Stories

Feature Storywoosah

Soul of the city: Retail and small business breathe life into Grand Rapids

Despite retail giants like Toys “R” Us and GR-based MC Sports closing their doors, GR recently took second place in the category of “Best Cities for New Small Business” in a LendingTree report. In this installment of Making it in GR, Rapid Growth observes the relationship between the current state of national retail and the local retail climate, as well as the effects of e-commerce on local business.

Feature StoryTeen Entrepreneur

Teenpreneurs pursue passions without limitations

Being a teen might mean you can't do a lot of things. You can't vote. You can't join the military. You can't rent a car. But you can start a business. And sometimes, being a teen entrepreneur can have its advantages.

Feature StoryRG Cone Apetite

Fighting to end human trafficking, one scoop at a time

With flavors like Almond ‘Bout that Base' and Join the MoveMINT, Cone Appétit couples a joyful treat with a mission to end human trafficking.

Feature StoryRende

Here's how one new local lender aims to eliminate the racial wealth gap in Grand Rapids

As a local emerging community development financial institution (CDFI), Rende Progress Capital is the only racial equity-focused CDFI to provide loans, investments, and business technical assistance services to excluded entrepreneurs like Asian Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, and immigrants.

Feature StoryMuseGR

Muse GR aligns purpose and passion with creativity on the westside

The city has seen its fair share of art galleries over the years, but this year a new space opened up with their version of a modern urban gallery as Muse GR, and the rest is history. Publisher Tommy Allen sits down with Muse GR's Stephen Smith, M.Ed. and Taylor Smith.

Feature StoryPlant

Local entrepreneurs collaborate to navigate new cannabusiness industry

After local medical marijuana regulations and statewide recreational use have passed, local advocates and entrepreneurs work together to navigate the new cannabusiness economy.

Feature StoryBruce Barcott

G-Sync: Looking back to an interview with Leafly's Deputy Editor Bruce Barcott

Bruce Barcott — a Guggenheim Fellow in nonfiction and the author of "Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America" — arrived in Grand Rapids to celebrate 420 Day with an informative lecture “Everyday Wisdom from an Extraordinary Industry: Ten Hard-Learned Business Lessons from the First Year of Legal Marijuana” in 2018. This interview with Rapid Growth's Publisher Tommy Allen is packed with info still relevant a year later.

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Video: Heroes to Hives

Military veterans have unique needs. So do honeybees. Learn how a unique program called Heroes to Hives is connecting veterans and bees in a way that helps heal mental health challenges and strengthen bee communities.

Feature StoryLisa Rice

How can we achieve equity in housing? A Q&A with the National Fair Housing Alliance's Lisa Rice

Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), will be the keynote speaker at the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan's 32nd Annual Luncheon & Workshop Series on April 25th at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. In this Q&A, Rice discusses how far we've come as a nation, and how far we have yet to go to achieve equity in housing.

Feature StoryTom Bulten

UIX: Grand Rapids’ first Bicycle Action Plan reflects the future of urban transportation

Public transit and dedicated lanes for non-motorized vehicles make it possible for more people to get to their jobs, homes, schools, and other destinations faster and more reliably than ever before, but they've also faced challenges in implementation, not just from city leaders, but from residents themselves. Here are the people who are finding out just how Grand Rapidians feel about bicycling in their city, and the plans they are implementing to increase bicycle access, adoption, and awareness.

Development NewsIleana Rodriguez

Workshop launches Absolutely Accessible Kent Campaign: Paralympian architect facilitates workshop

Paralympian and universal design architect, Ileana Rodriguez, to facilitate workshop, present keynote at DAKC April 18 workshop and luncheon that launches its Absolutely Accessible Kent Campaign.

USA Hockey event projected to generate $2 million in economic impact


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Video: The Fair Food Pledge

We follow a Grand Rapids-based effort to ensure that farm workers who help produce Michigan’s diverse crops of fruits and vegetables can do their jobs without exploitation or unfair treatment. Learn what the Fair Food Pledge is all about.

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Business is booming: 9 company expansions and relocations in West Michigan

As the Grand Rapids economy continues to boom and professionals of all stripes move into downtown, companies from all over the country are taking notice. Here are 9 companies relocating to or expanding within West Michigan.  

Feature StoryKelley3

RapidChat: Kelley Freridge on developing leadership skills in children through summer camp

From a very young age, Kelley Freridge had a knack for the great outdoors. "My parents always said that when I was six, I announced that I was going to camp. That's where I learned that 1+1=3." After a decade of working within the outdoor industry, Kelley finds herself back within the space that once brought her such joy — operating as Chief Marketing Officer at the American Camping Association.

Feature Storytactical art

The community members behind GR's tactical urban art: Temporary, permanent, and gentrifying artworks

Tactical urban art attracts new people to a neighborhood, but that can sometimes lead to gentrification. How do local artists balance the impermanence of urban artwork?

Development NewsHBY Award 2018

Awards Gala spotlights Latinx impact on local economy: "We are here to make a true contribution."

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of West Michigan (HCCWM) will host its 2019 Awards Gala, honoring six Latinx individuals and businesses who have exemplified success and commitment to community. The more than 800 people attending the sold-out event will see more than awards and award winners; they will gain important insights into the huge, positive economic impacts that Latinx businesses make on the entire region.

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Purple corn and "ugly" vegetables: How neighbors build sustainable urban farms

By building urban farms, two women in two different Michigan communities recognize the power of hard work, culturally-appropriate foods, sustainability ... and why even ugly vegetables deserve to be eaten.

Feature StoryWhitney Griffin.

These Detroiters are introducing newcomers to their city...via text

The new Text a Detroiter service from the Detroit Regional Chamber lets people submit questions about the area to local experts who respond directly through a messaging platform.

Feature StoryParent holding infant's hand

Urban Michigan initiatives recognize racism as major factor in infant and maternal mortality

Statewide, Black babies are three times more likely to die in their first year of life than white babies. But those statistics are even more alarming in many of Michigan's urban centers. Here are a few of the Michigan organizations are working to improve these numbers.

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