Business

Business news

There is a growing trend of hackers using stolen data to blackmail companies and individuals.
hackNY.org / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

We hear so much about data breaches and hacked passwords, but what is it really all about? What does an attacker do with your passwords, credit card information and other hacked data?

Kellogg

Kellogg's of Battle Creek is taking cereal in a different direction.  A really different direction.

The company has opened a cereal cafe in Times Square, where for $6.50 (small) or $7.50 (large) you can order cereal from a menu that includes "Lemon Pistachio." 

That's a combination of Special K and Frosted Flakes, with pistachios and lemon zest and fresh thyme leaves on top.  With locally sourced fresh milk on the side, of course.

Detroit officials announce Paradise Valley redevelopment plans.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

More upscale development is coming to downtown Detroit.

These new plans are part of what’s being dubbed the Paradise Valley Cultural and Entertainment District.

It aims to revive the area’s past as a vibrant center of African American culture. The original Paradise Valley left a huge imprint as a hub of blues, jazz and vibrant entertainment culture on early 20th-century Detroit.

Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority bought five buildings in the current Harmonie Park area in 2006.

Dow sign on wall
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Dow Chemical is cutting 2,500 jobs worldwide, including hundreds in Michigan and the Great Lakes Bay Region.

The layoffs come as the Midland-based company absorbs operations of Dow Corning and prepares for a merger with rival DuPont.

“We are moving quickly and effectively to integrate Dow Corning and deliver the synergies that will drive new levels of value creation for our customers and generate even greater returns for our shareholders,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Is there a future for wine made in Detroit?

Jun 23, 2016
Courtesy of Great Lakes Vineyards

The Next Idea

Michigan’s northern and western regions are known for leading the state’s wine industry, but people over in the southeast could soon join in on the recognition. Blake Kownacki is a winemaker and vineyard manager at Great Lakes Vineyard, where he helps homeowners in the Detroit area make their own wine.

official portrait

A senior U.S. Senator is asking federal anti-trust officials to investigate the planned merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont.

Stockholders for Midland, Michigan-based Dow Chemical and Delaware-based DuPont vote on the merger next month.

The merger would create a company worth $130 billion, though eventually, the plan is to divide it into three different companies, one of which would be based in Michigan.

Lester Graham

Ever since Ed Welburn designed cars as a toddler, it seemed like destiny would lead him to working at General Motors. The first time he entered the company’s campus as an employee was an emotional experience he would never forget.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new grant program is giving a hand to 30 Flint businesses struggling to recover from the economic effects of the city’s drinking water crisis.

The businesses range from a Coney Island to a beauty shop.      

Anthony Artis is an art dealer. He says the grant will ‘breathe new life” into his business, which sells art as far away as Boston.

Courtesy of Cascade Engineering

For people who get out of prison, the chances of getting a job are often slim to none.

There are programs to help ex-offenders find work and transition back into society, but funding a company willing to hire former inmates proves a challenge.

Recently, though, some companies have been not just hiring, but recruiting ex-offenders.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

More than 50 top business executives are in Flint today, talking about finding solutions to the city’s problems.

The Moving Flint Forward Leadership Summit at the Flint Institute of Arts is invitation-only.

Tim Herman is the CEO of the Flint/Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.  He says it’s important for business leaders from across the state to feel they can freely share their ideas.

We think it’s important to have this closed meeting…and be able to be open and honest…and let the participants be open and honest,” says Herman.

FLICKR USER MICHIGAN MUNICIPAL LEAGUE https://flic.kr/p/p5s8vE

 

University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University are putting traditional rivalries aside to pour some brain power and expertise into Detroit.

Combined, these schools create the University Research Corridor (URC). They use their expertise to lead research and innovation within Southeast Michigan.

Courtesy of Micheline Maynard/Forbes Media

Two-thirds of all restaurants will fail within three years of first opening their doors, a statistic that could be attributed to an owner’s desire for expansion only after a few months of profits.

“Hometown Holdouts” is a new e-book that breaks down the success of businesses that chose to stay local, despite nationwide recognition. Author Micheline Maynard says "hometown holdouts" benefit their communities, and resist the pressure to expand.

WARRENSKI / CREATIVE COMMONS

OTTAWA, Ohio (AP) - Whirlpool Corp. says it's installing wind turbines to help power two more of its factories in Ohio.

  The appliance maker based in Benton Harbor, Michigan, says it will spend $13.5 million to bring wind energy to its plants in Ottawa and Marion.

  Whirlpool says the 1.5-megawatt turbines are the same design as those built at its Findlay factory.

  The company says anticipates the wind turbine should help offset electricity consumption by 34 percent at its Ottawa plant that makes freezers.

FLICKR USER ALAN CLEAVER/FLICKR

ESCANABA, Mich. (AP) - An Upper Peninsula city has won a key ruling in a legal dispute over how to value big-box stores for tax purposes.

Value has been a hot issue in Michigan, especially in the U.P. where communities have been forced to give refunds based on decisions by the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

But Escanaba successfully argued that the Tribunal used the wrong standard to determine the value of a Menards store. In a 3-0 decision released Friday, the Michigan appeals court sent the case back to the Tribunal for more work.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder has declared a "state of energy emergency" in Michigan.    

The governor issued the executive order in response to issues at a Detroit oil refinery and a Wisconsin pipeline.

The Marathon refinery in Detroit is currently experiencing an “outage” related to maintenance work.    

Michigan Oil and Gas Association

Leaders of Michigan’s oil and gas industry are optimistic their business is poised to rebound from a prolonged price slump.

Oil and natural gas prices are half of what they were in recent years. But just over the past few months, oil prices have jumped nearly 50 percent.

Allan Cleaver / Flickr

A new report says the tax burden on Michigan businesses has declined slightly.

The Anderson Economic Group report ranks Michigan’s business tax burden 20th in the nation, improving from 21st last year.

Jason Horwitz is a senior AEG consultant. He expects the trend line will continue to go down in the coming years.

“When you look where taxes are so high for businesses in Michigan, the reason to be optimistic is that even though it’s been going down for five years, we would expect it to continue going down over the next few years,” says Horwitz.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint restaurants and bars are hoping to lure back customers turned off by the city’s drinking water crisis.

Many of Flint’s restaurants and bars have seen their business dip since lead was discovered in the city’s drinking water last year.  

To fight back, owners installed water filters and added promotions. 

This week is Flint Restaurant Week, a promotion involving more than 2 dozen establishments.

Sitting in Flint’s Soggy Bottom Bar, organizer Ken Laatz is focused on the future.

wikimedia/creative commons

In 2007, Gordon Food Service of Wyoming, Michigan settled charges of sex discrimination in hiring for entry-level labor jobs at its Grand Rapids and Brighton warehouses.

This year, the company has agreed to pay $1.85 million in back wages and benefits to women denied jobs at those and other warehouses because they couldn't pass a strength test, which the government says was more stringent than the actual  job requirements. In addition, the department says at least one male employee who'd been working at Gordon Foods for over two years failed the test.

The former Hudson's site, prime real estate along Woodward in the heart of downtown Detroit, has been a city-owned underground parking garage since the Hudson's building was demolished in 1998.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

An iconic spot in downtown Detroit is one step closer redevelopment.

The former Hudson’s department store has been a city-owned underground parking garage since the Hudson’s building was demolished in 1998.

But officials with Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority gave the tentative go-ahead for a new high-rise development there Wednesday.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the deal still needs a few final approvals. The City Council still needs to OK elements of the deal, including the transfer of the parking garage to the developer for $15 million.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

After working more than a month without contracts, unionized Detroit News and Free Press employees have ratified a new, three-year deal.

Detroit’s two major newspapers have different owners. But their business operations are run jointly through a joint operating agreement, with Free Press owner Gannett media company holding almost all the purse strings.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University researchers are predicting a good year ahead for the state’s tourism industry.

MSU’s Sarah Nicholls predicts a 3% increase in tourist traffic, and a 5% increase in spending.

Nicholls says Michigan tourism has rebounded well from the Great Recession, with year-over-year tourism spending up between 2-3% each year over a 4-5 year period.  

“Back in 2009, hotel occupancy across the state was around 48%. We’re now back up to 60%,” says Nicholls.

Jeff DeGraff of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business
Twitter @JeffDeGraff

The Next Idea

“I would love to see a renaissance in innovation here in the state of Michigan”
 

Those are the words of Jeff DeGraff, a professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. DeGraff knows very well that one of the biggest challenges in business is taking a great idea and bringing it to the marketplace and making it grow.

flickr user Government of Alberta / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM


Nearly one in four American workers are asked to sign a non-compete agreement when they take a new job.

This used to be reserved for CEOs and TV anchors, but not anymore.

An article in Fortune reported the sandwich chain Jimmy John's has a non-compete clause which would prevent former employees from working at any nearby restaurant that gets at least 10 percent of its revenue from sandwiches for two years.

The Empire Mine
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.

The Marquette area recently received some painful news when Lourenco Goncalves, the CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources announced that the Empire Mine would be closing by the end of the year. More than 400 workers from the region are affected by the announcement that iron ore production, that has been a big part of the area’s economy for a long time, will end.

Bay City Democrat Closes after 126 Years

Mar 11, 2016
Stack of newspapers.
user Jon S / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Bay City Democrat published its last edition after a 126-year run on Thursday, March 10, 2016. Editor and publisher Wendy Knochel says it was too hard to continue the publication following the death of her mother and co-owner Carol DeVeau in January. Knochel's family had owned the paper since 1980.

Trends of increasing online news and declining print news publication presented challenges for the newspaper. Knochel says that in recent years the paper no longer printed its own editions. It outsourced the printing instead.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan’s booming brewery industry just added a fresh, new ingredient to the growing business of beer making: a cooperative model.

Jim Jones is a board member and director of High Five Cooperative Brewery in Grand Rapids. He joined Stateside to talk about this new approach to making beer as a co-op.

Chef James Rigato
Joe Vaughn

Anyone in the restaurant business or any regular viewer of Top Chef can tell you that it doesn’t get much bigger than winning a James Beard Foundation Award. College football has the Heisman Trophy, Hollywood has the Oscars, but for chefs, just getting a nomination for a James Beard Award can make a career.

House Foreclosure
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit’s struggles with recession and bankruptcy have left the local housing market in shambles. For those in and around the Motor City who are renting and want to take the next step and buy a home, there are a number of obstacles in their way. Even if an individual has good credit and a reliable job, many banks are reluctant to lend money in what is viewed as an unstable market.

The Detroit Home Mortgage Initiative aims to change that.

sign in Flint, Michigan
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The federal Small Business Administration is expanding its effort to help Flint recover from its drinking water crisis.

Maria Contreras-Sweet is the SBA administrator. She met with business leaders in Flint on Friday.  She told them the SBA plans to expand operations in Flint. 

“$100,000 is going to help them staff up and then the other funds will help them expand their revolving fund,” says Contreras-Sweet.

Earlier this month, the agency approved Gov. Rick Snyder's request for low-interest disaster loans for businesses in the area.

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