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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 http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

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 / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

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 http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

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.

salsa
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. 

Many University of Michigan business students who have an entrepreneurial streak take Professor Jerry Davis' start-up class. Davis has lived in the Silicon Valley, he has a Ph.D. from Stanford University, and he has advice for young people: Forget the Bay Area.

"You spend a whole lot of your time on freeways. It's expensive, it's annoying. The weather is beautiful, but basically the Bay Area has turned into Los Angeles," Davis says. "All the things that people hate about LA are now true of the Bay Area."

Detroit skyline.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

An initiative that encourages Detroit companies to buy goods and services from each other appears to be working.

The initiative is called Detroit to Detroit, or D2D. It's a program of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, a non-profit that aims to make Detroit businesses successful.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan businesses may be hurt if Congressional critics succeed in blocking renewal of a federal trade agency’s charter.

The Export Import Bank was created during President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.  The bank assists foreign purchases with financing and insuring of U.S. goods when the buyer doesn’t want to accept the credit risk.   

Since 2009, the Export Import Bank has helped Michigan companies move 11 billion dollars in exports.

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-400 sits on the tarmac at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.
user redlegsfan21 / flickr

On paper, it's a pretty good idea: a business district stretching ten miles between Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports.

It would attract investment money, backers said. It would create 64,000 new jobs for Southeast Michigan.

Michigan Radio

There's a big, untapped market in emerging countries for services and products made by Michigan companies.

That's the message of OPIC, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.  OPIC steps in where private banks are loathe to tread, offering market-rate loans to small and medium-sized businesses that want to expand into emerging markets overseas.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan house flippers were busy in first three months of 2015.

In house flipping, homes are bought to be immediately turned around and sold again.  

About 5% of the single-family homes sold in Michigan from January through March were flipped.  Nationally, only 4% of single family homes sold in the first quarter were flipped.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Midland-based Dow Chemical will cut about 3 percent of its global workforce as it prepares to break off a significant part of its chlorine operations in a deal it announced earlier this year with Olin Corp.

The company says the cuts will reduce its workforce by 1,500 to 1,750 positions. Dow Chemical employed about 53,000 people worldwide at the end of last year.

MARIORDO / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Google Inc. is moving its Ann Arbor operation to bigger digs on the north side of the city.

The Ann Arbor News reports Friday the Mountain View, California-based Internet giant is leaving the downtown space it's occupied for nearly a decade. Officials say the operation is moving into an existing building, then constructing a new campus.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lt. Governor Brian Calley is leading a trade delegation to South America this weekend.   

The intent of the trip is to meet with local leaders and avoid an erupting volcano.

The trade delegation is traveling to Chile and Colombia.

FLICKR USER SYLS / FLICKR

It’s almost Shakespearean: A powerful leader, pushed out because he pushed for the ouster of another powerful leader.

Alas, this is not the Bard’s story. This is about Volkswagen.

“Oh man, this is potentially the end of a very long era at Volkswagen, which is now I think the largest automaker in the world, and certainly the largest in Europe,” Detroit News Columnist Daniel Howes said.

Listen above to the story of Ferdinand Piëch, Volkswagen AG’s legendary boss.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says work-place deaths in Michigan are on the decline.

But work related homicides are rising.

Michigan State University’s annual report finds 125 people died on the job in the state last year. That’s down from 134 the year before.  

The University of Michigan

Billionaire A. Alfred Taubman died Friday at home from a heart attack, according to the Associated Press. He was 91.

He led “an epic American life,” growing up a poor Jewish kid in Detroit, and going on to make a massive fortune by creating the modern shopping mall.

He also survived a major scandal in his later years, when he went to prison for price-fixing.

What’s more, Alfred Taubman was the second-largest donor ever to the University of Michigan.

Shipping container housing project underway in Detroit

Apr 17, 2015
Astrid Westvang / Creative Commons

A project that turns empty shipping containers into sustainable housing kicked off in Detroit this week.

Development firm Three Squared is using nine containers to construct a three story unit in the city's Corktown neighborhood. 

City of Detroit

Just eight months after it was set to be torn down, developers are preserving the historic Detroit recreation center where Joe Louis trained.

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