The Right Place, Lakeshore Advantage, Southwest First and others


West Michigan saw 54.5% drop in sporting events in 2020

West Michigan saw a 76.1% drop in visitor spending and a 54.5% decrease in sports events in 2020 compared to 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the West Michigan Sports Commission’s sports tourism economic impact report.

Former GOP House speaker quits new job after criticism

KALAMAZOO ‚ÄĒ A former high-ranking Republican lawmaker quit Monday as leader of an economic development group in southwestern Michigan, days after his hiring was panned by leaders in the region.

Employers report positive outlook despite challenges

Total company sales, new product development, and plans to expand in the next three years remain strong for West Michigan Lakeshore employers despite COVID-19 challenges, according to a Lakeshore Advantage report.

Muskegon Heights and partners seek community input for downtown vision plan

The city of Muskegon Heights and its planning partners are asking for community input about the future of its downtown development.

The Right Place and Lakeshore Advantage award $6.8M in survival grants

Two of the region’s economic development agencies awarded more than $6.8 million to a combined 613 small businesses in West Michigan through the Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program.

Consumers foundation to award $50K to small towns in need

The Consumers Energy Foundation is bringing back a competition that will award $50,000 for big ideas proposed by Michigan’s small towns.

JPG Resources launches new division

A food and beverage commercialization group in the region launched a new division focused on helping early-stage food startups.

Lakeshore Advantage rolls out ‚ÄėCertify Your Business‚Äô series

Lakeshore Advantage is offering a new video series designed to help women-, minority-, veteran- and LGBT-owned businesses become certified.

Harbor Steel investing $2.4M in Holland facility expansion

A metal services company is investing over $2.4 million to expand its facility in Holland Charter Township.

GVSU students help struggling CVBs with travel research

The Michigan tourism and hospitality industry has been reeling from the effects of the pandemic.

Transformation fund approaches $10M

One year after it was announced, the New Community Transformation Fund has secured $8.5 million from stakeholders looking to invest in Grand Rapids-area companies owned by people of color and is on its way to hitting the $10 million mark.

Employers granted $11.4M in Going PRO funds

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) last month unveiled its Going PRO Talent Fund awards for fiscal year 2021, and employers in West Michigan will receive nearly a third of the total sum.

Comerica’s Michigan Index inched higher in October

Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index increased for the fourth consecutive month in October, reflecting improving economic conditions prior to the current surge in coronavirus cases.

Michigan Small Business Development Center expands free services

A statewide small business support organization expanded its no-cost services to aid businesses that are continuing to be economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan launches tuition-free program for adults 25 and up

LANSING ‚ÄĒ Michigan on Tuesday began accepting applications for tuition-free assistance from adults 25 and older to earn an associate degree or postsecondary certificate at a community college or private training school.

MEDC approves developments in Grand Haven, Ludington

The Michigan Strategic Fund approved three projects that ‚Äúwill create vibrant spaces and boost tourism,‚ÄĚ including in Grand Haven and Ludington.

Manufacturing activity continues expansion trend

Manufacturing growth accelerated in December, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), but an economist who monitors West Michigan said the region is not recovering quite as quickly as the rest of the nation.

H-1B visa changes may miss mark

When employers resume requesting H-1B visas for temporary foreign workers in specialty occupations this spring, they might have to rethink their wages.

GR chamber survey reveals top priorities for 2021

(As seen on WZZM TV 13) A Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce survey shows COVID-19 business relief and recovery, a talented workforce and health care affordability are the top three issues concerning West Michigan businesses in 2021.

Whitmer proposes $5.6B plan to combat, recover from virus

LANSING ‚ÄĒ Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday unveiled a $5.6 billion plan to combat and recover from the coronavirus pandemic, proposing the use of billions in federal relief and $575 million in surplus state funds.

MEDC approves two COVID-19 relief grant programs totaling $58.5M

The Michigan Strategic Fund of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation approved two grant programs to meet the urgent needs of small businesses and live event venues in Michigan that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan Women Forward hosting virtual pitch competition

Michigan Women Forward will host a virtual WomanUp & Pitch Competition for female entrepreneurs living in West Michigan later this month.

Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area provides more relief grants

The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area made another round of grants from its COVID-19 Community Stabilization Fund.

Meijer Gardens unveils new Welcome Center with soft opening

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park had a soft opening of its new 69,000-square-foot Welcome Center at 9 a.m. Monday.

The Right Place makes board changes

The Right Place made changes to its board of directors for 2021.