Category Archives: Economy

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

14 midland sign

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


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

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


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

Tax incentives and public-private funding has been approved for development projects in Shiawassee County

file2081241837401One of the projects will renovate an abandoned armory into office space. The other, is construction of a new animal feed mill.

Justin Horvath is President and CEO of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership. He says the Michigan Strategic Fund approved the Community Revitalization Program.

“CRP program that the state offers is really focused on, you know turning particularly downtown buildings particularly historic buildings into something of value you know one of the challenges is you know it does cost you know a fair amount of money to rehabilitate these older historic structures.”

Horvath says the projects could create more than 50 new jobs, and more than $19-million in capital investment.

The projects are expected to be completed within the next year.

Traverse city receives state loan for environmental clean up


Grand Traverse county has received a loan from the state to clean up contamination at an abandoned gas station in downtown Traverse City.

The $700,000 loan will be used to investigate the extent of the contamination, remove and transport contaminated soil and to install a vapor mitigation system.

Julie Lowe is a Brownfield Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. She said the loan is a way to level the playing field for developers.

“The proposal is for a mixed use development. So it’s a combination of a residential condominium complex. Including retail space on the first floor and then a parking underground.”

Lowe said the new development is being funded privately and has a price tag of 31 million dollars.

Clean up work is expected to begin as early as November.

Alabama pipeline leak not expected to impact Michigan gas prices

file000298506336Experts say Michigan gas prices should not be impacted by a gas pipeline leak in Alabama.

At least 6,000 barrels of gasoline spilled from the pipeline — causing supply issues across the southeastern United States.

Patrick DeHaan is a Senior Petroleum Analyst with

“Michigan gas prices will be likely unaffected completely by what’s taking place in the southeast. Price movements will likely continue but they will not be reflective of the situation in the southeast.”

DeHaan says Michigan, along with much of the Midwest, generally gets most of its gas from refineries in Ohio, Indiana, and in the Chicago area.

He says Michigan gas prices have been falling since an unrelated price spike last week.

Northern Michigan builders are seeing a shortage of construction workers


Builders in Grand Traverse County are seeing a shortage of skilled laborers. Experts say it’s affecting the economy of the area as well.

The Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area says after the great recession many builders left the area. Continue reading

Flint awarded $12.8 million to replace buses

PUBLIC BUS$12.8 million was awarded to Flint to replace some of the city buses.

Edgar Benning is the General Manager CEO of the Mass Transportation Authority in Flint.

“We are replacing vehicles that are over 20 years old, that have been refurbished and rehabbed to keep them on the road and so we’re replacing vehicles that operated on diesel with compressed natural gas transit coaches.”

Benning says the grant will allow for 23 transit coaches to be replaced.

He says the Mass Transportation Authority in Flint is moving to a 100 percent alternative fuel fleet, and this grant brings them a step closer to that goal.