A state board has unanimously approved a $5 million grant to be dispensed over the next five years to encourage Chinese companies to invest in Michigan.

The Michigan Strategic Fund board - part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. - authorized the money on Tuesday to act as a "business gateway" between Michigan and China and help generate jobs while boosting foreign investment in the state.

The project aims to create Michigan jobs but board members weren't publicly informed of how many on Tuesday.

Michigan State starts program to spur business development

Feb 11, 2016

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State University has started a program that's designed to spur business development and attract more investors.

Four years ago, Business Leaders for Michigan unveiled its Michigan Turnaround Plan. The idea was to formulate a strategy jump starting the Michigan economy following the Great Recession. Four years later, BLM claims there’s been improvement and now it’s time to move the state to higher economic strata. It wants to position the state to a “Top Ten” economic power by the year 2020. How does it plan to get there?

“If you look back we were probably 50 out of 50 states on most measures. Today, we’re about average. Maybe a little below average than most.”

Mark Sanchez
Courtesy photo /

Why banks are asking the Michigan legislature not to regulate credit card security? Also, new leadership and change at United Way of West Michigan and talk of a downtown Grand Rapids grocery store.

The first of West Michigan’s economic data for the New Year has been analyzed and January’s Supply Management Research survey describes the growth as “slowing to a crawl.” WGVU takes a look at the numbers.

“The numbers that we have coming in are just very barely positive and some of them are just slightly negative but on the average we have to say that the economy in West Michigan is flat.”

That’s Brian G. Long, director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.

Mark Sanchez
Courtesy photo /

  Major Midwest bank mergers include Chemical Financial and Huntington Bank and Michigan's maturing venture capital market.   

This week NPR’s Morning Edition is taking the pulse of the American electorate heading into the Iowa Caucuses. It’s examining Five Big Themes this week. WGVU is exploring the same themes closer to home.

Monday, we spoke with voters about their mood. Tuesday, we met with families experiencing the middle-class squeeze. Today, it’s the economy. WGVU spoke with a West Michigan investor and an economist about what the financial state of the nation is telling them.

The Right Place

Jan 19, 2016
The Right Place
The Right Place /

Birgit Klohs from The Right Place West Michigan stops by monthly to share their the latest news.

Business Buzz

Jan 19, 2016
Gemini Publications

Business Buzz, a monthly conversation with Carole Valade from Gemini Publications.  Carol joins us to talk about beer, market rate studies, Holland energy savings and more.

Michigan's minimum wage rising 35 cents to $8.50 an hour

Dec 31, 2015

Michigan workers making the minimum wage will see a 35-cents-an-hour raise starting Friday.

The state hourly minimum is rising from $8.15 to $8.50.

That is $14 more a week, or $728 a year, for those working full time.

The increase is the second in 16 months under a 2014 law that gradually boosted the minimum by 25 percent.

The wage will increase to $8.90 in 2017 and $9.25 in 2018. Starting in 2019, it will rise with inflation every year unless the unemployment rate is high.