Business

Business Buzz

Jan 16, 2018
Gemini Publications

Business Buzz with Gemini Publications' Carole Valade.

city of Grand Rapids logo
Courtesy photo / grcity.us

The City of Grand Rapids recently released its 2017 economic development report. WGVU breaks down the numbers.

The City of Grand Rapids Economic Development Department reported 2017 activity for businesses utilizing City incentive programs and their benefits.

The economic development department number crunches say the programs generated $173 million in new private investment. The commitments created 835 jobs that, on average, paid a little more than $24 an hour.

By comparison 2015 and 2016 reported $200 million in new investment creating roughly 400 new jobs.

John Austin,

The world is experiencing a new industrial transformation. A new report by the Michigan Economic Center says the state is positioned to grow hundreds of businesses and tens of thousands of new jobs. WGVU talks with the report’s lead author about how Michigan can be a leader in emerging sectors.

“We benefited and helped lead one economic transformation, the great industrial economy.”

John Austin is Director of the Michigan Economic Center and lead author of a new report, “Jobs, Michigan, and Leadership in the Economy of Tomorrow”

Third Coast Development

A four-story, mixed-use affordable housing project is in the works for downtown Grand Rapids. Dirt is being moved near Grand Rapids Medical Mile. Along Michigan Street a number of homes have been demolished making room for Midtown CityZen; a four-story, 44-residential unit project offering affordable housing.

The 40,000 square foot development will also include space for a restaurant on its ground floor.

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The majority of Michigan voters say fixing the state’s infrastructure is the number one problem lawmakers need to address. That is the finding in a recent poll conducted in December.

Fix MI State is a campaign organized by the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association. It asked Lansing-based Epic-MRA to survey 600 registered Michigan voters asking what they think is the top problem facing the state?

gvsu.edu

West Michigan’s economy wrapped up 2017 with what is described as “solid growth” in December. WGVU takes a look at the number from last month’s Supply Management Research survey. The trajectory gives its author a good idea of what the local economy may bring in 2018.

“The general feeling is we could hit 3.5 percent growth rate as far as the year 2018 is concerned.”

Brian G. Long is director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.

“This will be our best year if this in turn comes to pass.”

A judge says a bottled-water company should be allowed to build a pumping station as part of its plans to get more groundwater in western Michigan for the Ice Mountain brand. Nestle Waters North America sued after Osceola County's Osceola Township rejected a zoning permit.

Nestle wants to withdraw up to 400 gallons (1,514 liters) a minute, with help from a pipeline booster station at SpringHill Camps, a summer camp.

Mason County Judge Susan Sniegowski ruled this week, ordering Osceola Township to issue a permit for construction of the station.

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After a four year hiatus, Frontier Airlines has officially returned to the West Michigan market. A Frontier Airlines flight originating in Orlando, Florida landed at Gerald R. Ford International Airport Wednesday. It is one of four weekly nonstop flights to Orlando International Airport.

Next week Frontier will add three weekly nonstop flights to Fort Meyers, Florida. In early April the airline will extend four weekly nonstop departures to Denver.

gvsu.edu

As 2017 comes to a close, November’s Supply Management Research survey suggests West Michigan’s economy will be strong in 2018.

“It’s quite possible that 2018 will be one of our best years in the previous 10 years.”

Brian G. Long is director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University. He says West Michigan’s economic trajectory heading into December and beyond is full steam ahead.

The Right Place

More than $4 million dollars will be invested in an iconic building along Wyoming’s 28th Street. What was once home to Rogers Department Store and Klingman’s Furniture will soon have a new business moving in.

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