Business

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In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the owner of Holland-based digital marketing agency Symposia Labs is offering marketing clients and Facebook user’s advice. WGVU spoke with Tim Haines about Facebook’s handling of the scandal and how Facebook users can protect their personal information. 

Mark Sanchez
Courtesy photo / LinkedIn.com

Kent County and Amazon negotiating a distribution site and Spectrum Health is in a naming rights battle over its MedNow service.

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Governor Rick Snyder has signed a budget bill that accelerates spending on road repairs in time to help with the spring and summer construction season.

The bill shifts $175 million from next year’s construction season to use this coming spring and summer to fix roads.

“You’re going to see a lot of (orange) barrels in every corner of Michigan,” he said.

Michigan lawmakers are comfortable with the state’s current driverless vehicle laws.

In 2016, the governor signed into law regulations on autonomous vehicles. Those also allow for testing of self-driving cars on state roads. But this week an autonomous vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona.

Governor Rick Snyder has championed autonomous vehicles for a while. He said they need to find out all the issues associated with the death, but he’s not sure it will stall development of autonomous vehicles.

Rapid Silver Line bus
ridetherapid.org

Members of the American Public Transportation Association are in Washington this week. That includes the CEO of Grand Rapids’ Interurban Transit Partnership. Peter Varga, CEO of The Rapid is speaking to Congress on behalf of the American Public Transportation Association.

APTA says the Trump Administration is proposing deep cuts to public transportation funding to help fund its proposed $200 billion infrastructure initiative. Varga is making the case investing in public transit supports economic growth and creates jobs.

Michigan officials have shuttered 40 medical marijuana businesses across the state.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs started the process Thursday of closing down facilities that are operating illegally and haven't submitted applications for a license.

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Earlier this month, Grand Valley State University's Van Andel Global Trade Center hosted its 19th West Michigan Automotive Suppliers Symposium.

Mike Wall, director of automotive analysis for IHS Markit, presented during the annual event. He spoke with WGVU about the future of autonomous vehicles and mobility along with NAFTA renegotiations and the potential impacts of steel and aluminum tariffs. But first, the automotive industry forecast.

Senior citizens
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Roughly 29 percent of American households aged 55 and older have neither retirement savings or pension plan. For those who do, the savings averages $104,000. With Americans living longer the reality is the savings won't go far.

For perspective and advice we talk with Elizabeth White author of "Fifty-five, Unemployed and Faking Normal."

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The 7th round of North American Free Trade Agreement talks have come to an end. One renegotiation sticking point involves automotive production and what is called the “country of origin” provision. Can U.S. demands be met? WGVU recently spoke with an automotive analyst and the Consul General of Canada to find out.

Under the rules of origin, Douglas George, Consul General of Canada explains NAFTA trade bloc partner products must contain 62.5 percent of regional content in order to qualify for no tariff.

“Which is the highest in any trade agreement in the world.”

Brian G. Long, director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University
gvsu.edu

West Michigan’s 2018 economy got off to a strong start in January and February was even better.

Traditionally, West Michigan’s economy experiences the winter blues in February. It either flattens out or slides just a bit, but not this year. Brian G. Long is director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business. He explains with the recent passage of the tax law the local economy accelerated backed by firms specializing in capital equipment or export.

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