As Michigan-made brews are flowing from taps all over the state this summer, a game-changer in the micro-brewing business is underway right here in Lansing. American Fifth Spirits aims to offer a variety of micro-distilled liquor to the Lansing community, as well as a historical milestone: it’s Lansing’s first distillery ever.
We’re celebrating Independence Day as a nation tomorrow, and that means fireworks. Michigan relaxed its fireworks sales law in 2012, so there are now more roadside stands and large retailers hawking their wares.
The discussion over reforms to the Lansing Board of Water and Light has continued in recent days. One topic up for debate is whether or not to extend the contract of embattled General Manager J. Peter Lark. A BWL committee has recommended another year for Lark. However, some critics have repeated their view that Lark should leave after the utility’s botched response to last December’s widespread, storm-related power outages.
We’ve all heard of 6 degrees of separation, the idea that everyone in the world is connected through links of acquaintances. Bugsy Sailor believes that with social media, the degrees separating people are even smaller.
The Pontiac Silverdome hosted the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Who, the Pope, Wrestlemania, a Super Bowl, and of course, the Detroit Pistons and the Detroit Lions. Largely unused since the Lions moved back to downtown Detroit, the Silverdome was sold in 2009 to the Triple Investment Group for about a half-million dollars. Now its assets are going up for auction.
It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the Hometown Housing Partnership, an East Lansing based organization that promotes homeownership and offers financial assistance to homebuyers.
Anyone who ever uses a computer gets hit now and then with e-mail spam or the occasional computer virus. Many are just minor hassles that try to derail our plans, but some do cause significant damage. Now imagine how often large companies and government agencies get hacked by those seeking to inflict harm. To address this, the state of Michigan is creating an all volunteer defense team, the Cyber Civilian Corps.
Horse racing fans around the country are gearing up for the Kentucky Derby next Saturday. The storied run that kicks off the quest for the Triple Crown will bring thousands of people to Michigan’s three horse tracks. Many will place their bets as they watch the Derby via simulcast. They’ll also come to cheer on local horses and riders who come to the tracks to test their mettle.
As you drive west from Ionia, Michigan, you’ll come to the little town of Saranac. Its streets are lined with a bountiful number of large old maple trees. And this time of year, it’s not uncommon to see many of them with pails and spouts attached to collect sap for maple syrup.
The Food Processing and Innovation Center is raising the funding for the estimated $5.5 million project. It’s expected to consist of a mix of federal and state dollars, along with a commitment from MSU and five industry partners. It will be located on Hewlett Road.
There are plans to build a new center here at MSU that, if realized, proponents say could have a substantial economic impact on the state of Michigan, including the creation of potentially thousands of new jobs. Current State's Joe Linstroth talked with Chris Peterson, an agricultural economist and the head of MSU’s Product Center, who says there are more than 600 mid-sized food processors in the state of Michigan. Many of these companies’ facilities are maxed out, meaning that if they want to create a new product, they don’t have the capacity to test the product or its manufacturing and packaging techniques to see if it’s economically viable.
An organization that includes many of Michigan’s top corporate leaders is making new recommendations on the way ahead for the state. “Business Leaders for Michigan” is a non-profit whose 90 or so members are among the top executives of the state’s most established businesses including General Motors, Dominos Pizza and Meijer.
Social entrepreneurship, where for-profit businesses seek to offer creative solutions to our society’s biggest needs, has become a rising trend across the country. Last year, Detroit was home to the nation’s first social entrepreneurship competition, which attracted more than $1-million in new investment for a diverse group of new businesses that focus on such issues as energy efficiency, affordable medical devices, and coffee roasting.
Mention the phrase 'stock exchange' to most people and they’ll likely visualize Wall Street, the home of the New York stock exchange, the world’s biggest. However, smaller, regional stock exchanges are nothing new. A proposal to allow local stock exchanges in Michigan was recently filed in the state legislature. The aim is to allow citizens to invest in small, promising Michigan companies that may not qualify for a larger exchange.
It’s hard to tell with all the new snow, but we’re three weeks away from the “Crosstown Showdown” home opener between the Lansing Lugnuts and the MSU Spartans. Yesterday, Lugnuts owner Tom Dickson and city leaders announced plans for a $22-million development at Cooley Law School Stadium.
Fourteen months ago, Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation eliminating the state personal property tax levied on business equipment. The move was heralded as welcome change by business owners who said the tax put them at a competitive disadvantage and inhibited job growth. However, local governments are worried about how they will replace the revenue that kept their vital services running. Now, a series of bills introduced this week in the Michigan Senate seeks to preserve that funding.
Along with gambling and big production stage shows, Las Vegas is known for fine dining. Everywhere you look, you’ll find a restaurant with a different theme, many of them run by celebrity chefs. Travelers from Michigan, though, might want to consider a more humble spot to grab a bite in Vegas.
After months of silence, one of the Lansing area’s biggest development projects is back in the news. Officials say they are hoping for groundbreaking by late Spring for the $125-million ‘Red Cedar Renaissance,' formerly the ‘Capital Gateway.'
Imagine you were an 18-year-old American student, and you went off to study at a university in China that taught economics, biology and all the other subjects in Chinese. Then imagine on top of that navigating the legal and cultural differences to start your own business. For most of us, it would be a daunting challenge to say the least, and more likely too difficult to even attempt. At Michigan State University, some Chinese international students are up to the challenge.
Start up companies between the Lansing and Flint metro areas have a new resource to help them get off the ground. Baker College in Owosso is the site of a new business incubator known as the “REV” Center.
Many Michigan businesses have voiced concern and disapproval of the federal Affordable Care Act. Twice before on Current State, we’ve explored the issue with one of the state’s key advocates for small business.
Rob Fowler is CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan, based in Lansing. He returns with his thoughts on the health insurance exchanges that will soon to be unveiled. Fowler isn't sure that businesses will benefit from them.
Mlive’s Lansing beat reporter Angela Wittrock joins us every Monday for a rundown of the latest news about the local economy, business and development. Today, she discusses the Michigan Flyer-AirRide motorcoach service, Detroit’s finical issues and the loss of current Bank of America customer perks.
There’s movement in both Lansing and Washington D.C. toward what many call a “leveling of the playing field” regarding sales taxes. A pair of measures dubbed “The Main Street Fairness” bill is currently being debated in the Michigan House. The proposal would collect a 6% Michigan sales tax on purchases from out of state internet retailers at the point of sale. And on Monday, the U.S. Senate widely approved a measure that would empower states to do just that.
Michigan has made huge investments to develop alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass. But like the rest of the country, Michigan is still a primarily fossil fuel-driven economy. Crude oil is big business in Michigan, especially in Jackson County. In 2012, more than 1.2 million barrels were produced there, which is three times more than any other county.