Business Bridge

In partnership with Crain’s Detroit Business, Business Bridge covers the intersection of business, politics and policy across Michigan.


Bills would restore tax credit for angel investors

August 1, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

Venture capitalists point to the credit as a way to make Michigan competitive with other states for startup funding, which they say sends the message that Michigan welcomes entrepreneurs.

Sale of Willow Run site to center for driverless car testing could close next summer

July 24, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

But the American Center for Mobility still lacks $60 million in federal funding said to be needed for the project, which is expected to open in 2018.

In the driverless car race, California companies have eye on Michigan

July 18, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

Out-of-state companies are looking establish offices in Michigan to be closer to the state’s auto industry. Economic development leaders hope this will boost the state’s cachet as a leader in the nascent mobility industry

Battle in Lansing over community colleges expanding 4-year degrees

July 11, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

Conflicting bills are prompting a debate over the mission and funding of community colleges, with four-year colleges and universities defending their turf

‘Smart road’ speed, location sensors going on up Michigan roads

June 27, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

Transportation officials say the sensors on southeast Michigan roads are designed to alert connected and driverless cars of the future to potential hazards, and help the state take the technological lead in automated driving.

Senate leader trying to find a third path on state energy overhaul

June 20, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

A proposal by the Senate energy committee chair is meant to address the Michigan Chamber’s concern about alternative energy mandates. Environmentalists say the new measure could make it harder for them to intervene.

Gov. Snyder: I’m still politically relevant

June 5, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

As Gov. Rick Snyder seeks to focus his message on Michigan’s future, the jury remains out on whether his administration, post-Flint, has the clout to help shape solutions for Detroit schools, statewide infrastructure repair and other policy priorities

Michigan’s record on infrastructure: Ignore everything

June 2, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

The last time Michigan’s infrastructure performance was measured was 2009; when we were bottom in the nation. Then things got worse.

Charters chafe at commission oversight in Detroit

June 2, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

The proposed Detroit Education Commission is the centerpiece of a debt-relief proposal in Lansing favored by the governor, and the city’s mayor, business and education establishment. On the other side: Michigan’s charter school industry.

Flint water, city schools on agenda at Mackinac biz conference

June 2, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

The annual conference on Mackinac Island, a wonkfest of deep policy discussion and open bars, will address some of the state’s most vexing infrastructure and education issues.

At odds over betting: Michigan’s last two horse tracks battle over electronic wagering

May 15, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

Hazel Park Raceway (thoroughbreds) and Northville Downs (harness racing) are battling to the wire over a bill intended to help preserve Michigan’s race industry.

Michigan looks to lead on regulation of autonomous vehicles

May 1, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

The state is one of the first to pass laws on the driverless cars of the near future. One lawmaker says he hopes Michigan can be a model for others.

Michigan’s company towns: striking a balance with powerful employers

April 11, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

For decades, dominant industries in small towns have meant jobs, money and economic and civic spinoffs. They can also cause jitters and economic heartache. Here's a look at five Michigan towns with an outsized corporate resident.

East Jordan: Iron Works changes name, not commitment to hometown

April 11, 2016 | Tom Henderson

Even as company grows globally, family keeps it home in Michigan villag

Battle Creek: Changing tastes, economy strain link to Kellogg

April 11, 2016 | Dustin Walsh

A need to adapt when fewer people are eating cerea

Benton Harbor: Whirlpool seeks balance in southwest Michigan homes

April 11, 2016 | Dustin Walsh

Spanning the river-split towns of overwhelmingly poor and African American Benton Harbor and far more affluent and white St. Joseph, Whirlpool has struggled to align its corporate imperatives with its community responsibilities.

Greenville: Moving past Electrolux

April 11, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

Town puts focus on regional economic development, skilled trade

Midland: Leaders say Dow Chemical is committed to city’s future

April 11, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

Thinking positively about a merger in a town inextricably linked to the chemical company

Flint water crisis could threaten Pure Michigan campaign success

March 28, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

Business leaders say they must work harder now to attract companies to Michigan in the wake of ongoing negative publicity

Mission Improbable: Selling Flint in wake of crisis

March 28, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

Efforts aim to counter lead crisis with Flint positive