Paula Gardner

Paula Gardner is Bridge’s first business editor, joining the team in April 2020. Paula will be leading our new dive into business reporting, emphasizing Michigan’s economy and policy issues that affect it, along with stories about the people, decisions and changes on the front lines of business in our state.  Her career includes several years at MLive.com, where she was editor of The Ann Arbor News, statewide business reporter and part of an award-winning environmental coverage team that helped uncover and dig into Michigan’s PFAS crisis. Among her honors is an award naming her Michigan’s Journalist of the Year in 2019 from the Michigan Press Association. Paula’s experience includes leading the news team at AnnArbor.com, a digital news startup launched in 2009 that generated company-leading audience growth.  Before that, she worked at Michigan Business Review, the Detroit Free Press and the Ypsilanti Press. Paula moved from Dearborn Heights to attend the University of Michigan, then never left the greater Ann Arbor area after graduation. Find her as Paula_Gardner on Twitter or pgardner@bridgemi.com

Articles

Michigan’s unemployed to get $900 more. System glitches remain

Michigan’s unemployed to get $900 more. System glitches remain

September 18, 2020 | Paula Gardner

The state was approved for three more weeks of Lost Wages Assistance, and jobless workers should see that money by the end of September.

As home prices rise in Michigan, so do worries about affordability

As home prices rise in Michigan, so do worries about affordability

September 18, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Affordability and accessibility are a problem in the state’s housing market. Officials and industry experts are watching to see how the coronavirus pandemic affects that.

Whitmer: Michigan could remain in COVID-19 state of emergency for months

Whitmer: Michigan could remain in COVID-19 state of emergency for months

September 17, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Amid frustrations from some business owners about emergency orders, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she’s weighing case counts, vaccine development and other factors in determining how long the crisis will last.

Q&A: Michigan builders want state’s help to build affordable homes

Q&A: Michigan builders want state’s help to build affordable homes

September 17, 2020 | Paula Gardner

New construction remains suppressed across the state, and low- to middle-income residents are bearing the brunt of the lack of affordable new homes. Bob Filka, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Michigan, hopes to lead policy changes to make more building possible at mid-range prices.

Coronavirus kept us home, igniting real estate frenzy in northern Michigan

Coronavirus kept us home, igniting real estate frenzy in northern Michigan

September 17, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Prices are climbing and competition is fierce as traditionally slow areas of Michigan become real-estate hotspots. No longer geographically tied to their workplaces and enjoying low interest rates, buyers are sparking a ‘feeding frenzy’ in northern Michigan.

Whitmer thanks Michigan COVID essential workers with free community college

Whitmer thanks Michigan COVID essential workers with free community college

September 10, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Paula Gardner, Ron French

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer set aside $24 million in federal CARES Act funds to allow people required to work through the height of the coronavirus crisis to receive a free associate’s degree at a local community college.

Michigan businesses struggled during COVID. Customers are coming to rescue.

Michigan businesses struggled during COVID. Customers are coming to rescue.

September 8, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Spending is up, even amid a pandemic. And many consumers are keeping money closer to home, saving a coffee shop near Saline and increasing traffic in downtowns.

Extra $300 Michigan unemployment payouts should reach jobless after Labor Day

Extra $300 Michigan unemployment payouts should reach jobless after Labor Day

September 3, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Payments will be retroactive to Aug. 1. However, state officials warn they’ll only last up to five weeks.

Michigan lawmakers may tweak unemployment law to help employers amid pandemic

Michigan lawmakers may tweak unemployment law to help employers amid pandemic

September 2, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Michigan’s reserves to pay jobless claims are dwindling amid record unemployment claims. Starting Jan. 1, employers would have to pay more into the system, but some lawmakers want to avoid that prospect.

Michigan’s permanent layoffs suggest thousands of jobs may be gone for good

Michigan’s permanent layoffs suggest thousands of jobs may be gone for good

August 21, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Economists are starting to get data that indicate a longer, slower recovery period following steep job losses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Michigan town wonders what’s next as factory closes and 125 jobs are lost

Michigan town wonders what’s next as factory closes and 125 jobs are lost

August 21, 2020 | Paula Gardner

‘We need to find jobs that people can keep,’ says one store owner as the second-largest employer in Evart closed this summer. It’s just another blow to a community fighting for stability during the coronavirus pandemic.

Michigan seeks $300 per week in extra benefits for unemployed

Michigan seeks $300 per week in extra benefits for unemployed

August 18, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Paula Gardner

President Trump is making extra unemployment benefits available because of the pandemic that has left more than 2.4 million Michigan residents jobless. The state could have pursued an extra $100 per week in benefits, but opted against it because of declining tax revenue.

Michigan colleges ‘nervous’ about COVID as students return, ready to party

Michigan colleges ‘nervous’ about COVID as students return, ready to party

August 14, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Students are returning to colleges throughout Michigan. That means partying is inevitable. But state, business and local leaders are working to find a way to ensure that doesn’t lead to coronavirus outbreaks.

Study: Wage gap widens between Black, white workers, especially in Michigan

Study: Wage gap widens between Black, white workers, especially in Michigan

August 12, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Both races make less than they did 40 years ago when adjusted for inflation. But wages for Black workers have declined more since the 1970s, in part because of a loss of manufacturing and widening gap in educational opportunities.

Report: Michigan needs more entrepreneurs as it loses ground to other states

Report: Michigan needs more entrepreneurs as it loses ground to other states

August 11, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Michigan emerged from the Great Recession with a good environment for new businesses. But it wasn’t great. Now, the challenge to improve is more urgent.

Big Ten may cancel Michigan football. In Ann Arbor, businesses brace for worst

Big Ten may cancel Michigan football. In Ann Arbor, businesses brace for worst

August 10, 2020 | Paula Gardner

University of Michigan football makes some $122 million per year and supports a host of businesses throughout Ann Arbor. They’ve already endured the coronavirus. Can they survive the loss of the 2020 season?

PPE turns into ‘tremendous’ opportunity for Reed City factory

PPE turns into ‘tremendous’ opportunity for Reed City factory

July 24, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Thirty jobs created during the COVID-19 pandemic is one sign that Reed City Group’s diversification into medical equipment is paying off.

 Q&A: Ari Weinzweig of Zingerman’s says MI restaurants need help. Now.

Q&A: Ari Weinzweig of Zingerman’s says MI restaurants need help. Now.

July 24, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Restaurant owners are “making hard decisions, literally, almost every day.” A $120 billion relief package before Congress could help.

Michigan may soon move to shield businesses from coronavirus lawsuits

Michigan may soon move to shield businesses from coronavirus lawsuits

July 13, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Business owners fear a flood of lawsuits because of exposure from the coronavirus. Lawmakers may soon consider legislation that would grant them protections if they follow precautions.

Michigan property owners have until Aug. 31 to appeal 2020 taxes

Michigan property owners have until Aug. 31 to appeal 2020 taxes

July 13, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Michigan moved its appeal deadline because of the coronavirus pandemic. So far, nearly 1,400 commercial property owners seek to reduce their taxes, while cities brace for a decline in revenues.

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