Business

Business
11:17 am
Tue December 25, 2012

The U.S. Census Bureau is taking a look at the current state of Michigan businesses

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

130 thousand Michigan businesses are getting something special in the mail this week.   Not a Christmas present, it’s a U.S. Census form.

The twice a decade Economic Census takes a snapshot of the state of American business.

Mark Wallace is the chief of the service sector statistics division for the U.S. Census Bureau.  He says employers are being asked to give detailed information on their annual sales, payroll, the products they make or merchandise or commodities they sell or services they provide.

Wallace says it’s a lot of data.

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Business
3:46 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

The LONG holiday shopping season coming to an end in Michigan

Shoppers in Ann Arbor over the weekend
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan retailers are checking their holiday shopping receipts.   

The longer than normal holiday shopping season wraps up amid predictions that sales have not been quite as good as expected.

"We’ve noticed it’s been a little more spread out than usual," Peggy Hayes is the marketing director for the Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, the largest shopping mall in Michigan,  "Often times, people wait until the last minute…but we’re found it’s been spread out…over the holiday season this year.”

Business
10:45 pm
Sun December 23, 2012

Former Steelcase Executive and Philanthropist Robert Pew Dies

Former Steelcase executive and philanthropist Robert Pew II
Steelcase

A longtime leader of Grand Rapids furniture maker Steelcase died over the weekend.

Robert Pew died Saturday in Florida.  He was 89.

Pew was Steelcase’s chairman of the board for 25 years, from the mid 1970’s until 1999, when he became chairman emeritus.   

During Pew’s tenure at the top of Steelcase’s management, the company became one of the world’s largest makers of office furniture. 

As a philanthropist,  Robert Pew has given millions of dollars for public education.   He also played a pivotal role in the establishment of Grand Valley State University.

Business
4:19 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Holiday shopping moves into the home stretch

The final rush is on to find that last Christmas present.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The holiday shopping season is expected to wrap up in a big way this weekend in Michigan.

This has been a longer than normal holiday shopping season with five full weekends separating Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

Tom Scott is with the Michigan Retailers Association. He says stores have seen their business rise and fall during the past month. Scott says the unevenness of the holiday shopping season can be blamed in part on its length.

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Business
12:22 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Almost ready? Officials promise most of Cobo Center will be open for Detroit's auto show

The view's spectacular (except for the construction equipment) in Cobo's soon to be nearly completed atrium. The unfinished ballroom (formerly Cobo Arena) will be curtained off during the upcoming North American International Auto Show
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The North American International Auto Show is less than a month away.  But part of Detroit’s Cobo Center is still a very active construction site.

Rain is pouring through gaps in the roof.  Construction crews are using heavy equipment.  The space hardly looks like a scenic atrium.

But officials say wait three weeks.

The final phase of a $279 million renovation of Cobo Center is close to completion.

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Business
5:35 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Stateside: Recovery Park, big plans for redevelopment in Detroit

Recovery Park is a project hoping to revitalize the city of Detroit and get people working. 

Gary Wozniak is the President and CEO.  

He has big plans for Recovery Park involving everything from growing Tilapia, to processing foods, and establishing a 30-acre farm scattered throughout the city.

“So the models that we’re looking at are a combination of the community gardening that’s happening in Detroit, the indoor agriculture that’s being promoted by Michigan State University and then a lot of the larger indoor models in Europe, predominately in the Netherlands,” Wozniak says.

A new urban agriculture ordinance will certainly play a big in making this redevelopment project a reality.

The idea started with Self Help Addiction Rehabilitation or (SHAR), a Detroit based substance abuse treatment program. 

SHAR’s mission is to transform individuals with addiction and those recovering a chance at a new life.

Wozniak has a very personal mission as well.


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Business
10:36 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Land sale draws huge, negative reaction at public hearing in Detroit

Robert Anderson, Detroit's director of Planning and Development, addresses a public hearing. Hundreds of people showed up to weigh in on the Hantz Woodlands proposal.
Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

A proposal to sell more than 140 acres of abandoned lots in Detroit drew hundreds of people to a public hearing tonight.

The vast majority were there to speak out against the plan.

Financial services entrepreneur John Hantz wants to buy more than 1,500 blighted city-owned lots and plant hardwood trees on them. Under the proposal, Hantz would pay $300 dollars per lot.

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Business
5:33 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Ninety-Four percent of hospitals suffer data breaches

Medical Data may be easy for thieves to steal.
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

A new study by Michigan’s Ponemon Institute reports hospitals are easy places for thieves to make off with a treasure trove of information.

The Institute is in Traverse City and studies information security.  In the “Third Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy and Data Security”, Ponemon found 94 percent of hospitals have suffered data breeches.

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Business
2:12 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Stateside: Pure Michigan's history of allure

The effective Pure Michigan campaign has long promoted the state's northern region
www.michigan.org

The Pure Michigan campaign is credited with attracting 3.2 million out-of-state visitors to Michigan.

It is an effective campaign with a surprisingly long history.

Michael Federspiel, executive director of the Little Traverse Historical Society and history professor at Central Michigan University spoke with Cyndy about the Pure Michigan of the past.

According to Federspiel, Northern Michigan was faced with reconstructing its image

“It was an area looking for an identity,” said Federspiel.

The major message of 19th century promotional campaigns was a combination of relaxation and exploration.

“During those years when the railroads were in charge of publicity, they would create booklets that would be in hotels and railroad stations. They would point to Northern Michigan where you could be very active, or not active at all. The Pure Michigan campaign targets non-Michiganians,” said Federspiel.

According to Federspiel,  in 1898 Ernest Hemingway's family decided to come to Petoskey and bought property. The Hemingway family still owns that original cottage.

“You have resort communities that were founded in the 1870’s that were places people came to spend the season.”

There are two ways you can podcast "Stateside with Cynthia Canty"

Business
3:51 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Dan Gilbert purchases historic One Woodward building

The One Woodward building is located at the corner of Woodward and Jefferson Avenue in Detroit.
mikerussell wikimedia commons

Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert and his Rock Ventures LLC, have added another Detroit landmark to their real estate portfolio.

The investment group announced Monday it had purchased the One Woodward Avenue office tower.

The Detroit Free Press has more:

The 333,000-square-foot, 26-story building is about 60% occupied. Major tenants include the Detroit Regional Chamber and the law firms Fraser Trebilcock Davis & Dunlap, and Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook.

As with Gilbert’s other downtown buildings, Rock Ventures plans to renovate the building to accommodate what Gilbert envisions as the city’s emerging roster of technology employers.

Built in 1962, One Woodward was designed by famed architect Minoru Yamasaki and was originally built for the Michigan Consolidated Gas Co., now part of DTE Energy. The design is often called an early predecessor of the Yamasaki design for New York’s World Trade Center.

The building is the tenth downtown property acquired by Gilbert and Rock Ventures since January 2011.

“We continue to bet big on Detroit, and this purchase reinforces our commitment to the exciting entrepreneurial action on Woodward Avenue,” Gilbert said in a statement.

Gilbert now owns nearly 2.5 million square feet of office space in Detroit, making him the second-largest private owner of downtown property behind General Motors, Crain’s reports.

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Business
3:46 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Stateside: Chinese cars yet to motor along U.S. roads

A Chinese-built truck in Belarus. China still has further to go before it will place its cars in the American market.
user Ritzo ten Cate Wikimedia Commons

Michael Dunne, president of Dunne and Company, talks cars and China.

China continues to be the world’s largest automotive market.

However, Chinese car manufacturers are still several years away from putting their products in the U.S. market, according to Michael Dunne.

Dunne is the president of Dunne and Company, a strategic marketing group helping auto companies expand in Asia.

Dunne addressed the status of China’s car industry, citing economic tensions with Japan.

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Station News
4:30 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Michigan Radio's Flint signal, WFUM 91.1 FM, is off the air

Update 4:30 p.m.

WFUM is back on the air. We'll continue to watch the signal.

2:58 p.m.

Our Flint signal, WFUM 91.1 FM is off the air due to a power loss. We are working on the problem and will keep you updated on our progress.

Business
4:58 pm
Sat November 24, 2012

Summer drought causes hay shortage in Michigan

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) - A long summer drought has caused a shortage of hay in Michigan and sent prices skyrocketing.

The Detroit News reports Saturday that as a result, farmers, rescue groups and private owners throughout the state are struggling to feed their stocks, cutting budgets, turning to outside help and even leaving Michigan to purchase hay.

Cindy Ashley is the barn manager at Horses' Haven, a Howell-based nonprofit group that cares for aged, abused, rescued and neglected animals.

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Business
1:56 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Some Black Friday bargains at Michigan stores are a real steal

Black Friday shoppers in Jackson, Michigan
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Not everyone shopping in Michigan stores this weekend plans to buy.

Some plan to steal.

The hectic nature of the holiday shopping season makes it easier for shoplifters.

Individual shoplifters have always been a headache for Michigan store owners.   But Tom Scott with the Michigan Retailers Association says now store owners are having to deal with organized gangs of shoplifters…

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Business
1:46 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Small Michigan stores are hoping for a big holiday shopping season too

Lansing's Old Town commercial district
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Most of the attention this weekend is on long lines at big box retailers.  But Michigan’s smaller retailers are counting on some shoppers to look to them to kick off their holiday shopping season.

Wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday.

Louise Gradwohl is with Lansing’s Old Town Commercial Association.  She says the national campaign should mean an uptick in shoppers checking out Old Town's mix of art galleries and other eclectic stores.

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Business
8:15 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Black Friday gets darker: Study says prices aren't really lower

Steve Rhodes flickr

While there must be some Black Friday shoppers waking up before dawn just for the thrill of throwing elbows on their way to the last Tickle Me Elmo, most shoppers rationalize this seemingly irrational behavior by pointing to cheaper prices.

And of course the prices are lower. Right?

Not so, says the Wall Street Journal.

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Business
7:41 am
Fri November 23, 2012

The holiday shopping rush is on in Michigan

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan retailers are optimistic they will have a very good holiday shopping season this year.

Nationally, sales are expected to be up by four percent over last year.

Tom Scott with the Michigan Retailers Association says this is a critical five-week stretch for many store owners.

“It’s probably 20 to 25% of a retailers’ business of the year…depending on what kind of retailer they are,” says Scott,  “If they’re a toy store….it could be 50% or more.”

Business
3:18 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 - Turkey with a side of shopping

Target and other big retailers will open this evening, to get a jump on the holiday shopping season (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Many Michigander plans to mix turkey and shopping today.   But one Michigan State University professor believes it’s a delicate balance for retailers.

It used to be that large crowds lined up in the early hours the day after Thanksgiving to jam Michigan stores and take advantage of Black Friday sales.

No more.

Walmart, Target and other major retailers plan to open this evening, well before midnight, barely giving many Michiganders time to digest their turkey dinners before starting on their holiday shopping lists.

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Business
11:29 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Twitter CEO will return to Ann Arbor this Friday

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.
user joi wikipedia

I still get the question from relatives, "what do you use Twitter for?"

Twitter is no Facebook, so the value of a 140 character "tweet" just doesn't appeal to them as much as status updates, "likes," and photo albums from friends and loved ones.

But while not as meteoric as Facebook (more than 1 billion users worldwide), Twitter's base of users continues to grow - there are now more than 500 million Twitter users worldwide.

In its most recent report, the Pew Research Center found that 15 percent of online adults user Twitter:

...the proportion of online adults who use Twitter on a typical day has doubled since May 2011 and has quadrupled since late 2010.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo (or @dickc) is a University of Michigan graduate (#goblue). He will return to campus this Friday to talk about his business (Nov. 16).

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Station News
10:31 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Tower carrying WFUM signal undergoing maintenance today

The tower carrying our WFUM signal is undergoing maintenance today. WFUM signal outages are expected throughout the day.

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