Grand Rapids Business Journal

GRBJ 9-15-14

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September 15, 2014

Volume: 31
Edition: 37
Since 1983, Grand Rapids Business Journal has been West Michigan's primary and most trusted source of local business news. The weekly print edition of the Business Journal, a must-read for the area’s top decision-makers, is known as the business newspaper of metro Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon and all of West Michigan.

September 15, 2014

Delivering spaces that live larger

Rockford launches Urbaneer concept in west side development.

September 12, 2014
Imagine if an urban living space could work like a type of real-life Lego home made up of not just re-arrangeable furniture but re-arrangeable walls, rooms and kitchen islands. Read More

Fred’s last gift to Lena

At a cost of $22 million, Japanese garden combines spectacular use of horticulture and sculpture.

September 12, 2014
Tranquility and space is at the heart of the new Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Read More

Grand Haven’s Piper Lakes Apartments awaits approval

The 204-unit complex is planned for the corner of 168th Avenue and Comstock Street.

September 12, 2014
A new state-of-the-art apartment complex looks to raise the bar for housing in the greater Grand Haven area, pending approval at a second hearing with township officials later this month. Read More

Metro Health shares step-by-step approach to sustainability

September 12, 2014
Metro Health landed on the 101 Best & Brightest Sustainable Companies in Michigan list for the third year in a row this year, which is no surprise given it’s currently celebrating the 10th year of its sustainability journey. Read More

Soda company hops up production

Investors have boosted Proper Soda’s distribution to other states and countries.

September 12, 2014
A Grand Rapids soda company continues to grow, despite a failed Kickstarter campaign. Read More

Inside Track: Ball bounces right way for D-League president Jbara

A young man’s unlikely path leads to becoming the face of the Grand Rapids Drive.

September 12, 2014
In early 2012, Steve Jbara was sitting in his seat at The Palace of Auburn Hills as a season ticketholder for the Detroit Pistons when an usher approached him. Read More

City tops national list for pediatric care access

September 12, 2014
(As seen on WZZM TV 13) A company that is reinventing the way consumers choose health care providers has recognized Grand Rapids as the best city in the country for pediatric patients to receive excellent medical care in an efficient and accessible manner. Read More

WM Sustainable Business Forum celebrates 20 years

Initially, businesses and environmentalists often felt pitted against one another.

September 12, 2014
The West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum has come a long way since its founding in 1994, when the idea of businesses and environmental organizations collaborating was mostly unheard of. Read More

Spectrum leader touts Grand Rapids at World Leisure Congress

Heacock tells hundreds at Alabama gathering why GR is a ‘livable city.’

September 12, 2014
The city of Grand Rapids made a global debut at an international conference last week where academic professionals, policymakers and business leaders in the industries of leisure, tourism and recreation gathered for the first time in the United States. Read More

City’s solar-generating proposal moving forward

The Office of Energy and Sustainability is planning to issue an RFQ/RFP.

September 12, 2014
A combined RFQ-RFP will hopefully be issued by the city of Grand Rapids by late October to start the process of finding qualified solar energy developers willing to submit bids for a proposed generating facility on the city-owned former Butterworth landfill site. Read More

Aquinas students teach Clark residents how to use social media

Service project unites students with local retirement community.

September 12, 2014
Tech-savvy Aquinas College students are volunteering to help seniors learn how to communicate in real-time with family members and friends. Read More

New food defense coordinators certified at Columbian Logistics

They are trained to handle crisis situations at food production facilities.

September 12, 2014
Columbian Logistics Network Supervisor Brian Price and Operations Manager Richard Schultz are now Certified Food Defense Coordinators through the American Institute of Baking, according to Columbian. Read More

National Labor Relations Board decision targets Facebook ‘likes’

What it boils down to is whether social media conversations are protected activities.

September 12, 2014
The National Labor Relations Board recently upheld its view of social media conversations, including clicking the “like” button, as the equivalent of water cooler talk. Read More

WMSBF’s partnerships benefit entire region

September 12, 2014
Grand Rapids businesses can celebrate another milestone with the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, now marking the 20th year of a partnership between area businesses and the environmental sustainability agency. Read More

Letter: GVSU charter schools deliver results

September 12, 2014
This fall nearly 32,000 students across Michigan are beginning their school year in a Grand Valley State University chartered school, and another 7,700 students are on waiting lists trying to enroll in a Grand Valley chartered school. Read More

The cornerstone for successful construction projects

September 12, 2014
Cranes flocking back to the skyline are bringing life back to West Michigan. Read More

Exit strategies for a family business owner

September 12, 2014
The manager of a family business who is considering retirement often has four goals: paying as little in taxes as possible, keeping the business in the family, treating heirs fairly, and ensuring competent successor management. Read More

Are you a social sales pacesetter — or losing business to one?

September 12, 2014
Here are a few questions to get your social sales juices flowing: Read More

Shaking off recession’s effects, SBA borrowing is booming

The number and volume of loans in Michigan are up at least 12 percent over last year.

September 12, 2014
More small businesses in Michigan this year are getting loans backed by the federal Small Business Administration, which one local expert attributes to a strengthening economy and greater confidence on the part of commercial lenders. Read More

Employers look to second round of STTF grant process for employee training

West Michigan companies used $2.9M from fund last year.

September 12, 2014
Employers across the state are preparing to compete for the second round of state funding to develop responsive training programs for employees, which ultimately will promote Michigan’s business and economic competitiveness. Read More

Goldilocks and data management: finding a ‘just right’ solution

Companies can save thousands of dollars simply by managing their information.

September 12, 2014
We all know the story about finicky Goldilocks and her attempts to find the right temperature porridge, the right size chair and the right softness bed. Read More

A big year for credit union commercial lending

Lake Michigan may be up 40 percent and a small Kalamazoo CU is ramping up.

September 12, 2014
Commercial lending is taking off in a big way at credit unions in West Michigan, with one of the biggest groups in the state predicting its commercial loan volume will increase by as much as 40 percent this year. Read More

Event provides matchmaking for Michigan business

Summit will hook up suppliers of all kinds with potential large customers.

September 12, 2014
Business Leaders for Michigan and Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Pure Michigan Business Connect are planning an invitation-only supplier summit Oct. 8 at the Lansing Center. Read More

Change Ups: Agency’s top administrator announces retirement

September 12, 2014
D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s President and CEO Sharon Loughridge plans to retire in February 2015. Read More

Economy keeps trending in a positive direction

September 12, 2014
The August rate of economic growth remained positive but came in a little slower. Read More

Public Record

September 12, 2014
September 13 - Mortgages Read More

Street Talk: Where’s the bubble and when will it burst?

Not so funny.

September 12, 2014
Who can forget the U.S. real estate bubble that burst a few years ago and nearly blew up the world economy? Before that, there was a crazy run-up in value of almost anything to do with the Internet, culminating in the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2002. Read More