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Small Business

GAINES TWP. — Joining forces with its largest competitor will give Mobile Defenders LLC an opportunity to become part of the dominant player in the wholesale mobile device repair parts market with increased economies of scale. 

GRAND RAPIDS — A new cocktail bar as well as a second location of Broad Leaf Brewery & Spirits are set to open in the coming months in a former restaurant on Bridge Street NW where The Sovengard formerly operated. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Jessica Ann Tyson is taking the concept of a dog-friendly restaurant a step further by making canines her main customer.


GRAND RAPIDS — Amanda Rostic on Wednesday night passed out samples of tea she batch brewed the night before with a special ingredient she thinks will set her product apart from other brands: hops.

Eight West Michigan companies will each receive $25,000 grants under a state program that helps small manufacturers adopt Industry 4.0 technologies.

GRAND RAPIDS — Longtime family-owned window covering retailer The Shade Shop Inc. has sold to another family-owned company in the Grand Rapids area.



MIDDLEVILLE — Backed by a group of business partners from West Michigan, The Botanical Co. is opening the first adult-use cannabis dispensary in the village of Middleville.

GRAND RAPIDS — Third-party data center maintenance provider Service Express Inc. has acquired the similarly focused, Beaverton, Ohio-based Sherlock Services Inc.

GRAND RAPIDS — After selling the church management software company he started in 2014, Jon VerLee decided to put his money into assisting other entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground.


GRAND RAPIDS — Royals is relaunching next week as a pizza restaurant after the former East Hills brunch spot underperformed since launching at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A mobility app for people with disabilities is experiencing strong growth since launching commercial operations in West Michigan two months ago, and now is considering expanding its services to more communities and health care providers.

The state has begun the process to dispense nearly $237 million in federal funding to support small businesses.



GRAND RAPIDS — A husband and wife duo are moving their catering and personal chef business into the building formerly occupied by neighborhood staple Cherry Deli and Catering in Grand Rapids’ East Hills neighborhood. 

JetCo Federal President Sue Schweim Tellier has stepped into a new advocacy role after being named vice chairperson of the Small Business Association of Michigan’s (SBAM) executive committee.

Emily DeRitter formed Grand Rapids-based wedding coordination company The Best Day Details LLC in late 2019. 


Heartland Home Services LLC, a private equity-backed HVAC, plumbing and electrical home service provider, has added a second Wisconsin-based firm to its portfolio of companies in recent months.

A Zeeland furniture startup that seeks to play into the growing home office trend has secured $1.5 million in capital from investors around Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — A Grand Rapids-based microlender has rebranded from Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women to Grow as it focuses on increasing the number of loans it deploys to small businesses. 


Chris Weavers is “terrified” by a court ruling handed down Tuesday that immediately raises wages for workers who rely on tips to offset their hourly wage.

GRAND RAPIDS — American Storage & Logistics is expanding its capabilities with acquisitions of two equipment suppliers based in the northeastern United States. 

SPRING LAKE — The owners of Seven Steps Up are closing their music venue after 11 years of hosting concerts and live performances in Spring Lake in an attempt to recoup mounting costs from an underperforming concert series they host for the city of Grand Haven.


Grand Rapids-based economic development nonprofit People First Economy has helped launch a statewide campaign advocating for voting rights and access initiatives.

GRAND RAPIDS — A group of about 30 people gathered on Monday to protest a new wedding and events venue at a former Grand Rapids church where owners have a policy against hosting same-sex marriages.

GRAND RAPIDS — Third-party data center maintenance provider Service Express Inc. has acquired two companies: Middleville-based cloud hosting provider ​​iInTheCloud LLC and Danbury, Conn.-based managed service provider iTech Solutions Group LLC.


After spending nearly a decade in workforce development, Katie Hall set out to develop software that allows employers to better utilize their current employees.

State lawmakers have reached a compromise on a bill that would allow taxpayers to claim an income tax credit on their investment in a Michigan-based small business.

A Grand Rapids-based tech startup is leveraging a potentially game-changing opportunity as it enters a nationally renowned accelerator program.


Three Grand Rapids-area entrepreneurs have launched a new high-tech production space to meet the digital needs of area businesses.

Grand Rapids-based Woosah Outfitters and Outside Coffee Co. plan to open a lakeshore location in Douglas that also will offer various gear rentals.

NORTON SHORES — A West Michigan information technology service provider has been acquired by a leading cybersecurity and tech firm that executives say will bring more resources and capital backing for growth.


A Kalamazoo-based investment fund that also looks to cultivate and support a new generation of entrepreneurs who want to own a business will use a $10 million investment to scale operations.

HOLLAND — The launch of a brick-and-mortar startup incubator in downtown Holland is the latest effort to cultivate a thriving tech community in the lakeshore city.

Most basketball fans in Michigan recognize Ben Wallace as an iconic figure in Detroit Pistons lore. The 6-foot, 9-inch center helped lead the Pistons to an NBA title in 2004, just one highlight in the four-time all-star’s career. Since retiring in 2012, Wallace has adjusted to life after basketball. His business pursuits also have tied him to West Michigan after he recently bought a stake in Kalamazoo-based Green Door Distilling Co. and also partnered with Rair Cannabis of Michigan, which maintains a location in Lowell, to develop a brand of cannabis products called ‘Undrafted.’ MiBiz caught up with the Hall of Fame player to talk business, basketball and his love for Grand Rapids.


GRAND RAPIDS — Elevator Service Inc., a provider of elevator services for a growing coverage area throughout the Midwest, continued to expand its geographical footprint with another acquisition.

Start Garden Inc. is now accepting pitches from entrepreneurs competing in The 100, a business competition with $300,000 in funding for startups. 

PLAINWELL —  Ownership of asphalt maintenance service company Tustin’s Asphalt Sealing Inc. is changing hands.


A Grand Rapids staple for craft beverages and food, Siciliano’s Market Inc. is selling to new owners after nearly 30 years on the city’s west side.

GRAND RAPIDS — Siciliano’s Market Inc., the family-owned specialty store and launching pad for countless West Michigan breweries, is changing ownership after a decades-long run selling craft beverages and foods and the equipment used to make them.

GRAND RAPIDS — Several hundred protesters gathered in downtown Grand Rapids Wednesday calling for justice for the family of Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old Black man who was recently shot and killed by a Grand Rapids Police officer during a traffic stop. 


GRAND RAPIDS — A West Michigan couple who launched their business through online platform Etsy in 2014 is now preparing to open their second brick-and-mortar retail store in downtown Grand Rapids.

Inno-Versity LLC and Th3rd Coast Digital Solutions, two portfolio companies of Ada-based family office Century Technology Group Inc., will merge and rebrand as MindSpring LLC, company officials announced.

GRAND RAPIDS — Elevator services provider Elevator Service LLC continued its growth in the Midwest through a recent acquisition.


Public relations and integrated communications firm Lambert & Co. has entered into a new strategic partnership with the largest minority-owned public relations agency in Michigan.

Grand Rapids marketing agency Deksia LLC has merged with Anvil Media, a digital marketing agency in Portland, Ore.

COOPERSVILLE — A West Michigan-based environmental consulting firm has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it positions to sell the company to a competitor in the industry.


GRAND RAPIDS — Sock retailer boldSOCKS, which sells a wide ranging inventory of decorative socks both online and at a downtown Grand Rapids brick and mortar shop, has been sold and plans to relocate to Fruitport.

GRAND RAPIDS — VNN Inc., a developer of digital tools and media solutions for high school athletic programs, is merging with a tech company that has a long history of servicing the K-12 and college education markets.

A new $409 million state grant program will be available starting March 1 for Michigan businesses that experienced financial hardship as a result of state-ordered shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.