Features

Partner Content The ownership of Birchwood Mall changed in February 2021, when Kohan Retail Investment Group purchased the mall. Since then there's been significant expansion with 13 new businesses at the mall and 4-5 more about to enter into a contract.

Shopping small gets big push in retail world in Fort Gratiot Township

As more shoppers aren’t spending as much time or money in traditional big chain retailers, the future of shopping malls is in question. Locally, Birchwood Mall has found a way to give small businesses a big focus.

Longform austintaproom

A Special Destination: Austin Brothers Beer Co.

A California family discovers a special destination -- Alpena -- and relocates to open Austin Brothers Beer Co., a destination itself. 

2022 trends in remote employment

Several notable shifts are occurring in the remote employment landscape have occurred, according to a digital team that support the training of graduates seeking work-from-home jobs.

Longform cecconferencelocations

Community leaders gather to share small town entrepreneurial ideas


Feature Story UPword logo

Issue Media Group relaunches Upper Peninsula publication

Issue Media Group is excited to announce the relaunch of its online, community-informed, digital publication in the Upper Peninsula. UPword will focus on innovation, talent, entrepreneurship, social innovation, and community development, while featuring U.P.-based talent.

Longform almamural

Alma Aspires: A small town showcases its successes

Alma is back on the map. The Gratiot County community is on the upswing, with a new boutique hotel, shops, restaurants and other new businesses. 

Partner Content The Traverse City roundtable was the last stop on URC’s Hidden Health Threats tour

Hidden Threats: Research focuses on reducing microplastics in Michigan waters

“Microplastics, because of their size, can easily get into the human body,” warns Assistant Professor Rodrigo Fernandez-Valdivia, from the Wayne State University School of Medicine. He explains that microplastics themselves have been found to contain chemical substances that act as endocrine disruptors — disrupting hormone systems in both humans and animals.

Feature Story Muskegon County Airport (MKG) will offer 36 nonstop, round-trip flights per week to Chicago O’Hare International Airport through Southern Airways Express starting Oct. 1. (Nenyedi/WikiMedia Commons)

More flights to Chicago coming to Muskegon County Airport

Muskegon County Airport (MKG) will offer 36 nonstop, round-trip flights per week to Chicago O’Hare International Airport through Southern Airways Express starting Oct. 1.

Feature Story Port Huron residents Tyler Moldovan and Alexandra Hand packing up to move to their new home.

Urban Pioneer Program offers $10k to first-time homebuyers in Port Huron

Amidst a highly-competitive and inflated market, city officials expanded funding for a down payment assistance program for first-time homebuyers looking to purchase property in Port Huron.

Longform Farmer Craig Schaaf, of Golden Rule Farm, has led farming workshops at Grow Benzie for a decade.

Grow Benzie: Rooted in community

A new type of community center has planted roots in Benzie County, providing residents and visitors the chance to learn old and new skills, everything farming and sewing to beekeeping and the arts. 

Feature Story masoncoutymural

Mason County history finds a new home in Ludington

The West Michigan county's historical society moves into new space in downtown Ludington, hoping to better connect to the community and showcase local history. 

Feature Story launched the docuseries “Muskegon What's to Come?” to highlight the stories of Muskegon residents. 

Meet the Muskegon resident behind ‘Coffee with Craig’

Craig Person moved to Muskegon Heights from California to make a difference. The owner-operator at Blue House Manor recently launched the docuseries “Muskegon What's to Come?” to highlight the stories of Muskegon residents.   

Feature Story Local historian Blaine Knoll (left) and Ottawa County Land Use Specialist Andrew Roszkowski install a new West Michigan Pike sign in Holland earlier this month. [Rich C. Lakeberg/Ottawa County]

New life for West Michigan Pike, region’s original highway

Ottawa County teams up with local historian Blaine Knoll to commemorate the original West Michigan highway, with help from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation.  

Feature Story Rendering of Metal Flow's planned expansion in Holland Township. (Lakewood Construction)

Metal Flow expands in Holland Township

Metal Flow’s expansion will add 60,000 square feet of space in a new facility and create 10 new jobs.  

Feature Story On the Ground Battle Creek Cask and Kettle

Coffee and alcohol, a winning combination for startup

A business that creates a K-POD that becomes a hot drink with alcohol has been growing in Battle Creek since it launched in 2018. Now Cask & Kettle is selling 600,000 K-PODS annually and is closing in this year on just over $1 million in annual sales.

The path forward: How telehealth continues to provide care for underserved Americans

The COVID-19 outbreak brought telehealth to the forefront, but a report by the Brookings Governance Studies shows us that the demand for virtual health services is not going away. If anything, the need will continue to grow.

Feature Story Passengers board a trolley to take a tour of Muskegon.

Michigan ports welcome new era in Great Lakes cruising

Small coastal towns in the Upper and Lower peninsulas embrace the return of cruise ships, delighting passengers from all over.  

Feature Story The MuskegonCity Public Art Initiative, which began in 2018, is a project of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County and is responsible for the commissioning and development of 10 monumental works of public art in the Muskegon area.

MuskegonCity Public Art Initiative bringing ‘monumental works’ to city

The latest public art project, One Drop, honors the 70th anniversary of the Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce and is about “how individual efforts when combined become major triumphs.”

Feature Story Guy-Stickler-List

Charms of rural Michigan lure local back from across the pond

Though he learned much from his time living in England, Guy Stickler is grateful to be back raising his family in rural Millbrook Township and working as a Survey Project Manager for Rowe PSC in Mt. Pleasant.  

Feature Story Gougeon, Kornoely, and Jackson are excited to be the newest Crumbl franchisees.

Let's get ready to Crumbl, Mt. Pleasant: New cookie franchise to open later this fall

Look out, Mt. Pleasant - the Crumbl Cookie craze is coming to town! With the closest store currently in Novi, this sweet treat is moving a whole lot closer to those in the Great Lakes Bay Region.