Business

Business
3:43 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Conference looks to reclaim Flint

The city of Flint is hosting a conference this weekend which to look at ways to transform the city.

The Congress for Urban Transformation is bringing activists, artists, urban planners and others to Flint.   The conference is looking at a variety of ways to reclaim Flint, from urban agriculture to improved city planning.

Rob McCullough is the local program coordinator. He says they are looking at new ways to reclaim Flint’s industrial sites and hard hit neighborhoods.

Business
1:13 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

MBS airport unveils $55M terminal

TITTABAWASSEE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Mid-Michigan's MBS International Airport has unveiled its $55 million passenger terminal.

The Midland Daily News reports  that political, community and business leaders gathered Friday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the airport in Saginaw County's Tittabawassee Township.

The 75,000-square-foot steel and glass terminal was completed a year ahead of schedule. It's expected to handle its first departing flights on Wednesday.

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Business
4:22 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Kellogg pays fine for violating Clean Air Act

Battle Creek-based cereal maker Kellogg has agreed to pay a big fine for violating the federal Clean Air act.

The violations occurred at Kellogg plants in Battle Creek and Grand Rapids.   The government cited the cereal maker for operating without necessary permits and exceeding federal emission levels.

Some of the violations date back to 1993.  The most recent violation took place in 2007.

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Business
11:53 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Bar owners won’t let liquor control commission spoil employee appreciation day

Michele and Mark Sellers stand above the main dining area at HopCat, one of three establishments they own in Grand Rapids.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Co-owners of Barfly Ventures Mark and Michele Sellers wanted to thank their employees for working their tails off during ArtPrize. So they designated Tuesday as employee appreciation day; whatever alcohol they sold would be split among the employees.


But before they opened, Mark Sellers got a call from the liquor control commission. Turns out, the state doesn’t like servers having an incentive to sell lots of alcohol, and it’s against the law.


“I can’t really be too mad at them because they gave us a courtesy call in advance and told us ‘hey don’t’ do this or you’re going to get in trouble’. It’d be like if a police officer called you and told you to slow down or he’s going to give you a ticket,” Mark Sellers said.


So instead of alcohol sales the Sellers’ will give their employees the food sales, not for just one day but three. They’ll pool the money from food sales at all three Grand Rapids establishments (HopCat, McFadden’s, and Stella’s Lounge) and split the total among all employees; cooks, servers, busboys, managers, and even HopCat’s official “chief beer geek” I met a couple weeks ago.

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Business
9:51 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Crowd Funding for Sauerkraut in Ann Arbor

Kickstarter Web page for Sauerkraut fundraiser.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1396675400/40-barrels-in-40-nights?ref=live

An Ann Arbor pickling business hopes "crowd funding" will pay for a lot of sauerkraut – 12 thousand pounds to be exact. 

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Business
9:56 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Detroit conference looks at labor history

Fur hat maker, 1938
photo by NIOSH on Flickr

DETROIT (AP) - Examining the history of labor in Michigan and beyond is a goal of a three-day conference being held in Detroit.

The North American Labor History Conference kicks off Thursday at the Wayne State University Law School. The conference aims to explore a range of themes under the topic of "insurgency and resistance."

The conference also coincides with the 100th anniversary of Michigan Workers' Compensation Act and a daylong symposium discussing its past, present and future is planned for Friday.

Speakers and presenters include Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and Workers' Compensation Agency Director Kevin Elsenheimer, as well as business and academic leaders.

The event is free and open to the public.

Business
9:01 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Michigan's falling home foreclosure rate may reach a milestone soon

file photo
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s home foreclosure rate could soon reach a milestone.

A few years ago the state's foreclosure rate was near the top of the fifty state list.

But Daren Bloomquist with Realty Trac says the latest data shows Michigan is poised to drop out of the top ten, possibly by the end of the year.

"It’s still in that top ten…but it’s moving down," says Bloomquist,  "(Michigan) had often been showing up in the top five over the last few years….now it’s moved down to number nine in September.”

Business
9:07 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

“Salties” with wind turbine parts attracting lots of attention in Muskegon

People come to The Mart Dock to watch the wind turbines come off the ship in Muskegon.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

This week people in Muskegon have been checking out a rare sight; several giant foreign ships that have docked there to unload cargo.

Crews in neon hard hats carefully lower a nearly 200-foot-long wind turbine blade from a massive ship onto a special truck that’s three times as long as a normal semi-trailer. The carbon fiber blades from Germany weigh about 22,000 pounds. The tower sections shipped from Korea can weigh up to 68 tons.

These thirty blades are destined for a wind farm in Ithaca, south of Mount Pleasant.

About fifty people gathered Thursday afternoon to watch. Families with small children snapped photos.

Life-long Muskegon resident Judy Dobberstein says she’s only seen the foreign ships, or “salties,” a couple of times before.

“This is the best viewing of salties that I think I’ve ever seen; one after another like this. This is really cool,” Dobberstien said.

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Business
2:54 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Stateside: Food Entrepreneurs

The bounties of local food entrepreneurs.
Clagett Farm CSA Week 10 thebittenworld.com

There is an explosion of locally made jams, sausages, salsas and granolas filling the shelves of grocery stores and farmers’ markets. People like Frank Gublo, an Innovation Counselor at the Michigan State University Product Center, are largely responsible for local food’s prevalence.

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Business
2:15 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Stateside: Michigan State University's Dairy Store

The Big Ten themes for ice cream made from local dairy.

The local food movement is not a new thing for Michigan State University's Dairy Store.

It has been selling local dairy products such as cheese and ice cream since 1913. The milk is bought from Michigan Milk Producers, less than 30 miles away.

It's then taken to MSU where it is processed and distributed. A lot of the ice cream flavors have MSU or Big Ten themes.

Stateside's Emily Fox, visited the store and chatted with customers, workers and manager, John Engstrom.

You can listen to the audio postcard above.

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Business
2:53 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Stateside: Urban Rebound helps women business-owners

tv20detroit.com

Michigan is tenth in the nation for the number of women-owned businesses.

When it comes to revenue being pulled in by these businesses, Michigan ranks 49th out of the 50 states. 

Boosting the earning power of women is one of the leading goals of Count Me In.

The national group is helping women in southeast Michigan who own small businesses at an event called Urban Rebound.

Urban Rebound comes to Detroit on September 30 and October 1.

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Technology
4:46 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Ann Arbor startup helps students build professional network

Screen shot from website.
Meritful.com

Founders of a new startup company are trying to help teens create a professional online presence.

The website Meritful.com launched this week. It's sort of a LinkedIn for students.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are among the top sites where teens connect with friends and talk about their lives. But a lot of teenagers also posting embarrassing stories or pictures that can have some unplanned consequences as they apply for colleges, internships, and jobs.

Azarias Reda is one of the founders of Meritful. "In this day in age a digital presence is a very important currency, something that you have to protect and build. And high school really is the time to start," he said.

Listen to full interview above to learn more about the Ann Arbor startup.

Business
4:24 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Effort to allow new private casinos in Michigan gets new life from state Supreme Court

clarita MorgueFile

Proponents of an effort to allow eight more private casinos in Michigan scored a victory in court today.

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a group called Citizens for More Michigan Jobs.

The group is pushing a ballot measure that would amend the state constitution to permit the private casinos.

An appeals court had ruled that the proposal's language was unconstitutional because it didn't include text of the law the group wants to amend.

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Business
4:45 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

La-Z-Boy to build new world headquarters; considers staying in Monroe

A La-Z-Boy store.
user vercillo wikimedia commons

A long-time Monroe business may decide to stay and build its world headquarters there. 

Think "recliner" and chances are La-Z-Boy will come to mind.

The company that makes the famous chairs and other furniture started out in the city of Monroe 85 years ago.

It has about 500 employees at its Monroe location.  Now the company wants to build a new facility and says it's interested in staying in Monroe, but is also looking at other sites.

Bob Clark is the city's mayor. He says the City Council will review some economic incentives.  

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Business
3:26 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Utility customers get credits after 2-day outage

user wheat_in_your_hair Flickr

DETROIT (AP) - About 8,000 DTE Energy Co. customers in Oakland County will receive credits on future bills after losing service this summer due to a substation fire.

The Detroit News reports Friday that the credits will range from $25 to $250 and show up on bills over the next several months.

Residences and businesses in Royal Oak and Berkley, north of Detroit, lost power for two days last month.

DTE Energy spokesman Len Singer says the amount of the credits will depend on the length of time customers were without electricity.

The newspaper reports that customers can seek a $25 credit if an outage lasts more than 16 hours under normal conditions or more than 120 hours under catastrophic conditions.

Business
4:38 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Whirlpool to close Indiana refrigerator center, consolidate in Michigan

Whirlpool Corp. is planning to shut down the last of its operations in a southern Indiana city where it had more than 1,500 workers a few years ago by moving refrigerator development work to Michigan.

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Business
9:46 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Don't want a smart meter? You'll have to pay for privilege

The state's biggest electricity provider says customers who don't want a smart meter will have to pay extra for the privilege.

Smart meters use radio signals to allow two-way communication between a customer's residence and the utility.

The meters let utilities know immediately who has lost power, among other things.  The company will also be able to remotely shut off power and turn it back on. 

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Business
3:39 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Commission: Funding available for women-owned businesses

Mindexpansion MorgueFile

More than half of new businesses in Michigan are started by women. But women may not be aware of funding available to them.

The Michigan Women's Commission says women tend to start smaller businesses, rather than big manufacturing firms. They generally go to their bank or credit union for loans.

Suzy Avery directs the Women's Commission.

She says there are other sources for loans or grants that have been specifically set aside for women-owned businesses.

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Business
5:26 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

More new faces for Detroit's downtown business district

First National Building
wikimedia commons

500 new employees moved into downtown Detroit’s First National Building Wednesday. City officials and business leaders say it’s yet another sign of Detroit’s resurgent business district. 

They held a pep rally of sorts to welcome the new employees downtown. They’re from the title insurance and property valuation company Title Source, which has plans to move another 1000 employees downtown  from the suburbs soon.

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Business
7:47 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Federal consumer watchdog agency will scrutinize credit reporting industry

Richard Cordray addresses a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau field hearing at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

The  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will start keeping close tabs on credit reporting companies, the Bureau's President announced Monday.

Richard Cordray told a field hearing in Detroit that CFPB—a relatively new federal agency created in the wake of the 2007-8 financial crisis--will start monitoring the largest credit reporting companies “just like we examine big banks” in September.

He says there’s still a lot we don’t know about the credit reporting industry, because no federal agency has had access to all the relevant information.

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