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

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.

Q&A with Sandy Baruah: ‘To keep businesses open, wear a mask’

Q&A with Sandy Baruah: ‘To keep businesses open, wear a mask’

July 13, 2020 | Paula Gardner

The leader of the Detroit Regional Chamber says the most important thing Michiganders can do for businesses during coronavirus is to help them keep their doors open.

Whitmer orders Michigan stores to refuse entry to those not wearing masks

Whitmer orders Michigan stores to refuse entry to those not wearing masks

July 10, 2020 | Ron French, Paula Gardner

With coronavirus cases rising, Michigan’s governor toughened state face mask requirements. Starting Monday, expect to be refused entry to stores and restaurants if you’re not covered. Customers face fines, stores face closure for ignoring.

$100M in ‘critical’ coronavirus relief coming to Michigan small businesses

$100M in ‘critical’ coronavirus relief coming to Michigan small businesses

July 7, 2020 | Paula Gardner

With uncertainty growing along with coronavirus cases across the U.S., the state says the new grants are ‘critical’ to helping them survive the pandemic. Another $15M targets farms

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer closes most bars as coronavirus cases spike

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer closes most bars as coronavirus cases spike

July 1, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Paula Gardner

As some service workers and others call for even more restrictions, Whitmer says ‘we need to take aggressive action right now to ensure we don’t wipe out all the progress we have made.’

After 100-plus coronavirus cases, Michigan bar owner urges more testing

After 100-plus coronavirus cases, Michigan bar owner urges more testing

June 29, 2020 | Paula Gardner

"People say to me, ‘I feel so bad for you being demonized as far as the numbers,’” said the owner of Harper’s in East Lansing.“If we don’t have the numbers, we don’t know what’s out there.”

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