Michigan Business, Economy & Tourism


Michigan Business & Economy
3:33 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

The massive GM recall just got more expensive

GM CEO Mary Barra has led the company's response to the recall crisis.

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 2:04 pm

General Motors Thursday revised up to $1.3 billion dollars its estimate of the cost of recalling millions of cars with faulty ignition switches.

The automaker will now replace the ignition lock cylinder as well as the switch itself on the defective vehicles. The $1.3  billion estimate includes the cost of repairs and of providing loaner vehicles to customers.

GM shares fell to a 10-month low today in the wake of the news. Ratings agency Standard & Poor's said Thursday that it might put off a planned upgrade of GM's debt to investment-grade status until next year.

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5:12 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Record high reached for fuel economy in the US; what comes next?

There was an encouraging report last month from the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute about fuel economy.

We hit a record high in February in terms of gas mileage for new vehicles sold in the U.S.: 25.2 miles per gallon. It's the fifth-straight month gas mileage for new vehicles has topped 25 mpg.

That got us wondering how we're faring in the quest to squeeze out better mileage from our cars and trucks, and in the quest to create electric, hybrid, natural gas and fuel-cell vehicles and technologies.

Charles Griffith is the climate and energy program director at the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

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6:03 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

"The Joe's" days as the home of the Detroit Red Wings are numbered

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 2:05 pm

For the past 35 years, "Hockeytown" in Detroit has meant the on Detroit's Riverfront.  But " The Joe's" days as the home of the Detroit Red Wings are numbered.

The Wings are headed north to the Cass Corridor area between downtown at Midtown.

A new $450-million, 18,000 seat arena is on the way for Wings owner Mike Ilitch,  perhaps as early as the 2016-2017 season.

And what's drawing fire from critics like my next guest is the fact that the stadium deal has the public covering nearly 60% of the sticker price the Ilitches will get all the revenues from the new stadium, and the whole deal was unveiled publicly the week after Detroit declared bankruptcy.

Bill Bradley is a columnist at Next City, where he covers economic development in cities. He dug into the new Wings arena in a piece for nextcity.org. It's title? "Red Wings Stadium Upset! Why Taxpayers are Losing--Again--in Detroit."

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Michigan Business & Economy
4:46 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

New Center Will Encourage Immigrant Investment In Michigan

Michigan will be only the second state in the country to run a statewide center meant to encourage investment from immigrants.

The center will provide visas for people who invest at least $1 million in the state and create at least ten jobs. The required investment goes down to $500,000 if it is made in a rural community or one with high unemployment.

This is one piece of Gov. Rick Snyder’s strategy to attract more immigrants to Michigan. His administration expects the center to bring in at least $30 million and create 600 new jobs every year.

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10:18 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Michigan's maple syrup farming is sweet for the economy

A maple tree is tapped for syrup.

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 2:27 pm

The first farm crop to be harvested in Michigan is ready. 

Michigan ranks number five in maple syrup production each year, and according to the Michigan Maple Syrup Association, that sweet syrup helps pump nearly $2.5 million into Michigan's economy each year.

But there are plenty of maple trees in Michigan that are not being tapped. So we wondered, if we have all these trees, why aren't more people making maple syrup?

Michael Farrell's book is called The Sugar Makers Companion: An Integrated Approach to Producing Syrup from Maple, Birch, and Walnut Trees.

Farrell joins us today.

Listen to the full interview above. 

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Disabled Adults
1:45 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Paperworks Greeting Card Program Shuts Down

File photo.
Credit Peter Payette

  A 20-year legacy of homemade papers and cards has ended, even as the Paperworks Studio line grows in popularity. The program, which employs disabled workers, shuts down immediately in Traverse City.

Fundraising to salvage it didn’t bring in enough money for the nonprofit Grand Traverse Industries to take over the program and try to bring it into black.

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Auto Industry
1:03 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Did A Federal Safety Agency Help General Motors Avoid A Recall?

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 8:22 am

As details emerge about GM's handling of an ignition switch recall, a question is raised again: What is the relationship between regulators and the regulated, and the revolving door between the two?

Michigan Business & Economy
6:26 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

President Obama In Ann Arbor To Push Minimum Wage Hike

President Obama.
Credit The White House

President Obama was in Ann Arbor Wednesday to make the case for an increase in the minimum wage. The President told a crowd at the University of Michigan it’s a mistake to try to boost the economy with tax breaks for the wealthy.

Listen to the president's full speech in Ann Arbor.

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4:45 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Zingerman's co-founder talks about why raising the minimum wage matters

Paul Saginaw, co-founder of Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He attended the president's speech on raising the minimum wage today.
Melanie Kruvelis Michigan Radio

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 10:34 am

President Barack Obama was in Ann Arbor today, pushing the Fair Minimum Wage Act.

That’s the bill that would gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2016. Senate Democrats are planning votes on a bill, but Republicans are working to block it.

Back here in Michigan, the minimum wage is $7.40 an hour – though groups are working to gather petition signatures to boost the state's minimum wage.

But can a state that is still recovering from a terrible recession weather a 36% hike in the minimum wage?

Paul Saginaw is co-founder of Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor. He has been pushing to increase the minimum wage and he is already committed to paying Zingerman's workers above the minimum wage.

We talk to Saginaw about the president's push for raising the minimum wage.

Listen to the full interview above.

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Michigan Business & Economy
1:14 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

GM Has 'Culture Of Cover-Up,' Key Senator Says

General Motors CEO Mary Barra as she testified Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Day Two of General Motors CEO Mary Barra's time testifying before Congress about safety problems with her company's cars has been highlighted by a top senator saying the company "repeatedly lied" about its problems and has fostered a "culture of cover-up."

From The Detroit News:

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