Grand Rapids Business Journal

GRBJ 3-27-17

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March 27, 2017

Volume: 35
Edition: 13
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.

March 27, 2017

Car dealers adapt to changing times

With consumers going online, dealerships are turning to better service, developing relationships.

March 24, 2017
As many big-box retailers struggle across the nation, automotive dealers also face a time of uncertainty. Read More

Inside Track: A life of purpose

Rich Sorota’s gambit of experience with high-profile companies lays foundation for current job as CEO of Ranir.

March 24, 2017
Having a purpose is important to Rich Sorota, which is why his current role as president and CEO of Ranir is the best of his career. Read More

Rocky road ahead for Meals on Wheels?

Proposed White House budget cuts could reduce funding by as much as $160,000, according to program’s director of operations.

March 24, 2017
Meals on Wheels Western Michigan is considering the possibility it will have to eliminate up to 37,000 meals for seniors if cuts in the White House budget released two weeks ago are realized. Read More

He’s the man behind ‘The Wall’

Co-founder of OtterBase Inc. and executive consultant for NBC’s ‘The Wall’ said leadership at staffing agency led to big break in LA.

March 24, 2017
As a self-described idea man, Jeff Bennett didn’t want to stop after creating one business. Read More

Blu House Properties continues expansion

Starting as a real estate brokerage firm, company now includes property management, construction and is pursuing development.

March 24, 2017
Occasionally, a neighbor’s roof needs to be repaired, so you start a construction firm. Read More

Construction firm is on the rise

Jeff DeVries overcomes lull in business 10 years ago, happy to be living ‘the American Dream.’

March 24, 2017
Jeff DeVries thinks his company, J.B. Builders of Grand Rapids, is gaining momentum. Read More

GR housing inventory plummets

Homes selling within hours, not days, of listing leave first-time homebuyers frustrated.

March 24, 2017
(As seen on WZZM TV 13) The residential real estate market continues to remain tight in Grand Rapids, with an inventory that has decreased 61.9 percent during the past five years. Read More

Interactive Map: Construction projects flow into Grand Rapids

Planning Department and Development Center introduces booklet of all projects in city.

March 24, 2017
Since 2000, there has been approximately $3 billion worth of construction in Grand Rapids, including more than $1.7 billion since 2012. Read More

Bank exec says variety fuels GR economy

Region has 20 companies with almost 2,000 employees each, which limits recession fears.

March 24, 2017
The variety of industries that call West Michigan home have provided the region with protection from recessions in the past and will continue to do so at least through the next cycle, according to a national economic analyst. Read More

Zhang Financial shares view from top of the industry

Managing Partner, CEO Charles Zhang says his wealth management firm emphasizes controlled growth, trust, consistency.

March 24, 2017
Zhang Financial, founded in 1991 in Portage, has been ranked as one of the top wealth management firms in the nation by various financial publications for years. Read More

DOL initiates hold on fiduciary responsibility

Ruling will not be enforced April 10, but smaller firms work to get in line with standards.

March 24, 2017
As the deadline for financial advisors to begin operating under the fiduciary responsibility rapidly approaches, the Department of Labor indicated it will not enforce the law until a full review of the regulation is complete. Read More

Consultants urge city to improve equity for better competition

There is ‘limited alignment’ between thinking about equity and implementing it in practices, policies and incentives.

March 24, 2017
Following a weeklong visit from representatives from the Rose Center for Public Leadership, city officials were debriefed on how Grand Rapids can improve its equity. Read More

Kent County census increase signals a strong economy

March 24, 2017
After a period of comparative decline, business exports once again are climbing, and West Michigan industries are contributing to Michigan’s increasing numbers. Read More

Low wages causing the skilled trades shortages?

March 24, 2017
The Grand Rapids Business Journal recently published an op-ed and comment that lays out the two most likely reasons for more demand by employers for skilled trades workers in manufacturing and construction than there are qualified applicants for those jobs. Read More

How to qualify as a woman-owned small business

March 24, 2017
The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program, established in February 2011 through the U.S. Small Business Administration, was designed to provide women-owned small businesses and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses with assistance in competing for business with the federal government. Read More

Driving for sales success? Jim Rohn supplies the fuel

March 24, 2017
The root of your sales success lies in your sales philosophy. How did you develop yours? Read More

Change Ups: Holland Hospital recognized as among America’s 50 Best

March 24, 2017
For the third consecutive year, Holland Hospital was recognized as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals by Healthgrades. Read More

Construction prices continue upward trajectory

March 24, 2017
Construction input prices expanded 0.3 percent on a monthly basis and 4.8 percent on a year-over-year basis in February, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Read More

Public Record

March 24, 2017
March 25 - Mortgages Read More

Street Talk: The global economy

International flavor.

March 24, 2017
With the election of President Donald Trump, the West Michigan business community has one question on the country’s place in the global economy. Read More