Business

Business
3:01 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

New export finance center opens in Detroit

Export-Import Bank of the United States

Earlier this week, Gov. Rick Snyder, Senator Debbie Stabenow and nearly 100 small business owners were in Detroit for the opening of a new regional office for the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

The new office is expected to help Michigan businesses export products overseas by providing access to various types of insurance, loans, and financial resources.

According to their website, the agency has helped generate $456 billion in export revenue since its creation by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934.

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Business
11:20 am
Sun January 27, 2013

Spotty snow a mixed bag for businesses in Michigan

Cross country skiing in Michigan
michigan.org

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Spotty snowfall in the Upper Midwest is making some business owners happy and hurting others.

Snow accumulation is below normal across the region for the second consecutive winter. It's picked up over the past week as temperatures have fallen dramatically. But some areas are having a feast and others a famine.

Sarah Long says bare ground caused her resort in Michigan's Upper Peninsula to lose nearly three weeks' worth of reservations. But heavy lake-effect snow in recent days has turned things around.

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Business
2:00 pm
Sat January 26, 2013

Dubai-bound: Michigan economic officials to pitch state's life-sciences industry

Credit www.michiganadvantage.org

Michigan wants the world to know about its life-sciences industry, so it's taking its show on the road -- or, in this case, overseas.    

Representatives from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation are attending a health conference in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

We make lots of technical stuff here, everything from robots to replacement body parts to medicines.

Oakland County Deputy Executive Matt Gibb will be among those pitching the state's products.

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Business
7:24 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Interior Secretary, Levin to talk historic preservation in Detroit

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Senator Carl Levin and Michigan officials will host a meeting in Detroit tomorrow to talk about how tax breaks for historic preservation projects can help distressed cities.

In a statement, Secretary Salazar says the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program has been used for 70 projects in Detroit since 2000. He says he wants to talk about how that program can help revitalize the city.

The meeting will take place in the Odd Fellows Building, which was rehabbed in 2006 with the help of historic tax credits.

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Business
5:00 am
Mon January 21, 2013

As NHL lockout ends, Detroit businesses to get a boost

Joe Louis Arena
Wikimedia

Detroit Red Wings fans aren’t the only ones excited that the National Hockey League has resumed play after a nearly four month-long labor dispute.

Michael O’Callaghan, the vice president and chief operating officer of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, saied local businesses lost about $2 million for every missed home game.

"It's impacted local businesses significantly, and we're awfully grateful that we're going to get the remainder of the season in," O'Callaghan said.

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Business
8:18 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Gilbert-owned company branching out into Detroit casinos

Credit wikimedia commons

A gaming company run by Detroit billionaire Dan Gilbert has announced plans to move into the city’s casino business.

Quicken Loans founder Gilbert owns Rock Gaming, which already owns
several gambling sites in Ohio.

Now, one of the group’s subsidiaries has announced it will buy a
majority stake of the company that runs Detroit’s Greektown
Casino-Hotel.

Gilbert says in a statement they envision a “significant investment”
in the Greektown casino, “as well as the enhancement and growth of the
existing entertainment district.”

The Michigan Gaming Board will need to sign off on the deal.

They hope to grow that area as well, building on what Gilbert calls
“the positive momentum” now going in downtown Detroit.

Gilbert himself is partly responsible for that momentum.

He’s been buying up much of the major commercial real estate in
downtown Detroit in pursuit of a vision he’s dubbed “Detroit 2.0.”

The vision is a vibrant downtown district to “live, work, and play,”
centered around tech start-ups along Woodward Avenue, which Gilbert
calls “Webward” Avenue.

Business
4:25 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Stateside: Remembering Hudson's in Detroit

Hudson's circa 1915.
Burton Historical Collection

Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry discussed Hudson's place in Detroit.

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Thirty years ago Hudson’s closed its store in downtown Detroit.  

Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry spoke with Cyndy about the store’s significance to Detroit and its citizens.

“They talked about closing it as early as the 1970’s. It was a symbol. The people who were saddest were people who ceased to come to the store,” said Lessenberry.

Lessenberry noted the difficulty of retaining a downtown shopping district.

“People started moving away from downtown shopping…Large industrial cities all over the nations have had trouble keeping their downtowns viable."

For more of Lessenberry’s interview, listen to the above audio.

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

Business
2:18 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Stateside: Fiscal cliff compromise will impact Michigan's businesses

The recent compromise over the fiscal cliff will impact Michigan's businesses
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Daniel Howes of the Detroit News and Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry discuss the effects of a fiscal cliff compromise on Michigan.

Congress passed a bill Tuesday that would prevent the U.S. from falling over the 'fiscal cliff.'

Addressing the bill’s impact on Michigan were Daniel Howes of the Detroit News and Jack Lessenberry of Michigan Radio.

“The Michigan Republicans in the delegation were clearly split on this… a lot of them didn’t like it. The Bush tax cuts the Democrats spent the last ten years railing against were essentially made permanent for 98% of the tax payers,” said Howes.

According to Howes, much of the state's workers will witness increased taxes this year.

“About 77% of people who work are going to be paying higher taxes,” said Howes.

“Everybody seems to object to paying for things they get… most of the tax increases are restoring the Social Security payroll tax to what it used to be,” said Lessenberry.

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Business
9:43 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Auto companies expect good December sales

(file photo)

December is shaping up to be another good month for the auto companies.

Analysts expect to see strong December sales numbers for General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and other auto makers:   Rising consumer demand, new models in the showroom, big year end deals. 

Mike Wall with IHS Global Insight says they’re all reasons to expect December to be a good month. 

“We still have a fairly old fleet out there…in terms of the average age of vehicles….and we have a consumer base that is starting to reengage the market,” says Wall.

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Business
5:28 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Michigan dairymen waiting on a congressional deal on the federal milk pricing system

The price of a glass of milk may rise if Congress fails to act to extend expiring pricing controls
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan dairy farmers have been ‘unnerved’ by the lack of a federal milk pricing plan.

Congress’ failure to pass a new Farm Bill this past fall threatened to scrap the current milk pricing system and let the system revert to an outdated 1940’s model.

Consumer prices could potentially double.

Ken Nobis is the president of the Michigan Milk Producers Association.

“In terms of planning for the future, it’s not good that we have this uncertainty today,” says Nobis.

Business
10:35 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Accounting firm Plante Moran grows in Flint

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Numbers are adding up to be a growth business in downtown Flint.

The Flint Journal reports that accounting firm Plante Moran has a staff of approximately 50 people and typically hires five to 10 a year since arriving in 2005.

Ken Leslie, managing partner at the Flint office, says internships provide candidates. The most notable supplier is the Flint campus of the University of Michigan. Leslie says people don't want to leave downtown once they're hired.

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Business
4:51 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Michigan will crackdown on organized shoplifting rings

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder has signed into law a new tool to crackdown on organized shoplifting.

Michigan retailers are near the end of a mediocre holiday shopping season.   But the governor’s signature making the Organized Retail Crime Act law should bring smiles to many store owners faces.

The act will make organized shoplifting a felony with a five year prison sentence. 

The Michigan Retailers Association supports the legislation.   An association spokesman says shoplifting rings run by organized crime have become a “huge problem”. 

Business
5:40 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Toyota back to being #1

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Analysts expect Toyota will overtake General Motors this month to become the ‘world’s number one auto maker’.

In 2011, Toyota lost its crown as the world’s top auto company, after the company’s auto sales plummeted following questions about safety at Toyota and the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

But Toyota sales are up this year. The company expects to sell 9.7 million vehicles. That’s more than analysts expect GM will in 2012.

Mike Wall is an auto industry analyst with IHS Global Insight.   He says GM shouldn’t worry about falling to number two.

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Business
3:08 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Michigan ski resorts opening for the snow sport season

Michigan's Crystal Mountain Ski Resort at night
Crystal Mountain Ski Resort

Michigan's ski resorts are taking advantage of the wintry weather.

This is a big week for the snow sports industry....with families able to hit the slopes during the holiday break.  

Mickey MacWilliams directs the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association.

She says new artificial snow technology will allow for better skiing conditions this year.

"Even if there isn't snow in your backyard, if it's 28 degrees or below, our ski areas are covered with snow," she said.

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Business
4:21 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Michigan casinos & the 'fiscal cliff'

Michigan’s casino industry could face some problems if the nation falls off the ‘fiscal cliff’ at the end of the year.

The president and Congressional leaders have not reached a compromise to avoid the combination of spending cuts and tax increases, commonly known as the ‘fiscal cliff’.

It’s estimated the average household’s disposable income could lose a thousand dollars next year, if the ‘fiscal cliff’ is not avoided. 

Moody’s, one of the nation’s leading credit rating agencies, predicts casinos will be among those hardest hit.

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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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