Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: October 25, 2020

BY Sunday, October 25, 2020 10:30am

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for October 25, 2020.


  • Traverse City-based Hagerty Insurance Agency Inc., an insurer of classic cars and high-end automobiles, has acquired the California Mille car rally from the founding Swig family, according to a statement. The California Mille travels a route along northern California’s mountains and coastal roads and is limited to 65 cars annually. The deal follows Hagerty’s 2019 acquisition of Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, a 25-year-old family-run car show in Greenwich, Conn., and bolsters the portfolio of “immersive automotive experiences” for the Northern Michigan firm.
  • An employee group took a majority ownership position in investment advisory firm Red Cedar Investment Management. Under the terms of the deal, Delta Dental of Michigan subsidiary The 4100 Group Inc. issued 51 percent of its common shares to Bridge & Vine LLC, a Michigan company owned by a core group of six Red Cedar Investment professionals. The 4100 Group retained a 49 percent equity stake in Red Cedar. John Cassady was named CEO of the new ownership structure that took effect Oct. 1. He also remains chief investment officer at Red Cedar, which employs 13 people and has $1.4 billion in assets under management.
  • A family-owned Grand Rapids manufacturer with 60 years of experience in polystyrene patterns and prototypes is changing ownership. Van’s Pattern Corp., which operates out of a 40,000-square-foot facility at 11 Sweet St. NW on Grand Rapids’ north side, recently announced that it sold to LNS Manufacturing Inc., which is based in Schoolcraft. Van’s Pattern uses CNC-controlled cutting machines to create detailed patterns and prototypes for the auto industry in addition to special tool manufacturers and foundries. 
  • Denver-based GrowGeneration Corp., which operates specialty retail hydroponic and organic gardening stores throughout the country, recently acquired Michigan’s Big Green Tomato, a hydroponic equipment store with locations in Taylor and Battle Creek. Big Green Tomato has a strong commercial operation and generates around $16 million in revenue. The acquisition means GrowGeneration now owns and operates six stores across Michigan.


  • Ivy Rehab opened a new clinic in Reed City and now has nearly 30 locations in Michigan. Physical therapist Jill Crosby serves as clinic director in Reed City, where the firm offers physical and orthopedic therapy, soft tissue mobilization, chronic pain, post-surgical, arthritis and other treatments. Founded in 2003, Ivy Rehab has more than 225 outpatient physical, occupational, speech therapy and ABA clinics in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Southeast regions U.S.
  • The American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association recognized Kent Riddle, president and CEO of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, with its National Leadership Excellence Award. The award recognizes an individual who has exemplified outstanding service and made significant contributions to the field of medical rehabilitation.


  • Harbor Springs-based First Community Bank, specializing in family business banking, has opened an office on Cascade Road SE in Grand Rapids. Regional President Mark Brant leads First Community’s commercial banking team. The bank has 11 offices in Michigan, including downtown Grand Rapids.
  • Comerica Bank donated $350,000 to Michigan Women Forward, a community development organization that works to expand economic opportunity for Michigan women. Comerica’s contribution helps replenish MWF’s Entrepreneur Resilience Fund that helps women-led small businesses recover from the pandemic and reopen their businesses.
  • Mercantile Bank Corp. recorded lower third quarter earnings amid what President and CEO Robert Kaminski Jr. called a “challenging operating environment” from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Grand Rapids-based Mercantile Bank (Nasdaq: MBWM) reported $10.7 million quarterly net income, or 66 cents per diluted share. That compares to net income of $12.6 million, or 77 cents per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2019.


  • Bazzani Building Co. is moving its offices from Wealthy Street to a property it is redeveloping as part of a mixed-use project on the city’s West Side. The 16,133-square-foot brick facility at 730 Leonard St. NW was originally constructed as a warehouse and is currently vacant except for Chaser Apparel, which will continue to operate in the space. Construction is set to begin later this year to convert the space into 10 studio and eight single-bedroom apartments along with Chase Apparel’s and Bazzani’s new offices.


  • Oceana County restaurant Silver Lake Chicken Shack is expanding to a location in Grandville. The restaurant, located at 8301 W. Hazel Road in Mears, is a seasonal operation owned by Craig Cihak, who also owns Craig’s Cruisers entertainment centers. The restaurant has gained popularity over the years, which led to branching out with a year-round location close to Grand Rapids, said Scott Butcher, general manager of Silver Lake Chicken Shack. The new location will be at 4505 Canal Ave. SW, just west of RiverTown Crossings mall where Famous Dave’s restaurant formerly operated.
  • Automotive parts manufacturer Viking Products Inc. is eyeing a larger headquarters in Walker with the planned construction of a 132,600-square-foot facility to accommodate the company’s recent growth. Viking Products proposes the new facility on a 16.8-acre site at 3260 Northridge Drive NW near its current location. The company’s new headquarters would also be located near a new Amazon.com Inc. package sorting and delivery facility.
  • MC Family Law Group, which specializes in high-asset divorce, mediation, child custody and other practice areas, recently announced that it would be opening an office in Grand Rapids in addition to offices in Birmingham and Detroit. The firm, founded by managing partner Cristina Crescentini, will also maintain its presence on the west coast, where it operates offices in Beverly Hills.
  • Koops Automation Systems is embarking on a third Holland expansion project in the last four years. The company, which works with businesses to create factory automation systems, will be investing $445,260 to remodel its facility at 881 Productions Place. The project is designed to create a larger open workspace environment in the facility while adding a lunchroom and additional space to accommodate new machinery. The city of Holland is providing a 12-year Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption for the project.


  • Krieger Craftsmen Inc., a manufacturer of plastic injection molds for the automotive, medical, appliance and consumer products industries, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Owned outright by Timothy Krieger, the business is headquartered at 2758 3 Mile Road NW in Walker and employs approximately 16 people. Krieger filed under Subchapter V of the Bankruptcy Code, which was created under the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019.
  • Multinational chemical producer BASF is closing its herbicide production facility in Muskegon Township by 2022. The facility — which BASF acquired from Bayer CropScience LP in 2018 as part of Bayer’s mega-merger with Monsanto Co. — produces non-selective herbicide glufosinate-ammonium (GA) and its intermediates. BASF is closing a similar facility in Germany as it consolidates operations at other plants in the U.S., Canada and Germany.


  • Grand Rapids-based and African American-owned spirits company Motu Viget Spirits announced a new partnership with Meijer Inc. grocery stores. Through the partnership, 50 Meijer locations in the upper Midwest will carry Motu Viget Brut, the company’s inaugural product, which is a sparkling wine produced in Paw Paw in collaboration with St. Julian Winery. Motu Viget products are now being sold in more than 200 locations.
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