Business news

Courtesy of Melissa Butler

Growing your own business means persisting past uncertainty and rejection: having a clear idea of what your product is about, and where you want to take your business.

Detroiter Melissa Butler is proof of that idea. She’s the founder and CEO of The Lip Bar. It is a non-toxic, cruelty-free and vegan line of lipsticks and lip-glosses.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The longtime chief executive of Dow Chemical, who led the company through the financial crisis, a merger with rival DuPont and then the planned disassembly of the entire enterprise, is stepping down.

Delta airplane
Delta Airlines

Some Michigan state lawmakers are reaching out to Delta Airlines, in wake of Georgia officials dropping a big tax break for the air carrier.

Georgia Republican lawmakers stripped the airline of a $50 million tax credit after Delta dropped a discount for members of the National Rifle Association following the Florida school shooting.  The tax credit for jet fuel used by Delta at its main hub at Atlanta’s airport was part of a larger bill before the state legislature. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s retirement system has sold off the last of its holdings related to the gun industry.

The State of Michigan Retirement systems (SMRS) recently sold off two million dollars’ worth of stock in a Mississippi chemical company. The Olin Corporation also owns gun manufacturer Winchester. 

Stateside 3.5.2018

Mar 5, 2018

Today on Stateside, we learn what Minnesota's settlement with 3M could mean for Michigan's contaminated water problems. And, we discuss whether corporations with a conscience are making a comeback.

Ford Europe / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

President Trump is digging in on his promised tariffs on foreign aluminum and steel: 10% on imported aluminum, 25% on imported steel.

That announcement sent the stock market tumbling and got our European and Canadian allies talking about possible trade wars, and retaliatory tariffs on American-made products.

And the pushback from the president’s own party is growing: House Speaker Paul Ryan has split with the president and opposes the tariffs, and Congressional Republicans are figuring out how to block them.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says Michigan’s auto insurance rates are still the highest in the nation.

The ZEBRA is a company that tracks auto insurance rates across the country.

Zebra’s Alyssa Connelly says the average annual auto premium in Michigan is about $2600, which is nearly twice the national average.  According to the report, North Carolina motorists pay the lowest annual premiums ($865). 

The 2018 State of Auto Insurance Report finds motorists in Detroit pay $5,414, on average.

Stateside 2.22.2018

Feb 22, 2018

401(k) plans were never meant to be a complete retirement plan. Today on Stateside, we discuss were that leaves future retirees. Also today, we learn there's a touch of Pure Michigan in PyeongChang: the fake snow. And, we say goodbye to our Next Idea series.

Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea


In late November of 2014, Michigan Radio’s Stateside began a series called The Next Idea. With support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and a team that included the University of Michigan’s “Dean of Innovation” Jeff DeGraff and Executive Producer Joe Linstroth, the project’s mission was to focus on innovation, creativity and ideas meant to move Michigan forward.


In essays and interviews, we met Michigan inventors and entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, scientists, farmers, business people, experts, and just regular citizens who decided to think outside the box to make their state and their communities better.

Updated 10:30 a.m. ET

Ford Motor Co.'s North American President Raj Nair has been forced out over allegations of "inappropriate behavior." The company didn't offer many details.

In a statement, Ford said that Nair, 53, is leaving the company effective immediately.

Carbon Stories

The Next Idea 


After more than three years, our innovation series, The Next Idea, will soon come to an end.
Stateside has been checking in with some of our previous contributors to see how they’re doing. 

Stateside 2.15.2018

Feb 15, 2018

Today on Stateside, we learn why so many international Olympic figure skaters train in Michigan. And, Jeff DeGraff with The Next Idea says Michigan has the parts to build a powerful economic engine, but they need to be connected.

The old library entry at Marygrove College in Detroit.
Marygrove College Library / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg


The wolf was at the door for Marygrove College.  

After nearly a century, the small liberal arts college in Northwest Detroit was drowning in debt and enrollment was shrinking


The Next Idea


Well, it’s been three years since we started The Next Idea. The aim of the project was to showcase the wide array of amazing people and communities here in Michigan, and how they make innovation happen every day, everywhere, and in every way.


Looking back, we have heard the diverse voices and perspectives of artists, educators, community leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, and inventors; the young and old and everyone in between from all the regions of the Great Lakes State.


Anyone looking for creative ideas, domain expertise, or best practices for innovation need only search the hundreds of essays and interviews on The Next Idea page. Collectively, they contain a blueprint for moving our state forward.

ellenm1 / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Next Idea

After more than three years on the air, our innovation series, The Next Idea, is coming to a close, so it seems like a good time to check back with one of the many contributors to the series.

Feliciano Paredes is a classic example of an entrepreneur who identifies a need, creates an invention to fill that need, and embarks on the journey to bring that invention to market.

Courtesy of Dan Vermeesch



A West Michigan company has come up with a remarkable way to address the skills shortage problem we hear about so much in our state.


Micron Manufacturing of Walker is a precision machining supplier, and Micron lets workers create their own schedules.

Ian Freimuth / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Next Idea

The city of Grand Rapids is widely considered a great place to do business, unless you’re black. A 2015 study in Forbes magazine found that it was the second-worst city in the nation in terms of being economically friendly to African-Americans. An organization that works to promote entrepreneurship in Grand Rapids has started a pitch contest that’s meant to encourage startup ideas from everyone — especially people of color.

Carlos Nielbock / Facebook

The Next Idea

You’ve heard of a “hotbed of innovation” – a time and place where money and talent flow towards the creation of new ideas. Sometimes, though, innovation happens during the slowdowns, the dry spells.

SOUMIT / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

When Amazon calls, cities jump.

That's the lesson we learn in reporter Chad Livengood's new story for Crain's Detroit Business.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan home builders expect demand to drive more home construction in 2018.

The Home Builders Association of Michigan predicts a one percent increase in the number of single-family homes to be constructed in 2018.   

CEO Bob Filka says demand is actually outpacing their ability to build homes.

“We’re pretty much tapped out at about 17,000 homes in terms of the current capacity to build new homes in our state,” says Filka.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan store owners are optimistic their after-Christmas sales will be as strong as pre-holiday sales have been this year. 

Meegan Holland, with the Michigan Retailers Association, says the growth of gift cards as presents has boosted post-holiday sales. 

"They often don't spend just what the gift card is worth," says Holland. "They are buying more than that."

Anecdotally, retailers say this has been a very good holiday shopping season. But we won't know how good until major retailers report their fourth quarter numbers next year. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A new Michigan law is aimed at encouraging the development of grocery stores in underserved urban areas.

  Legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Rick Snyder expands the definition of property eligible for certain state economic development incentives to include supermarkets, grocery stores, produce markets or delis in downtowns or commercial areas. At least 5 percent of the community revitalization incentives will have to go toward such businesses unless there are insufficient applications.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan store owners expect to be very busy this weekend.

Meegan Holland, with the Michigan Retailers Association, says with Christmas falling on Monday many holiday buyers will be shopping in stores and online.

“Going into this Super Saturday weekend, 45% of people still have some Christmas shopping to do,” says Holland, “It could be an epic weekend.”

A payment technology firm says that holiday spending is surging in the days before Christmas.

Detroit People Mover
Sönke Biehl / Flickr - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCl0



Daniel Howes, Detroit News business columnist, joined Stateside to look at Detroit's year in review. He shared his takeaways about Detroit's progress post-bankruptcy and what to look forward to in Detroit's future from the auto industry and its neighborhoods.

man's hands reaching toward woman's waist while she holds up her hands to stop him
Timothy L. Hale / U.S. Army

Several of the women who've accused President Trump of sexual assault and harassment held a news conference today.

It was the first time the women appeared together. All have accused the President of groping, fondling, or forcing kisses on them. And they're calling on Congress to investigate their claims.

They're coming forward at a time when a series of women have accused high-profile men in entertainment, journalism and politics of sexual assault. It's become known as the "Me Too" movement.

Today on Stateside, we hear from an opponent of the recreational marijuana ballot proposal, and we discuss former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar's sentence to 60 years in federal prison. We also talk about whether "passive homes" are the future, and how dog sledding joined the pack of popular winter sports in Michigan.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

When you buy a bouquet of flowers for your loved one, do you know where those flowers are grown? Colombia? The Netherlands? What about right in your own community?

A new group based in Ann Arbor has expanded upon the burgeoning local food movement to include locally grown flowers. It’s called the Michigan Flower Growers Cooperative.

Once a week from spring to fall, the co-op allows growers to sell wholesale to floral designers, florists and distributors.

Who might run to replace U.S. Rep. John Conyers in Congress? That answer comes today on Stateside. And, we discuss a survey that shows sexism and sexual harassment persist throughout the auto industry. We also hear why soccer analyst Alexi Lalas doesn't see Detroit winning the bid for an MLS team – or at least, not yet.


Robert Lutz began his automotive career in 1963. He rose to the ranks of top-tier executives at GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW and Opel.

He's someone who's seen a lot of change in the auto industry through the decades.

During a recent interview, Stateside host Cynthia Canty asked Lutz for his thoughts on the recent floodgate of stories of powerful men being held accountable for actions and behaviors committed against women in the workplace — sexual assault, harassment, and bullying. Is American business truly having a watershed moment?

Laura LaRose / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCl0

Of all the ignored or argued over household chores, one near the top of the list, particularly for cat owners, is replacing the kitty litter. But did you know that without the ingenuity of a Michigander, we might be changing out the kitty sand?

Mark Harvey, the Michigan History Center’s State Archivist, joined Stateside to talk about the Michigan history of kitty litter.