Category Archives: Economy

Snyder says Michigan needs to invest billions in infrastructure

moneyA panel of business and government experts appointed by Governor Rick Snyder says Michigan needs to invest billions more in infrastructure spending.

The 21st century infrastructure commission says Michigan should raise infrastructure spending by four billion dollars each year.

That’s to fix its aging water, transportation, energy and communications systems.

It says Michigan spends less on infrastructure than the national state-average.

Evan Weiner is the C.O.O of Edward C. Levy Company. HE chaired the DEL commission.

“The point is, is that it’s going to take us a long time to get it done. But if we don’t decide to start today, it’s going to be a heck of a lot more expensive tomorrow.”

He says instead of pinning down a specific funding strategy, the report outlines a “menu” of potential funding options.

Google to hold small business event in Flint

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The event is called Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map.

It’s aimed at helping small business owners understand how to reach customers through the internet.

Experts say 97-percent of consumers look for local businesses online, but less than 30-percent of small businesses report having a website.

Whitney Cox is with Google.

“It’s so important for businesses to be online, like I said 97 percent of consumers use the web to find local goods and services, so no longer do we turn to our computer throughout the day, now we turn to our phones.”

Cox said 10 Google experts will be available to help small business owners start a website, and get their business on Google Maps.

“If I need directions I turn to my phone, if I wanna read reviews I turn to my phone, if i’m waiting in line a the coffee shop I turn to my phone. So now our phones are indispensable shopping tools, and it’s so so important that businesses get online and reach customers in those moments that matter.”

The event is taking place at the Flint Institute for the Arts from 9am to 12 pm. Cox said the first half will be seminar, and the second will be workshop based. The event is free and registration can be found at https://events.gybo.com/events/246/register

The state announced more than 17-million dollars will be used for skilled trades training in 2017

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15-thousand Michigan workers will receive skilled trades training, paid for by a 17-million dollar allocation from the state.

The Michigan Skilled Trades Training Fund provides on-site training and workshops for workers, in areas like carpentry, IT, and real estate. Continue reading

The Midland Mall has been appointed a receiver and is in foreclosure after defaulting on a nearly 32-million dollar loan

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When you hear a business is in receivership and foreclosure, you may expect that means bad news.

But new managers at the Midland Mall say it may bring good things – new stores and new jobs – for shoppers, and employees in the area. Continue reading

“Keep GM” movement leaders in Lansing speak to CMU about community collaboration

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Collaboration between private and public sectors is the main focus of a discussion tonight on the campus of Central Michigan University.

In 1996, General Motors was set to close a Lansing plant and displace seven-thousand workers. A group created a campaign to keep GM in Lansing, and even convinced them to build another plant.

David Hollister and Ray Tadgerson were key in convincing GM to stay in Lansing. Continue reading

Criminal justice reform is one focus for the upcoming election

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One national non-profit organization is using this election season to address the link between the criminal justice system and poverty.


Bread for the World is encouraging people to make criminal justice reform a top priority for their presidential candidate in the upcoming election.

Eric Mitchell is the Director of Government Relations for Bread for the World. He says, the criminal justice system contributes to hunger in America in many ways.

“Many women who were formerly incarcerated have less access to food, less access to safety net programs like food stamps, housing vouchers, have a loss of household income, added debt, and most importantly it’s harder for them to find and maintain solid jobs to provide for themselves and their families.”

Mitchell said they want candidates not only talk about criminal justice reform but to take action.

Enbridge responds to delay for Line 5 supports

Mackinac-01Enbridge Energy is reacting today to a state decision that delays company plans to install new supports on its Line 5 pipeline.

In June, Enbridge Energy, which owns Line 5, reported four spots that required additional support because of erosion.

The Department of Environmental Quality approved supports for those four spots, but delayed action on 18 others that Enbridge requested.

Environmental groups said they’re hopeful this means the government is getting serious about a line shutdown.

But Michael Barnes, a spokesperson for Enbridge, said that’s not how he sees it.

“We think that we’re all working towards the same thing and that’s to protect the straits and keep energy flowing into Michigan.”

Officials with the DEQ said they will delay a decision on the 18 additional supports until two studies on the risks of the pipeline and alternative ways for transporting the oil are completed. Results of those studies are expected early next year.

Experts say they expect a new downtown Saginaw farmers market to boost the city’s economy

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State officials say an indoor-outdoor farmers market in Saginaw boosts prospects for the city’s economy.

The state this week awarded three-million dollars to the renovation project.

The money will be used to renovate a former newspaper office building into a year-round farmers market in downtown Saginaw. Continue reading