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Number and Quality of “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” Nominations Robust Despite Struggling Michigan Economy

January 20, 2010

The number of companies nominated for 2010 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch, a part of the Michigan Celebrates Small Business Awards program, is at the highest level in the six year history of the program.

“We expected a good number of companies to answer the call for applications, and in the end we received 174 application submissions, resulting in 119 finalists,” says Joy Kitamori, manager of the Companies to Watch program for the Edward Lowe Foundation. “Not only did we get a near record number of applications, but the quality of the companies is really impressive,” Kitamori says. “We think this demonstrates that second-stage companies are well-situated to thrive and expand despite Michigan’s economic circumstances.”

Michigan Celebrates Small Business is a premier annual program to recognize entrepreneurs and small business supporters in a variety of categories. The program is a cooperative effort of the U.S. Small Business Administration – Michigan, the Small Business Association of Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center and the Edward Lowe Foundation.

The Michigan 50 Companies to Watch program is sponsored by the Edward Lowe Foundation and each year recognizes and celebrates the contributions, innovation and energy of 50 diverse second-stage companies in Michigan. Winners will be recognized April 29, 2010, at the Michigan Celebrates Small Business event and dinner at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. For more information, go to

Underwriters for this year’s Michigan Celebrates Small Business event are National City (now a part of PNC), Clark Hill PLC, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Certified Development Corporation, Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, IBM and Dynamic Edge Inc.

“The Michigan Celebrates Small Business event plays a key role in seeding and growing Michigan’s new economy businesses,” says Don Lee, Chief Marketing Officer of Clark Hill PLC. “Clark Hill represents a diverse range of clients ranging from individuals and new economy businesses to Fortune 500 corporations.  There is a synergy between the event and Clark Hill, this is why we’ve supported the event since its inception six years ago.”

Media partners for Michigan Celebrates Small Business are MiBiz, Crain’s Detroit Business, Upper Peninsula Business Today, the Traverse City Business News,, WWJ Newsradio 950 and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly.

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