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Michigan Celebrates Small Business announces opening of nominations for Michigan 50 Companies to Watch

September 11, 2015

The Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB) Awards program kicks off with nominations for the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch Awards. To nominate your favorite company, click here. Each year fifty companies are chosen from hundreds of applicants and this year the program judges expect to be looking at more than 750 possible candidates. A new VIP reception for nominees has been added to the program in November. This reception is a by-invitation-only event for  leaders of the nominated companies, sponsors and nominators. Many companies have multiple nominations each year and this year will reward individuals first to nominate companies with an invitation to the VIP reception. 

The 550 past awardees of for Michigan 50 Companies to Watch benefited from recognition in a number of ways. “I’m honored that Firstronic received this statewide award. But what excites me the most is that this recognition sends a signal to our team that the hard work they’ve done over the last three years to help Firstronic more than triple in size has been noticed outside the world of electronics manufacturing,” said John Sammut, CEO and President, Firstronic, a 2015 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch awardee.

Self-nominations are highly encouraged as well and the leader of one of the founding organizations of MCSB makes the case for just that. “Being selected as one of the Michigan 50 Companies To Watch is not only an honor, it can also be great for your business. Second stage companies are, almost by definition, not well known – yet. Being recognized with this award gets you on the radar in your community and with your customers. I have a one hyphenated word piece of advice for growing businesses in Michigan; self-nominate!” said Rob Fowler, President, Small Business Association of Michigan.

Nominations opened Tuesday, September 8 and will remain open until Monday, November 2 at 5 p.m. Be first to nominate your favorite company, go to now. 

Eligibility Criteria for Michigan 50 Companies to Watch
• Be a privately held commercial enterprise (not a nonprofit, not publicly traded, not a subsidiary or division of another company) and has not received the award in the past
• Be past the startup stage and facing issues of growth, not survival
• Employ 6-99 full-time equivalent (FTE) W2 employees which includes the 
• Have between $750,000 and $50M in annual revenue OR working capital from investors or grants
• Be headquartered in Michigan
• Demonstrate the intent and capacity to grow based on:
◦ Employee or sales growth
◦ Exhibit a sustainable competitive advantage
◦ Other notable successes

MCSB Award categories for business owners also includes the Small Business Person of the Year, Young Entrepreneur, Women Owned Business, Veteran Owned Small Business, Main Street USA Best Small Business, Small Business Innovation, and Government Contractor. Nomination processes and award information for all the MCSB Awards can be found at

Michigan Celebrates Small Business was launched in 2005 by the Michigan Small Business Development Center, U.S. Small Business Administration, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Edward Lowe Foundation, Small Business Association of Michigan, and Chris Holman – Small Business Advocate.  MiQuest is the Managing Partner for Michigan Celebrates Small Business.  The mission is to highlight the contributions growing businesses make to the state’s economy.  Nearly 1,000 are expected to attend this year’s event in May 2016.  For details, visit

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