Michigan Business & Economy

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

 

Michigan cherry farmers were in Washington, D.C. Tuesday to make their final case for U.S. imposed tariffs on Turkish cherry products.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

In the midst of tension between the U.S. and global trade partners like Turkey, northern Michigan’s iconic cherry industry is stuck in the middle.

Tart cherry farmers have been undercut by foreign competitors for years. Many farmers thought tariffs implemented by the Trump administration would help, but they haven’t.

Airbus

The Trump Administration announced they will put $7.5 billion worth of tariffs on goods flown into the U.S. on flights from Airbus. That will include several tart cherry products from Austria, Germany and Hungary. 

THERACANN

Traverse City won't allow recreational marijuana businesses in city limits.

The state hasn't finalized the licensing regulations for recreational marijuana businesses yet.

Changes are coming to The Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay. The Bahle family has decided to stop managing the theater at the end of this year.

Theater Manager Erik Bahle says they’re tapped out physically, financially and emotionally.

He says he hopes the community will take over management and eventually ownership, and there is already energy and enthusiasm around this.

"This really is the start of its life," says Bahle. "This isn't the end of anything."

David Cassleman

The Soo is one step closer to getting a new lock. The Senate authorized nearly $922.4 million in funding for the project Wednesday.

Tech incubator opens in downtown TC

Jul 25, 2018
20 Fathoms

A new tech incubator opens its doors in downtown Traverse City this week. 20 Fathoms will provide workspace and business coaching for eight small tech companies in fields like satellite communications and cryptocurrency mining.

Executive Director Andy Cole says local investors are eager to help new businesses get off the ground.

"Traverse City's a really small town, but it is incredibly dense with entrepreneurial and technology talent,” says Cole. “And then also has a really untapped, but important investment community."

Traverse City to host space forum Friday

Jun 7, 2018
NASA

Traverse City is hosting the first annual Michigan Space Forum on Friday. The event at Northwestern Michigan College will promote the state’s space industry.  

Traverse City is seeing the beginnings of a technology business ecosystem, including venture capital funding and eager talent looking to launch startups. This has the business community excited, but Traverse City is still not up to speed as a tech region. It’s missing one key component: ultrafast internet service.

The Legislature has sent a bill to Governor Rick Snyder that forbids local governments from adopting ordinances dealing with questions employers may ask in job interviews. It’s an effort to preempt local rules that bar asking about salary histories and criminal backgrounds.

There are no such local regulations in Michigan, but they have been adopted in other states.

Federal Communications Commission

Thousands more people could soon have broadband internet access in the Upper Peninsula. 

Software giant Microsoft Corp. has announced it’s partnering with Packerland Brodband, a small internet service provider based in Iron Mountain. 

St. Ambrose Cellars told to stop hosting events

Feb 7, 2018
St. Ambrose Cellars

A business that makes wine, mead and beer in Benzie County has been told to stop holding events. 

St. Ambrose Cellars has hosted open mic nights, fundraisers and even weddings on the property for several years. But a letter from the Homestead Township zoning administrator said the business is not allowed to do that in their zoning district. 

For child care workers, minimum wage means sacrifice

Jan 11, 2018
Aaron Selbig

Northern Michigan has a child care crisis. Child care centers are closing, and parents find themselves on long waiting lists to find care for their kids.

Great Lakes iron boats had strong 2017

Jan 11, 2018
David Cassleman

The Great Lakes iron ore trade had its best year since 2012. 

Freighters transported more than 60 million tons of iron ore from Great Lakes ports in 2017. That’s an increase of 10 percent compared to 2016, according to data released by the Lake Carriers’ Association on Wednesday. 

TheraCann

A Canadian company that wanted to build a $20 million medical marijuana facility in Kingsley has changed its plans. TheraCann says it still wants to do business in Michigan - just not in Kingsley.

Petoskey News-Review

Petoskey might make it easier to park a food truck in town.

Right now, food truck owners have to seek temporary permits to operate on private land in the city or as part of a public event.

Food truck owner Aaron Marx says the policy is confusing and doesn’t reflect the city’s culture.

TheraCann

Kingsley is the latest northern Michigan community to pass new medical marijuana rules.

Kingsley OK's medical marijuana facility

Nov 14, 2017
TheraCann

Kingsley is the latest Michigan town to give the green light to medical marijuana businesses. A vote by the village council this week clears the way for TheraCann, a Canadian company that wants to build a $20 million marijuana facility in the Kingsley Industry Park.

The building would be right next to Marc McKellar's house.

“Frankly, I’ve never been a proponent of marijuana … whatsoever," says McKellar. "I never contemplated it, really. Never thought about it.”

Michigan earned a lot more in taxes from Airbnb rentals this summer than was initially projected. 

"In just three months, it’s meant nearly $1 million to the state Department of Revenue," says Ben Breit, the Midwest press secretary for Airbnb, "which obviously benefits the entire state and hopefully all the municipalities."

When your biggest customer talks, smart companies listen. For car makers, that customer is China.

So when China recently announced it's preparing to ban vehicles powered by fossil fuels, auto executives around the world quickly took notice.

Russell Padmore, a BBC business reporter, joined Stateside to talk about the future of the auto industry, and he says China’s not alone.

David Cassleman

A group of Michigan lawmakers has introduced legislation in Washington, D.C. to authorize building a new lock at Sault Ste. Marie. 

Supporters of the project say a new lock is needed as a backup for the Poe Lock. 

The automakers who'll survive and thrive in the 21st Century are the ones making the biggest strides in mobility and connectivity – the keys to the self-driving vehicles of the future.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes believes Ford has a lot of catching up to do, and there's a rough road ahead for new CEO Jim Hackett and his team.

More and more people in northern Michigan are collecting disability checks. 

In some northern Michigan counties, nearly 20 percent of working-age adults are enrolled in disability insurance through Social Security. That’s according to a report published by Bridge Magazine this month. 

Nationwide, the average is about five percent. 

“We have in northern Michigan disability rates that are mainly seen in the deep South and in Appalachia,” says freelance writer Chad Selweski, who reported the piece for Bridge Magazine.

 


Voters to decide BATA millage increase this May

Apr 14, 2017
Tyler Bevier with the Bay Area Transportation Authority

The Bay Area Transportation Authority is asking for more money to expand its bus system in Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties. BATA has put a millage proposal on the ballot May 2. 

If it passes, the millage rate would go up from .3447 to .5 mill for five years. BATA officials say the tax would raise an additional $1.1 million next year. People who own a home worth $200,000 would pay $16 more per year than they do now.

David Cassleman

Advocates for a new Soo Lock have been trying to get Congress to fund the estimated $600 million project for decades. Congress first authorized the construction of the lock in the 1980s but has not come up with the money to pay for it. 

Pages