Business news

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Starting Thursday, more online companies will add the Michigan sales tax to purchases made by Michigan customers.

Online retail giant Amazon is among the companies that will add the 6% tax to their bills.

Tom Scott with the Michigan Retailers Association says compelling online companies with a presence in Michigan to charge the sales tax is a matter of fairness.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s Oliver Towers will get a multi-million dollar makeover.

A fire in 2000 made the apartment building, a block from the state capitol, unlivable. 

For more than a decade, political squabbles stalled several efforts to rehab the eight story building leaving it to decay.

Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

A federal judge has given an Upper Peninsula Indian tribe a legal victory in its effort to open a casino in Michigan’s state capitol.

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians announced plans in 2012 to build a quarter-billion dollar casino next to Lansing’s downtown convention center. The tribe is also looking at opening another casino in Huron Township. 

Mark Savage / Entergy

The Palisades nuclear plant shut down this morning. The plant near South Haven was scheduled to shut down Sunday, according to a plant spokeswoman, but it shut down automatically after part of the turbine generator system failed.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission


FRENCHTOWN TOWNSHIP – DTE Energy Co. says the reactor at the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant has been shut down after a problem with a system used to cool auxiliary equipment.

Utility spokesman Guy Cerullo tells the Monroe News that the manual shutdown took place late Sunday after the system "essentially ... stopped working."

The plant is located along Lake Erie in Monroe County's Frenchtown Township. Cerullo says crews will evaluate plant equipment and look to see whether any repairs are necessary. Power customers shouldn't notice any changes with the shutdown.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says Michigan homes are at much lower risk of natural disasters than those in other parts of the country.

Realty Trac reports nearly half the homes in the U.S. are located in areas at high risk of wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. 

“By this definition, when we are looking through the prism of natural disaster risk, housing in Michigan looks pretty good,” says Daren Blomquist with realty Trac.

flickr user Dank Depot /

More than 50% of Michigan voters say in recent polls that they support marijuana legalization.

Two groups hope to put legalization proposals on the November 2016 ballot.

In 2011, the federal government opened the door to online lotteries when it lifted its ban on non-sports gambling. 

That action sent the Michigan Lottery down the cyber-path to online lottery games. With some 160,000 registered online players, it's still a small part of the state's lottery business.

But it's set up a big showdown with the Gun Lake Tribe, a showdown that's already blown a $7 million hole in the budget of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.


Michigan cities and counties could soon face skyrocketing telecommunications costs. That’s according to some industry experts and local government groups.

They say special rates from the state that go back decades are expiring. They also point to a new law allowing companies like AT&T to phase out traditional landline service.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s attorney general is warning gas station owners against price gouging.

Gasoline prices jumped dramatically this week after a problem was reported at an oil refinery in Indiana.   Michigan’s average price per gallon is three dollars, up 50 cents since last week.

A "hacking" sign.
Alexandre Dulaunoy / Flickr -

Update 4:00 p.m.

The offending posts have been removed from the Facebook pages. Kurt Svoboda, an associate director with U-M's athletic department sent us this statement via e-mail:

We are actively working to resolve the issue with experts throughout the University and at Facebook. That remains our top priority. 

Original post 1:12 p.m.

I was wondering why Michigan Football wanted me to know about "22 Child Stars That Grew Up And Got Superhot" last night as I scrolled through my Facebook feed. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An analyst is predicting Michigan motorists might see less than $2 a gallon gasoline prices in a few months.

Patrick DeHaan is with He says a glut of oil is pushing gasoline prices lower.

Courtesy of Sakti3

The Next Idea

Ann Marie Sastry is a former University of Michigan professor, a material science researcher, and the founder of Sakti3 -- one of 30 companies invited to showcase its work at the first-ever White House Demo Day.

She's developing the next generation of low-cost batteries, a solid state solution that has generated results and hype.  A Fortune magazine article titled "Will this battery change everything?" offers a detailed look into what stands to happen if the company can achieve the "holy grail of power storage."

By Umdet (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Many from the region may not know it, but Detroit once was home to a thriving financial district with its very own Detroit Stock Exchange.

Founder of Dan Austin recently wrote about this part of the city's history for the Detroit Free Press.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan businesses are taking part in a new push to resurrect a federal agency that helped American companies do business overseas.

The Export Import Bank of the United States was created under President Franklin Roosevelt. It has been the official export credit agency of the U.S. government. Its purpose is to provide financing and insuring foreign purchases of U.S. goods for customers unable or unwilling to accept the credit risk. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Dow Chemical is making changes to its corporate footprint in Michigan.

Dow Chemical officials say the company plans to build a new building on its corporate headquarters campus in Midland. 

Michigan Oil and Gas Association

Amid all the discussion of the pros and cons of the proposed Iranian nuclear deal announced this week, there’s one Michigan industry that may be affected.

Michigan’s oil industry isn’t very big, but it has been growing.

The growth has been spurred by high world crude oil prices.  Or at least, had been spurred.  After reaching nearly $110 a barrel last summer, world crude prices crashed under $50 in January.  After a brief rise to around $60 in the spring, the price is back down in the lower $50’s. 

Staff Sgt Brandon Aird 173rd ABCT PAO - Flickr
MarsRover/Wikireporter / Creative Commons

Hundreds of employees at Bates Footwear in Big Rapids, Michigan manufacture shoes and boots for the general public and the military.

But the jobs could be at risk because of a federal rule change.

The change means Bates Footwear can no longer bid on military contracts set aside for small businesses - because Bates Footwear is now considered part of the larger corporation that owns it - Wolverine Worldwide.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

After spending years of taking orders in the military, a growing number of Michigan veterans are now giving orders in the civilian world. 

"A couple years ago, I had a few home-brew beers with a buddy of mine," Erik May says. "And I started asking him where the beer geographically came from.  Where the ingredients came from.  Pretty quickly I realized there was a big need for local malt."

From that realization, Air Force veteran Erik May launched his West Michigan malt-making business.

Scott Schopieray / Flickr

This weekend cherry growers in southwest Michigan will begin to harvest their crop.

Despite a hard freeze in late May, Michigan is expected to produce 134 million pounds of tart cherries, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  That’s about a third less than last year, but still, more than any other state.

DarkRoomIllusion / flickr

The Cuban Chamber of Commerce has chosen Troy, Michigan, as its third location and national headquarters.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dana McAllister says the choice was a natural fit because of affinities between Detroit and Havana, a significant presence of Cuban-Americans in Michigan, and support from the Oakland County government and city of Troy.

A Women's Business Social held in 2012 by No More Nylons, an organization that teaches women how to be successful entrepreneurs.
Jodie Womack /

Women are getting tired of waiting for corporate America to give them the pay and opportunities they need.

So they’re taking matters into their own hands.

Michigan Agri-Business Association

This has not been a good June for Michigan’s dry bean crop.

Dry beans are primarily grown in the Thumb region.  Dry beans account for about $250 million in Michigan’s agricultural economy.

But heavy rains this month have slowed planting by about 25%. Many of the crops that are the ground have also been damaged by the higher-than-normal rainfall.

Nicholas Eckhart / Creative Commons

A deli worker at a Kroger supermarket is filing an employment discrimination complaint against the company and her union. She says it’s because a jointly run health benefits fund refused to accept
her wife after the two were legally married last year.

Stephanie Citron married her same-sex partner during the brief window last year when it was legal in Michigan. Once she went full-time with Kroger, she learned that her health benefits fund only covers the
spouses of opposite-sex married couples.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan counties rank near the top and the bottom of a new national report on home buying.

Realty Trac looked at affordability and accessibility for home buyers putting up a low down payment.

The report finds 90% of 370 counties nationwide were more affordable than they have been historically. 

user paul (dex) / Flickr

General Motors is adding 300 new jobs and investing $245 million in one of its metro Detroit plants in Orion Township.

And residents there are breathing a sigh of relief, because just a few years ago, it looked like that plant was going to close.

Courtesy photo / Ranir

A company near Grand Rapids will make toothbrush heads here instead of China.

The move is indicative of a trend; some manufacturing jobs are coming back to Michigan, especially when machines do most of the labor.

Ed Morykwas / River of Time Photography

After the University of Michigan Penny Stamps School of Art and Design won a Detroit Knight Arts Foundation grant for a maker-space in Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, they got a call from Patronicity.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 The Pontiac Silverdome is once again up for sale. 

Canadian developer Andreas Apostolopoulos’ Triple Properties bought the aging football stadium in 2009 at auction for $583,000.

The asking price today for the 127-acre property: $30 million.

Mark H. Anbinder

The Campbell Soup Co. Tuesday announced plans to purchase a Michigan food maker for $231 million. 

Garden Fresh Gourmet in Ferndale will become part of Campbell's Fresh division.