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Gov. Rick Snyder
gophouse.com

Today on Stateside, Michigan’s political world got baked into an upside down cake on Thursday as former Republican Governor Rick Snyder endorsed Joe Biden, and Democrat Mark Hackel threw his support behind a push to limit Governor Whitmer’s emergency powers. We'll talk to a reporter covering the party-flipping endorsements. Plus, we hear from a Detroit child care provider who is feeling the financial pressure as the pandemic continues and parents remain at home. 

people dancing in front of a mirror at a dance studio
Unsplash

Some Michigan businesses have been able to retool and reopen this summer under Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 “Safe Start” plan. But for businesses that usually rely on close physical contact with clients, adapting to life under the pandemic is uniquely complicated. One example? Dance studios.

Downtown Ann Arbor
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Starting Monday, Michigan’s restaurants and bars can reopen to dine-in customers at half capacity. Business districts have welcomed the news, but as customers return, there are also concerns about spreading COVID-19.

Traverse City recently voted to close two blocks downtown to vehicle traffic to allow for more outdoor seating. And last week, the Ann Arbor City Council passed its own plan for some downtown streets.

closed sign in business window
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

A survey by the Small Business Association of Michigan suggests one in seven of their members will go out of business because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The primary concern is the mandated closure of many businesses. It means zero income for many retailers and non-essential businesses.

a portrait of speaker of the Michigan house lee chatfield
Michigan House Republicans

While Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has indicated that her administration is working on guidelines for a partial restart of the state’s economy as soon as May 1, Michigan’s Republican leaders have presented their own set of suggestions for what reopening sectors of the state’s economy could look like.

Michigan House speaker Lee Chatfield, a Republican representing District 107, weighed in on the Republican leadership’s proposal and how it would approach reopening the economy on a county-by-county basis.

washed away dunes and a deck perched on the edge
Courtesy of Jim Davlin

Today on Stateside, Great Lakes water levels are at record or near-record highs, leading to dramatic shoreline erosion and threatening lakeshore properties. Plus, the Detroit origins of the spiral cut ham, a holiday dinner staple. 

Dollar General parking lot
Wikimedia Commons / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

In 2010, there were 247 Dollar General stores in Michigan. Now there are more than 500. 

 

And many of the new stores are located in rural areas and small towns in Northern Michigan. 

a pair of hands holding a newspaper that says "business" at the top.
Adeolu Eletu / Unsplash

We often hear politicians use buzzwords: things like “media elite,” “fake news,” and “welfare state.”

Some of those seem straightforward enough. Others, not so much.

One Michigan Radio listener, Ellen Rusten, had a question about a phrase you’ve probably heard come out of a politician's mouth: "business-friendly." Rusten wanted to know, just what does that popular buzzword actually mean?

People looking at their phones.
Unsplash

Today on Stateside, Michigan's new cyberbullying law goes into effect next month, but will it actually make kids safer from online harassment? Plus, a recent study from the University of Michigan finds that tens of thousands of Michigan kids and teens aren't getting the mental health treatment they need. 

Marijuana leaves
Unsplash

Now that Michigan has joined the ranks of states where it's legal for adults to use marijuana recreationally, employers are facing new challenges trying to manage their workplace's drug-free policies.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Legalizing recreational marijuana would net half a billion dollars in new state tax revenue over its first five years, that's according to a new study.

The study was commissioned by the group behind the November ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan.

table of laptops
Marvin Meyer / Unsplash

 


In most workplaces, people are expected to do what their boss asks of them. But some worker's cooperatives are challenging the traditional office hierarchy.

The Sassafras Tech Collective, based in Ann Arbor, is the only registered tech co-op in the state. 

board game
Tetzemann / Pixabay

 


"Everything old is new again."

That adage comes to mind when you hear about a new business in West Michigan called Lakeshore Game Night, a door-to-door delivery for board games.

Jared Leatzow is the business’ founder and owner. He joined Stateside’s Cynthia Canty to discuss how he came up with the idea for Lakeshore Game Night and how the service works. 

two bottles of Ellis Island Tea
Courtesy of Nailah Ellis-Brown

Most entrepreneurs start small and dream big. 

And for Nailah Ellis-Brown of Detroit, those dreams came true. 

She started selling her family's sweet tea out of her car, and ended up with a national deal with Sam's Club to sell her Ellis Island Tea.

smart phone open to facebook
Saulo Mohana / Unsplash

 


Amidst the public uproar over the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border, there was a notable push-back from leading airlines.

United, American, Southwest, and Frontier all announced they did not want the government using their planes to transport separated children, saying it defied their corporate values 

These airlines are just some of the corporations to openly resist the President, pointing to a trend of increased corporate activism. 

Map of Detroit Metro Transit plan
Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan

 

One hot topic at the Mackinac Policy Conference this week is the future of regional transportation in Southeast Michigan — particularly a proposed millage to fund the expansion of the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan.

Daniel Howes is a Detroit News business columnist. He speaks with Stateside about regional divide and larger issues at the core of the RTA debate. 

Three women pose with Lori Blaker in Afghanistan
Courtesy of Lori Blaker

 


 

Think of it as a sort of Nobel Prize for businesses: the Oslo Business for Peace Award

 

The Business for Peace Foundation each year honors business leaders who use their business skills to do good: to help the economy, to help society, and to do it in a way that is ethical and responsible. 

Courtesy of Melissa Butler

Growing your own business means persisting past uncertainty and rejection: having a clear idea of what your product is about, and where you want to take your business.

Detroiter Melissa Butler is proof of that idea. She’s the founder and CEO of The Lip Bar. It is a non-toxic, cruelty-free and vegan line of lipsticks and lip-glosses.

Courtesy of Dan Vermeesch

 

 

A West Michigan company has come up with a remarkable way to address the skills shortage problem we hear about so much in our state.

 

Micron Manufacturing of Walker is a precision machining supplier, and Micron lets workers create their own schedules.

A Techtown building in Detroit
Andrew Jameson / Wikimedia Commons

Grant funding is being extended for a program in Detroit that supports a business startup accelerator for students.

TechTown's Detroit Technology Exchange Business Incubator will receive a $250,000 extension. The funding is part of more than $1.7 million in extensions approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Heard about America’s new parlor game? Global corporations are playing regions and taxpayers off one another to land the richest deal. And Michigan is in the game. So far, anyway.

Earlier this week, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed legislation obligating his state’s taxpayers to pay Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology a cool $2.85 billion in cash. That’s billion with a “B.”

What for? To offset its payroll and capital costs to set up shop in the southeast corner of that state.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Forget the notion that the Chinese are coming to the auto industry near you. They’re already here.

Geely has controlled Sweden’s Volvo for seven years now. Tencent Holdings owns a five percent stake in Elon Musk’s Tesla. Pacific Century Motors acquired Delphi’s Saginaw-based steering division to create Nexteer Automotive Corp. And Chinese companies spent $140 billion last year on mergers and acquisitions, second only to the United States.

Andrea_44 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The businessman president is losing big business.

Donald Trump's promise to turn to America's business leaders for advice and counsel has collapsed.

His refusal to lay complete blame for the weekend violence in Charlottesville led to a revolt by CEOs in his business advisory groups.

two women on laptops
wocintechchat / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The fallout from the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News continues as co-president Bill Shine is the latest to leave the network.

Although Shine has not himself been accused of harassment, a growing number of women at Fox News claim he was quite aware of the inappropriate behavior against them and did nothing to address their concerns.

This dismissive attitude by a top executive doesn't surprise Lilia Cortina. She's a professor of psychology and women's studies at the University of Michigan. She has found that even though more and more workplaces have ways to report sexual harassment, women don't use them.

Courtesy of the Sunny Patch Learning Center

It’s been three years since Flint’s ill-fated switch to the Flint River as its drinking water source.

It wasn’t just people living in Flint that were hurt by the city’s water crisis.

Businesses in the Vehicle City also suffered.

Courtesy of Kyle Bice

The "Beervangelist" is on the road.

Fred Bueltmann is New Holland Brewing Company’s vice president of Brand and Lifestyle. He's touring the nation to understand the popularity of craft-made beer, craft spirits, artisanal cheese, honey, jewelry, guitars and dozens of other products. It’s like the national version of our Artisans of Michigan series on Stateside.

The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act would require employees to undergo genetic testing and hand over those results to their employer.
Wikipedia.com

How would you feel if your boss demanded you undergo genetic testing and hand over the results? And if you refuse, you could wind up paying a penalty of up to 30% of your health insurance's total cost?

A bill to do just that cleared a House Congressional committee last week. 

Courtesy of Shannon Cohen

Attention businesses and organizations in West Michigan: women of color are more than ready, willing and able to take on leadership roles.

That's the message on this International Women's Day from a study exploring why women of color are so often passed over for leadership roles in Kent and Ottawa Counties.

VERTAS / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Government failed Flint.

It's pretty tough to dispute that statement, knowing what we know about how the Flint water crisis came to be, and how it was dismissed and denied by bureaucrats and officials at all levels of government.
 

Entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist Joseph Sanberg believes we should work through the boardroom to help address working-class problems, not just wait for government to fix things.

MC Sports

MC Sports announced yesterday that the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and has begun the process of store liquidation.

The Grand Rapids-based company operates 68 store locations across the Midwest, including 22 in Michigan, and employs 1,300 people.

In a statement, MC Sports President and CEO Bruce Ullery said that the sports supplier has been unable to compete with online retailers.

More from yesterday's announcement:

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