Business

Business
4:13 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Dutch manufacturers setting up shop in Brighton

Michigan manufacturing is getting a boost from a group of Dutch companies which are starting production of a wide range of green technology products in Brighton.

This week, the companies are starting to roll out wind turbines, heat exchangers,  water purification systems and other green technologies.

Jan Verwater is with the Michigan company partnering with the Dutch manufacturers. He says Michigan’s large production capacity gives it an advantage in attracting high tech businesses.

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Business
12:02 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

US-EU free trade talks could benefit Michigan

The flags of most of the European Union countries
eurocartans.org

Trade talks between the United States and the European Union start Monday.

The talks could have major ramifications for Michigan’s economy.

Officials on both sides of the Atlantic are trying to hammer out a deal that could mean tens of billions of dollars in new trade.

Rich Studley is the president of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. He says a free trade deal with the 28 European Union nations would be very important for Michigan.

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Business
6:18 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

DTE is looking to revitalize a small part of downtown Detroit

DTE Energy is looking at improving its own Detroit backyard.

The utility recently bought the old art deco building, that at one time belonged to the Salvation Army, near its downtown headquarters. DTE also purchased a nearby vacant lot.

Randi Berris is a DTE spokeswoman. She says the utility wants to renovate the building and turn the lot into a park. Berris says the intent is to complement other recent efforts to revitalize downtown Detroit.

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Business
4:15 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

A bicycle built for you? Company tries to set up a bike share program in Lansing

A2B's Carl Vitulo rides the company's prototype bike in Lansing
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A fledgling bicycle share company hopes to get rolling in Lansing in August.

A group of college students have founded a company that will provide bikes for temporary rentals.

The idea would be to set up bike rental stations at bus stops and other commuting locations in Lansing to give people an option for the next short leg of their journey.

Business
12:16 am
Thu July 4, 2013

New laws limiting times for fireworks apparently not hurting the fireworks business

Still plenty of fireworks on sale at tents like this in Michigan
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

New state and local rules curbing the use of fireworks are not expected to affect the sales of fireworks in Michigan.

Many Michiganders complained last year after a new state law allowed the sale of bigger and louder fireworks in the state. Elected officials responded with new restrictions on when fireworks can be used this year.

Are the new laws affecting fireworks sales? Apparently not.

“The retailers that I’ve spoken with …say things are off to a really good start,” says Julie Heckman, the executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association.

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Business
11:55 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Lansing's new power plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions

BWL's new Reo Town co-generation plant (the building on the right) will greatly reduce the workload at the electricity and steam plants (the 3 smokestacks to the left)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s first new utility built power plant in 25 years was fired up today in Lansing.

The Reo Town power plant’s natural gas powered turbines whirled to life this morning.

The $182 million plant will generate electricity and steam for Lansing Board of Water and Light customers.   The plant will generate up to 300,000 pounds of steam for 225 steam customers in downtown Lansing and will completely replace BWL’s Moores Park Steam Plant.   It also will provide 100 megawatts of electricity, about 20 percent of the utility's electric generation. 

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Business
8:36 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Michigan will help immigrant professionals

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder has announced a partnership designed to help skilled immigrants and refugees living in Michigan integrate into the workforce.

Snyder's office says the program involves the nonprofit group Upwardly Global and the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

The governor says the department is issuing 10 online guides that explain Michigan's professional licensing requirements for individuals who were educated or have work experience overseas.

Business
1:01 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Michigan union dispute tied to much bigger national issue

Union picketers walk near a Panera Bread in Kalamazoo
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A federal court challenge is blocking a group of west Michigan bakers from forming a union.

A federal court is preventing the National Labor Relations Board from certifying local union elections, because three of the board’s five members were appointed by President Obama without congressional approval.

In 2012, Panera Bread bakers voted to form a union at 6 locations along I-94 in west Michigan. The NLRB certified the vote.  But because of the legal challenge to the president’s appointees, the issue remains in limbo. 

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Business
11:39 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Union: Michigan home builders not telling the truth when they claim there's a labor shortage

hstreetagent

A major union is disputing claims by Michigan’s home builders that there are not enough skilled workers to fill all the jobs in the state’s resurgent construction industry.

New home prices are up in Michigan this year. Building permits are also up.

But the Home Builders Association of Michigan released a survey last month claiming a deep gap between the number of skilled trades workers and the jobs available.

That’s not true, according to Mike Jackson.   He’s the Secretary-Treasurer of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights.

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Business
6:17 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Michigan business people are trying to learn how the Affordable Care Act will affect them

Business owners want answers 'Stat' when it comes to how much Obamacare will cost them. But it will be months before those answers are known.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan business owners say they still need answers to how the Affordable Care Act will affect their businesses.

About 200 people attended a seminar on "Obamacare" today in East Lansing.

The federal health care law takes effect January 1st.  Businesses with more than 50 employees will have to provide health care insurance to their employees or pay a penalty.

Ed Harden is the VP of Sales for McLaren Health Plan. He says business owners have just one question for him, “How much is this going to cost?”

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Business
5:50 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Lansing anthrax vaccine maker celebrates expansion

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero (left) joined Emergent Biosolutions Executive Chairman of the Board Fuad El-Hibri and President Daniel Abdun Nabi in cutting the ribbon
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A Lansing bio-pharmaceutical company has opened a ten million dollar expansion at its Lansing facility.

Emergent Biosolutions produces an anthrax vaccine at its facility in Lansing.

“The government is purchasing as much as we can produce,” says Daniel Abdun Nabi, the company’s president, “So one of the reasons we have expanded here on the Lansing campus is to address the nation’s requirement for a broader stockpile of BioThrax.”

The company hopes to triple its Lansing production of the anthrax vaccine by 2015.

Business
3:18 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

With a few changes, Weather Ball will remain in Flint's skyline

Red light in the Weather Ball means temperatures are climbing
user: Toxic Panda Photography Flickr

For decades, the Weather Ball has been an icon in Flint. It perches atop the Citizens Bank headquarters at 328 S. Saginaw Street.

FirstMerit  bought the former Citizens Bank in September 2012. 

Today, FirstMerit unveiled its plans to renovate the Weather Ball. 

Jeremy Allen of MLive-Flint Journal covered the event:

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Business
11:42 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Michigan farmers waiting for Congress to pass a new Farm Bill

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan farmers are waiting to see if Congress can reach a deal soon on a new Farm Bill.

The U.S. Senate passed its version of the nearly trillion dollar, five year Farm Bill on Monday. The U.S. House continues to work on its own version of the bill, which funds crop insurance and other programs for farmers, along with food assistance for the needy.

The Farm Bill has been stalled in Congress for more than a year. And that has made it difficult for Michigan farmers to plan for the future.

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Business
12:01 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Marketplace in Michigan: Can high-end produce sales work in low-income neighborhoods?

Midtown Detroit
Andrew Jameson wikimedia commons

Marketplace, a national radio show on business, economics, and money "for the rest of us," was broadcasting from our studios last night.

Host Kai Ryssdal and his team were here to report on the Whole Foods opening in Midtown, an up-and-coming neighborhood in downtown Detroit.

At the opening, Ryssdal had a chance to interview Walter Robb, the CEO of Whole Foods.

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Business
12:38 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Tunneling to wrap up at Rio Tinto Eagle Mine

MICHIGAMME TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Tunneling at an Upper Peninsula mine is expected to be completed less than two years after digging started.

The Mining Journal of Marquette reports that Redpath Mining Contractors and Engineers expect to finish their work Friday at the Rio Tinto Eagle Mine in Michigamme Township.

More than two miles of tunnels have been built since drilling started in September 2011. The operation will mine and backfill ore which contains nickel and copper.

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Business
12:24 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Michigan's improving real estate market may lead to more home foreclosures

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s improving real estate market could actually lead to a new round of home foreclosures.

Michigan’s home foreclosure rate has been falling for the past few years. That's partly because banks were more interested in short sales. That's selling a home for less than what's owed on the mortgage.

Now Michigan’s real estate market is improving, with better prices and more interested buyers.

Daren Bloomquist is with Realty Trac. He says short sales started tumbling in Michigan during the first quarter of the year.

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Business
12:30 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Michigan home builders have trouble finding skilled workers

calgaryrealestate.com

Building permits are up by more than a third this year in Michigan.  Home prices are also rising.

These should be great days for Michigan’s homebuilding industry, which nearly ground to a halt during the recession.

But there’s a problem: not enough workers.

A survey finds a third of Michigan homebuilding contractors are having trouble finding enough workers to do the job. 

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Business
12:52 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Michigan's tourism industry enjoying first weekend of summer

Summer fun (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s tourism hot spots are in the midst of their first big summer weekend.

Michigan State University’s annual tourism forecast predicts a three percent increase in the number of tourists this year. The forecast also predicts a five percent increase in tourism spending in 2013.

Brad Van Dommelen is the president of the Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau. He says Traverse City-area hotels have seen an uptick in pre-bookings.

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Stateside
4:39 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Detroit businesses give back to the community

General Motors claims "top automaker" crown.
user paul (dex) Flickr

An interview with Daniel Howes.

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for our weekly conversation with Daniel Howes, the Business Columnist at the Detroit News.

This week, he focused on the business community in Detroit, where companies like General Motors are trying to give back through programs like the GM Student Corps. From Howe's column:

By itself, the pilot program unveiled in the Wintergarden of GM’s Renaissance Center, isn’t front-page news in a city bursting with the good, the bad and the financially ugly on a weekly basis. What GM Student Corps signifies, however, is another example of a key player in the business community seeing a communal need and moving to fill it, quickly.

He joined us today to discuss the business in Detroit as well as the health of the auto industry.

Listen to the full interview above.

Business
8:05 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Michigan's farmers' markets take a step toward adding wine sales

packetinsider.com

You could soon be able to pick up a bottle of wine at your local farmers' market.

Tomorrow, the state House Regulatory committee will discuss legislation that would allow wine sampling and sales at farmers’ markets. The bills (SB 79 and SB 279) have already passed the state Senate.

Donna McClurkan is with the Michigan Farmers Markets Association. She says it’s a way to support another part of Michigan's agricultural industry.

“We see it as a potential growth opportunity for aspiring small wineries,” says McClurkan.

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