Business News

Community Leaders and Initiatives Recognized as Agents of Change

Twelve community leaders and initiatives have been recognized as the 2014 Agents of Change. Those recognized range from beautification projects to major development leadership, entrepreneur support and more.

"The Muskegon Lakeshore is constantly transforming," says Cindy Larsen, president of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. "These dedicated individuals have such passion and are truly changing the landscape of our community."

Each year, the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce recognizes individuals or projects that have made a positive contribution to the Muskegon Lakeshore and awards them as Agents of Change.

This year's Agents of Change were recognized at the Seventh Annual Agents of Change Business After Hours celebration, November 6 at Fricano Place. Here, nearly 200 business and community leaders gathered to celebrate.

Each year the Chamber partners with WGVU Media to host this event and Morning Show Host Shelley Irwin interviews the Agents of Change. These interviews will air on WGVU FM (95.3 Muskegon, 88.5 Grand Rapids) at 9am on Wednesday, November 26, 2014.

Click here to learn more about the 2014 Agents of Change


The Lakeshore First Restaurant Week Begins November 7

14 Muskegon-area eateries offering special deals during inaugural Lakeshore Restaurant Week

Click here to read more about Lakeshore Restaurant Week on Mlive

Click here to read more about Lakeshore Restaurant Week in the Grand Rapids Business Journal


Muskegon Based Watercraft Maker Navigates $7.5M Expansion

A maker of small boats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, portable toilets and other plastic retail products is planning a $7.5-million expansion that will create 60 jobs.  

Click here to read more about Ameriform's expansion plans in the Grand Rapids Business Journal


Muskegon's 'Blue Economy': University Research Corridor report says 1 in 5 Michigan jobs are water-related

MUSKEGON, MI – Community and state leaders gathered at the Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon on Thursday, Oct. 9 to discuss the continued focus of promoting a "Blue Economy" in Michigan.

The meeting was the third stop on Michigan's University Research Corridor's five-city tour. The URC is an alliance between Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University which aims to transform, strengthen and diversify the state's economy.

"Blue economy" is an ongoing economic development strategy based on the preservation, research and health of water resources that is being embraced in Muskegon because of its long history with its greatest natural resource.

"Water defines our community as it does many in Michigan and in the Great Lakes," said Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Larsen. "We're very fortunate that the blue economy is putting a spotlight on Muskegon, community in the midst of transition."

Click here to read the full story on Mlive...


Alcoa Power & Propulsion Names Whitehall, MI Operations as it's global headquarters

Sept. 30, 2014--- Alcoa Power and Propulsion, a business unit of Alcoa Engineered Products and Solutions, has officially designated Whitehall, Mich., as its business unit headquarters, returning to its roots after nine years in Cleveland, Ohio.  “APP’s Whitehall operations has been the center of Alcoa’s investment casting technology since 2000 when it became part of Alcoa’s downstream business segment,” said Michael Pepper, APP President. “When it comes to investment casting advancements, the aerospace industry comes to Whitehall for the next generation of engine components, and much more.”

Read more…


Construction to finally start on downtown MATS transit center; interim bus station planned

September 28, 2014--- After 10 years of waiting, Muskegon County is poised to start construction in November on a $2 million downtown transit center.

An interim station will be housed in another downtown building, the Masonic Temple. Koens updated the Muskegon County Commissioners on his progress when they met as the Transportation Committee Thursday, Sept. 25.The county could be soliciting bids from construction firms in early October, and break ground in November.

The bus center on Morris Avenue is a terminal and transfer center for the Muskegon Area Transit System, called MATS, as well as a docking center for Greyhound and other private bus companies. Development of the project had been stalled for about 10 years after $2 million in federal money first became available for the project in 2003. County commissioners tackled the project again in November 2013. Drawings for the renovated transit center include expanded restroom facilities, room for more customer service staff, an indoor waiting area and a plaza next to the building on Second Street.

Click here to read the full article on MLive


Not your parents' downtown: The 'change' decade, but more to do; see then-and-now photos

MUSKEGON, MI -- When Jonathan Seyferth talks about how far downtown Muskegon has come in the past decade, he pulls out the "sandbox photo."

The photo, taken almost exactly 10 years ago, is shocking and inspiring at the same time. Taken from what had been the Sears entrance to the Muskegon Mall, it shows a desert-like landscape and two boarded-up raggedy buildings.

That's it. That was the core of downtown Muskegon on Aug. 3, 2004.

Click here to read the full article on MLive


Muskegon Community College set to break ground on $9.6 million science center

MUSKEGON, MI -- Muskegon Community College is set to break ground on its new science center, and the public is invited to help celebrate.

The groundbreaking will begin at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 3, in the Stevenson Center courtyard.

The $9.6 million project is part of several building and improvement plans approved by voters last November. The state is paying for $4.65 million of the project while the college is funding the rest.

Click here to read the full article on MLive


Muskegon manufacturer of Sun Dolphin kayaks planning $5 million expansion

K.L. Industries is planning a $5 million expansion and adding dozens of new jobs to keep up with the booming demand for its kayaks.

Most of the expansion will come in the form of four new machines that can produce the popular kayaks that can be found in such stores as Dunham's, Dick's Sporting Goods and Wal-Mart.

"We've just been getting really, really busy. We've been getting busier and busier," said Tom Harris, president of Ameriform Acquisition, 1790 Sun Dolphin Drive, which is K.L. Industries' parent company.


Click here to read the full article on MLive


HR Maria ship carrying wind-turbine towers expected at Port of Muskegon on Aug. 28

August 21, 2014 --- The last of four European cargo ships due to arrive in the Port of Muskegon this summer is expected to do so on Aug. 28, according to Ed Hogan, vice president of operations for Port City Marine Services.

The 468-foot HR Maria is carrying wind turbine towers bound for the Beebe Community Wind Farm in Gratiot County, south of Mount Pleasant and north of Lansing.

The arrival date is subject to change, Hogan said.

The heavy lift dry cargo vessel was built in 2008 and is owned by the German company Hammonia Reederei. As of Wednesday, Aug. 20, the ship was located in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal, according to

The HR Maria is the last of four ships due to arrive at Muskegon's Mart Dock this summer. All four have been carrying wind turbine parts. The HHL Congo was the most recent to arrive when it was docked on Aug. 18.

Two more "salties" -- the HR Constitution, which arrived in Muskegon on Aug. 12, and the HHL Elbe, which arrived on July 8 -- have also made an appearance this summer.

Click here to read the full article on MLive.


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