Business News

Lt. Gov. Calley: Anderson Global a 'shining example' of state's economic comeback

-7b36d6bf6c17733aMUSKEGON HEIGHTS, MI – Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley talked up the state's business Friday, March 14 during a tour of Anderson Global and Anderson Express.

The companies in Muskegon Heights produce molds for foundry tooling that makes possible mass production of parts. The owners -- husband-and-wife team John and Betsy McIntyre – showed Calley their companies and products, including the aluminum undercarriage of a Corvette. 

The businesses -- both run at a Sherman Boulevard address in Muskegon Heights -- have seen repeated expansion in recent years.

"I think it's a shining example of what the comeback looks like," Calley said. "Every single sector of our economy, except the government has added jobs in the last four years."

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Job training, worker development rank as top job for Muskegon chamber's advocacy in 2014

-86b2578c0614e3e6MUSKEGON, MI – Training is job one for the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce this year.

An early 2014 survey of the chamber membership found that among advocacy issues of workforce development, health, economic development, environment, infrastructure and government spending, workforce development is the most important.

The survey showed subtle shifts in emphasis compared to the 2013 survey such as regionalization of governmental services rather than local governmental consolidation and downtown Muskegon redevelopment as the top economic development priority vs. community promotion and marketing last year.

The Muskegon chamber’s 19-member Government Affairs Committee concurs, making attracting and retaining an educated workforce and development of educated and qualified workers as the top priority of chamber advocacy efforts in 2014, according to committee co-chairman Adam Zuwerink.

The committee also included continued development of the Port of Muskegon as a secondary issue that the chamber should concentrate efforts on this year. Port development was the top issue in 2013, said Zuwerink, a Muskegon attorney with West Michigan Law PC.

“The survey and our committee’s work goes along with what the chamber has been working toward with workforce development,” Zuwerink said.

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Cinema Carousel movie theater complex seeking liquor license for $2.2 million renovation project

14379907-mmmainNORTON SHORES, MI – Muskegon-area moviegoers who frequent the area's largest theater complex will likely have access to a new menu and in-service in the next year. 

Celebration Banquets LLC has applied for a Quota Class C Liquor License in the City of Norton Shores for the Cinema Carousel theater complex it operates at 4289 Grand Haven Rd.

The Loeks Theatres, Inc.-affiliated, Grand Rapids-based company is planning a three part, $2.2 million project that will include renovating the auditoriums and adding new food and several beer, wine and cocktail selections to its current offerings. 

City Administrator Mark Meyers said the revamped complex would make it the first in the Lakeshore region to offer residents dinner, drinks and a movie in a theater atmosphere.

“I think the intention here is to not just have another bar or restaurant, so to speak. We really want to have something unique in the community,” Meyers said. 

During Phase I, Celebration Banquets plans to renovate auditorium No. 13 by adding new carpet, lighting, sound system speakers and reclining seats with electric foot rests, along with a service bar and food-and-drinks stand for in-seat service. The $107,00 project would be installed in three to four months and would begin as soon as the business receives the license.

Phases II and III represent $2.1 million in investment, which exceeds the city’s $75,000 requirement. The subsequent waves include renovating the remaining 15 auditoriums, adding a full service kitchen and installing 21 seats in the café and lobby area by early 2015.

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Coming ashore: Muskegon to welcome boaters into downtown through Hartshorn shoppers' docks

14403801-mmmainMUSKEGON, MI – A coalition of Muskegon waterfront property owners, downtown business interests and the city of Muskegon will attempt to link the shoreline and the downtown this boating season.

The age-old issue of how to link activity on Muskegon Lake to the downtown will get a trial run with a series of shoppers’ docks at the city of Muskegon’s Hartshorn Marina, 920 W. Western Ave.

Boaters on Muskegon Lake will have the ability to come into Hartshorn Marina and tie up for a few hours to walk the Lakeshore Trail or enjoy the businesses and activities in downtown Muskegon. The city will dedicate a half dozen docks to remain open for temporary tie-up and charge a small fee for the service, City Manager Frank Peterson said.

Hartshorn Marina has 134 large slips and the nearby small-boat basin has another 30 smaller slips. It is a Michigan Waterway Commission harbor of refuge and must keep a number of its slips available for overnight transient boaters, while renting out the majority of the slips on a seasonal basis.

“This gets us connecting downtown with the Lakeshore,” Peterson said. “We need to have a place for boaters to access the downtown and what the community has to offer.”

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Muskegon Angels put $600K into West Michigan companies

After committing all of its first-year capital, Muskegon Angels LLC may look to spread its wings further in 2014.

d97d1369b69d557d5c7a2f2bdc22fb19 SThe angel fund could reach out for additional members and even consider setting up another investment group in neighboring markets such as northern Ottawa County.

Muskegon Angels started out in early 2013 with 22 members who committed $25,000 to the fund annually for five years. Two additional members came aboard during 2014, pushing the fund to $600,000.

Organizers decided to cap membership at 24 for the year and could go higher later this year, said Mike Olthoff, the president and owner of Nichols Paper & Supply Co. in Norton Shores who co-founded the angel fund last year.

“Quite frankly, we could have had more members, but our goal wasn’t to have huge numbers to start with. We wanted a reasonable number,” Olthoff said. “I would guess that sometime during the year, we will be looking for some more members and set up another group.”

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A 16-item 'to do' list: Muskegon City Commission establishes goals for next 12 and 36 months

to do_listMUSKEGON, MI – The Muskegon City Commission, City Manager Frank Peterson and key City Hall department heads spent five hours Friday, Feb. 7 coming up with 16 goals for the next 36 months.

The goal-setting session at the Muskegon Museum of Art concluded with the city commission narrowing down a large number of priorities and goals to nine that will be attacked in the next 12 months and seven more that will be addressed in the next 36 months.

The goals range from broad issues of city finances and economic development to specific plans for the old farmers market site on Yuba Street to a new Lake Michigan beach warning system. Youth employment, city image, blight fight and road funding all received plenty of attention during the session.

“I learned today that my fellow commissioners are highly focused on the realities of running the city,” Mayor Steve Gawron said after the session. “Each of us has a Christmas wish-list, but the commission is focused on the realization of the immediate needs. They understand how critical it is to stabilize the current situation, and know our means and ability to operate at a high level as a local government.

“They have looked beyond the immediate needs and addressed more extended, long-term goals,” the mayor said.

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to speak at 'legislative luncheon' before Muskegon chamber April 21

gov synderMUSKEGON, MI – When Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder speaks in Muskegon on Monday, April 21, he can expect to be before a friendly audience.

The noon event at the Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor is being billed as a “legislative luncheon” with the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. Chamber officials recently received confirmation of the governor’s local appearance.

Muskegon chamber President Cindy Larsen said her staff has been trying to secure the governor’s appearance in Muskegon for more than a year.

“The governor’s business agenda is very popular with our members,” Larsen said of the one-term Republican governor, who recently announced his formal candidacy for re-election. “The agenda is economic development focused.”

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Mercy Health Muskegon medical center announcement highlights fiscal state, health reform

mercyMUSKEGON, MI -- Mercy Health Muskegon officials, citing health care reform and changing trends at local hospital campuses, outlined the reasons for building a new, $220 million medical center during their first public unveiling of the project on Wednesday, Feb. 18.

Hospital president Greg Loomis said patients, experts and medical staff have designed a state-of-the-art, patient-centered building on its Mercy Campus that will feature a nine-story tower and revamped parking spaces.

The project, which will transform the Hackley Campus emergency center into a high-functioning urgent care facility, will replace the initial, $97 million consolidation hospital officials announced last February.

Jeff Alexander, the hospital system's vice president of strategic integration, said Mercy Health will fund the project using donors, cash reserves and an intercompany loan.

Mercy Health regional CEO Roger Spoelman said the $523 million organization was able to finance the project because of its affiliation with CHE Trinity Health, one of the largest Catholic health systems in the nation.

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LifeCircles PACE in Norton Shores announces plans for $5 million expansion

life circles

NORTON SHORES, MI – The fifth anniversary for LifeCircles PACE, a medical treatment facility for elderly citizens, will certainly go down as a memorable one.

The Muskegon healthcare center, located within the Tanglewood Park campus at 560 Seminole Road, announced its $5 million renovation and expansion plans at its anniversary celebration Tuesday, Feb. 25.

The new facility will include 12,000 square feet of parking lot, a new and improved day center with increased lawn space, a full-service kitchen and redesigned office space.

The expansion will also allow LifeCircles Pace to increase its number of participants from 225 to 350 and allow LifeCircles to hire 20 percent more staff to support the expanded services. 

Specific design highlights include: 

  • Increased access to natural light, which will improve the holistic and therapeutic environmental experience. 
  • An improved drop-off area complete with heated walks, parking for buses and a canopy to protect participants from the weather. 
  • Access to outdoor green space specifically designed for the needs of participants, as well as other areas for staff respite. 
  • Environmentally sound infrastructure systems that will provide higher levels of efficiency while driving down operational costs. 

LifeCircles PACE was founded in 2009 with the investment and vision of Porter Hills Retirement Communities and Services, Mercy Health Muskegon and Senior Resources.

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Update on Mercy Health $97 million expansion expected at Muskegon chamber's Feb. 28 breakfast

-1637149f2d83aa8aMUSKEGON, MI – The business community will hear at a Feb. 28 breakfast the latest update on the Mercy Health plans for an estimated $97 million expansion and consolidation of the Muskegon hospital system.

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce’s February Business for Breakfast event is being billed as a program on “dramatic changes in local health care ... health care along the Lakeshore will soon be undergoing exciting transformations.”

The Business for Breakfast will feature presentations by Greg Loomis – newly named permanent president of Mercy Health Muskegon, which is the consolidated health care system that includes the former Mercy and Hackley hospitals.

Also speaking will be Mercy Health regional Chief Financial Officer Gary Allore, who is also the current chairman of the Muskegon chamber board of directors.

The February Muskegon chamber Business for Breakfast will be 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor in downtown Muskegon.

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