Commentary on the news that's shaping West Michigan.


No more stalling: Bring out the food trucks; city approval of ordinance is long past due

July 22, 2016
Grand Rapids city commissioners will at long last take one more formal step toward embracing food trucks as an important part of the downtown and neighborhood business landscape with a public hearing July 26. Read More

City success will hinge on strategies addressing homelessness, gentrification

July 15, 2016
The Grand Rapids Business Journal begins a series of in-depth reports on the South Division Avenue corridor and its comparatively quick development in the time since Van Andel Arena spurred one of the largest economic impacts in city history. Read More

With Michigan's students falling behind, it's the business of business to respond

July 8, 2016
“It’s time for Michigan business leaders to help provide leadership in advancing a thoughtful, research-based strategy to ensure our system is teaching all children at the high levels of achievement that they so deserve. It is crucial to their futures — and to Michigan’s economic competitiveness and future.” Read More

Outsiders bring perspective to area business challenges

July 1, 2016
One aspect of doing business in Grand Rapids and West Michigan that has been repeatedly cited as “a problem” is access to capital and investor money. Read More

Discussion of diversity in business is only the first step

June 24, 2016
If “a little black child from Muskegon Heights or Grand Rapids can look at me and see an opportunity to do something they didn’t know was possible, that is something for which I am eternally grateful,” said 22-year-old George Walker in an interview with the Business Journal published this week. Read More

Eschewing discrimination is good business

June 17, 2016
Funerals for the victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre are only beginning, and while the national mourning might be expected to fade as it did for victims in Aurora, Sandy Hook and San Bernardino, the several issues brought to bear in this chapter of American violence and discrimination are more likely to offer a historic turning point. Read More

Regional business reports serve as a call to action

June 10, 2016
Brian Long, director of supply management research at Grand Valley State University Seidman College of Business, has used the same adjective each month this year to describe the regional economy: flat. Read More

Senate energy proposal is out of touch and sets state back

June 3, 2016
Michigan Senate Energy and Technology Committee members have spent this entire year reviewing Michigan’s comprehensive energy policy to update the state’s 2008 energy law now expiring. Read More

Legislators really need that summer break

May 27, 2016
Michigan legislators are two weeks away from summer recess, a time given to patriotic parades and town hall meetings, with the Mackinac Policy Conference this weekend serving as the unofficial start to the politicking season of national party conventions and fall elections — already unlike any in recent history. Read More

A business community of inclusion requires ‘doers’

May 20, 2016
Grand Rapids Business Journal’s reporting on the shortage of workers has been persistent, especially this year, and crosses many industry sectors including IT, computer programming and data management, varied construction skill areas and retailers, particularly in the food industry. Read More