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West Michigan firms among 100 Best Companies to Work For

West Michigan firms among 100 Best Companies to Work For

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Four Michigan businesses have made it onto FORTUNE’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, and two of them are right here in West Michigan.

Accounting firm Plante Moran came in at No. 23 on this year’s list.  The Grand Rapids-based business says it’s made the cut 16 consecutive years.  Plante Moran is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.  The company employs 978 people.  Some perks of employment include on-site child care on Saturdays during tax season, paid time off to support community outreach projects and a “buddy” system for new employees.

Medical device manufacturer Stryker jumped 19 spots to No. 42.  The Kalamazoo-based business is recognized for providing opportunities for employees to see products in action by observing surgeries. Detroit-based Quicken Loans took the top spot among Michigan companies, coming in at No. 5.  Credit Acceptance, based in Southfield, ranked 52.

New Jenison and Kalamazoo stores opening Jan. 23 first of their kind

New Jenison and Kalamazoo stores opening Jan. 23 first of their kind

GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich.— A new store opening in Jenison is the first of its kind in the country.

At Home is located at 334 Chicago Drive, in the former Target storefront.  Store manager Christopher Scholle says construction crews must finish adding signs to the new façade, repaving the front area and installing the store's front doors.  Store employees are expected to finish stocking shelves by Wednesday.  Scholle says At Home will celebrate its grand opening Jan. 23. 

At Home is operated by Garden Ridge, a Texas-based retail chain that sells home decor items.  Scholle says the At Home store is a new concept for Garden Ridge.  A second At Home store is expected to open in the former Kmart Store,  located at 4620 Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo, on Jan. 23 as well.

The Jenison store has hired 24 employees; four are full-time and 20 are part-time. 

UPDATE: Bell's Brewery open in Gerald R. Ford International Airport

UPDATE: Bell's Brewery open in Gerald R. Ford International Airport

KENTWOOD, Mich.—Travelers at Gerald R. Ford International Airport can now get a taste of West Michigan’s craft brewing industry.

The vice president of Bell’s Brewery and other business leaders held a ribbon cutting ceremony  Dec. 18 to celebrate two new airport restaurants: Bell’s Brewhouse and Greens.  Both businesses are operated by HMSHost and located before the security screening portion of the airport.

Greens offers personalized salads created with fresh incredients, including a variety of greens, vegetables, cheeses and meats.

Besides offering the company's award-winning craft beers, Bell's Brewhouse has its own cafe menu featuring dishes like pork tacos and soft bretzels with beer mustard.

UPDATE: Retailer taking over two empty stores now hiring

UPDATE: Retailer taking over two empty stores now hiring

GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich.—The new business moving into two empty storefronts in Jenison and Kalamazoo is now hiring.

Garden Ridge is currently looking for five managers and associates for its store, located at 334 Chicago Drive in Jenison. The space is currently being renovated.  Garden Ridge store manager Christopher Scholle expects to hold a soft opening in mid-January 2014.  

Scholle says the Jenison store will hire approximately 20-25 new employees. The first openings can be found on    the company’s main website now.

Blood donors treated to a free movie and popcorn

Blood donors treated to a free movie and popcorn

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—They aren’t all on the big screen.

Michigan Blood is getting ready to reward life-saving superheroes right here in the Grand Rapids community. The organization is teaming up with Celebration Cinema to offer a free movie pass and a bag of popcorn to each to person who attempts to donate blood during the holidays.

Michigan Blood needs to collect more than 2,200 units of blood every week to supply patients and hospitals around the state.  Donations traditionally drop around the holidays as people travel.

Days and times for the “Be a Star” donation deal vary around the state.  To find the location near you, visit the Michigan Blood website here.  In Grand Rapids, the following donation drives will take place in Michigan Blood’s Main Donor Center at 1036 Fuller Ave. NE:

Gun Lake Casino helps fill struggling families' plates

Gun Lake Casino helps fill struggling families' plates

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Hundreds of struggling families will be able to fill their plates this holiday season, thanks to a $15,000 donation from Gun Lake Casino.

On Monday, Dec. 15, the casino awarded $1,500 each to 10 food pantries, including Degage Ministries in Grand Rapids, Community Action House in Holland,  Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, Hopkins Community Food Pantry, Christian Neighbors Inc. Douglas, Martin Area Resource Center, Wayland Area Christian Neighbors, Plainwell Christian Neighbors, Allegan Ministerium Central Food Pantry and Project Hope in Dorr.

“We deeply appreciate the generosity of the casino as they partner with us to help those in need in Northeast Allegan County. At this time of the year, it is a special blessing to our families,” said Mary Barnes, executive director for Project Hope. “This $1,500 donation will purchase over 9,000 pounds of food from Feeding America.”

Kentwood beer distributor taps into holiday spirit

Kentwood beer distributor taps into holiday spirit

KENTWOOD, Mich.—A West Michigan business is tapping into the Christmas spirit, one dollar at a time.

Throughout the holiday season, West Side Beer Distributing is teaming up with the businesses it supplies to sell paper Christmas ornaments for $1 each. All of the proceeds will go to God’s Kitchen; Love, Inc.; Montcalm County Food Bank; Ionia County Food Bank; South Central Michigan Food Bank in Kalamazoo; and the Lansing Area Food Bank.

West Side Beer Distributing has been donating paper Christmas ornaments for the fundraiser for 19 years.  In that time, the business has collected more than $175,000 in donations to local food banks.