Priority Health will get access to more of Cigna’s national care network of hospitals, physicians, outpatient centers and diagnostic labs, and at better discounts. The alliance allows the Grand Rapids-based Priority Health, which has about 1 million members, to more aggressively pursue national accounts to provide health coverage to employers within Michigan who have employees elsewhere, as well as with companies in other states that have locations in Michigan.


  • The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians has partnered with Chicago-based online gaming operator Rush Street Interactive LLC to run a sportsbook inside the Little River Casino Resort near Manistee. The relationship with Rush Street Interactive will start with the firm operating a retail sportsbook inside the casino, with sports betting becoming available to guests starting early in the third quarter, according to a statement. When allowed, the partners then plan to offer co-branded online sports betting and online casino gaming. Rush Street Interactive operates sportsbooks inside casinos in New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois, and offers online sportsbooks in Colorado, Indiana and Pennsylvania. Little River Casino has about 1,350 slot machines and 26 table games and operates on a campus that includes a 292-room hotel, RV park, and event and conference center.
  • Brimley-based Bay Mills Indian Community in the eastern Upper Peninsula signed a partnership with Boston-based DraftKings Inc. to operate the tribe’s sportsbook at Bay Mills Resort & Casino. The tribe also will look to expand into online sports betting with DraftKings once the state rules allow it. In a survey of Michigan consumers, DraftKings found that one-third of respondents said they had placed a legal sports bet via a mobile application or by traveling to a place it was legal. The survey found 55 percent of respondents “had never made an online wager before” and were possible new users of the mobile sportsbook when it launches.
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