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Michigan’s thirteenth annual small business awards program announces 2017 winners

March 24, 2017

Small business owners and supporters are coming from all across the state to show their support for Michigan’s growing companies on Thursday, May 4th at the Thirteenth Annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards dinner.

“The companies selected this year give us an understanding of Michigan’s successful entrepreneurial ecosystem,” says Jennifer Deamud, Director of Michigan Celebrates Small Business and Associate State Director of the Michigan Small Business Development Center. “These companies are significant drivers of our economy. In addition, they play a critical role in their communities as job creators.”

Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB) is the state’s premier awards program celebrating small business excellence. Over 60 businesses, including the 2017 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch,” will be honored during the awards dinner. Awardees, guests and small business supporters will gather for an evening to highlight the importance of small businesses in Michigan and to acknowledge sixty companies that are creating jobs and growing. The awards gala will be held at the Lansing Center in Lansing, MI.

“Our team is incredibly humbled and honored to be named one of ‘Michigan’s 50 Companies to Watch.’ We feel so fortunate to be recognized alongside so many successful, inspiring, and thriving small businesses in Michigan, and to be named among the 2017 50 Companies to Watch is truly a dream come true. Our team and our community have played an invaluable role in making Love & Buttercream what it is today, and we look forward to giving our amazing state of Michigan something exciting to watch,” commented Brooke Wilson Vitale, Owner of Love & Buttercream in Oakland County.

The awards program will occur during National Small Business Week, April 30 – May 6, drawing extra attention to Michigan’s role in stimulating the national and global economy.

Companies nominated for the “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” list must be second-stage companies, defined as having 6 to 99 full-time-equivalent employees and generating $750,000 to $50 million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants. In addition, the companies must be privately held and headquartered in Michigan.

Judges from the banking, economic development, entrepreneurship development and venture capital communities selected the winners. The judges evaluated the nominees’ demonstration of intent and capacity to grow based on the following:

• Employee or sales growth

• Exceptional entrepreneurial leadership

• Sustainable competitive advantage

• Other notable factors that showcase the company’s success

The following companies will receive the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch Award:

·        Advanced Blending Solutions – Wallace

·        Advanced Battery Concepts – Clare

·        Air and Liquid Systems, Inc. – Rochester Hills

·        Ambassador Software – Royal Oak

·        America’s Preferred Home Warranty – Jackson

·        ASK – Lansing

·        Brown Iron Brewhouse – Washington

·        Collective Idea, Inc. – Holland

·        Continuity Programs, Inc. – Walled Lake

·        Dataspeed Inc. – Rochester Hills

·        Decypher – Berkley

·        Doberman Technologies – Mason

·        Downtown Restaurant Investments – Bay City

·        DROUGHT – Royal Oak

·        Edify North – Holland

·        Environmental Testing and Consulting – Romulus

·        Freshwater Digital – Grand Rapids

·        Goldner Walsh Garden & Home – Pontiac

·        Hurley Marine, Inc. – Escanaba

·        Image360 – Traverse City

·        IMC – Independent Machine Company – Escanaba

·        inFORM Studio – Northville

·        J Keller Properties, LLC – Ann Arbor

·        JetCo Solutions – Grand Rapids

·        K & M Industrial – Gladstone

·        Kalkaska Screw Products – Kalkaska

·        K-Tec Systems – Farmington Hills

·        Latitude 42 Brewing Company – Portage

·        Love & Buttercream – Royal Oak

·        ManoByte, Inc. – Grand Rapids

·        McCreadie Group, Inc. – Ann Arbor

·        Mixed Staffing & Recruiting – Grand Rapids

·        Mobile Defenders – Kentwood

·        Motor City Carpet & Flooring – Warren

·        MTW Industries LLC – Mt. Pleasant

·        Northern Promotions, LLC – Lachine

·        OneStream Software – Rochester

·        P.J. Wallbank Springs, Inc. – Port Huron

·        RBV Contracting – Detroit

·        Safety Net Inc. – Traverse City

·        Sandalwood Engineering & Ergonomics – Livonia

·        Stone House Bread – Traverse City

·        Tech Defenders – Grand Rapids

·        Torrent Consulting – Ann Arbor

·        Towel Tracker – Grand Rapids

·        United Technical Inc. – Whitmore Lake

·        Van Straten Brothers, Inc. – Baraga

·        Vollwerth & Baroni Companies – Hancock

·        Xeratec Corporation – Hancock

·        Youngtronics, LLC – Wixom

In addition to the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch award, the following companies will be honored at Michigan Celebrates Small Business:

·        Main Street USA Award: Sandlot Sports – Saginaw

·        Innovation of the Year Award: Light Guide Systems (LGS) – Wixom

·        Government Contractor of the Year Award: RBV Contracting – Detroit

Tickets are available for $135 per person or attendees can reserve a table of eight for $900. Tickets can be purchased online at

Now in its 13th year, Michigan Celebrates Small Business has a strong network of over 600 awardee alumni.  To celebrate the continued success of past award winners Michigan Celebrates Small Business will be presenting two new awards. The Strategically Focused Award and Most Engaged Workplace Award will be announced soon and will be awarded on May 4th at the gala.

Michigan Celebrates Small Business is a partnership of the Michigan Small Business Development Center (Michigan SBDC), Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the Edward Lowe Foundation, Small Business Association of Michigan, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Michigan Business Network.

The Michigan SBDC is the managing partner of Michigan Celebrates Small Business in 2017. In the thirteen year history of Michigan Celebrates, the Michigan SBDC was the managing partner eleven of those years. Michigan Celebrates Small Business is made possible with the generous support of Consumers Energy, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Goldman Sachs, Comcast Business, DTE Energy, AF Group, Rehmann, PNC Bank, Varnum Law, Michigan Credit Union League, Consumers Energy, 307 Events and Dynamic Edge, Inc.

For more information regarding Michigan Celebrates Small Business contact Jennifer Deamud, Executive Director of Michigan Celebrates at the Michigan Small Business Development Center – or 616-295-6232 (cell).

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