Economic Development and Small Business & Startups

West Michigan produces 12 of the state's 50 Companies to Watch

March 18, 2019
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Michigan's 50 Companies to Watch project 25 percent job growth
The Michigan 50 Companies to Watch awards program is produced by several state agencies to help celebrate small businesses. Photo via

A dozen companies from the region rate among this year’s 50 Companies to Watch in Michigan.

More than 80 businesses statewide, including the 2019 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch, will be recognized at the 15th-annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards gala on May 8 at the Breslin Center in Lansing.

The event is in conjunction with National Small Business Week, which is May 5-11.

Twelve of the companies to watch are from West Michigan, down from 20 last year and up from 10 in 2017.

Michigan Celebrates Small Business is a collaboration of several organizations: The Michigan Small Business Development Center, or MI-SBDC; Michigan Economic Development Corporation, or MEDC; U.S. Small Business Administration - Michigan; Edward Lowe Foundation; Michigan Business Network; and Small Business Association of Michigan, or SBAM.

The MI-SBDC is the managing partner of Michigan Celebrates Small Business in 2019.

Nomination criteria

The program recognizes second-stage companies, defined as having six to 99 full-time-equivalent employees and generating $750,000 to $50 million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants.

The companies must also be privately held and headquartered in Michigan.

Awards criteria

Judges from economic and entrepreneurship development organizations selected the winners.

The judges evaluated the nominees’ demonstration of intent and capacity to grow based on employee or sales growth, exceptional entrepreneurial leadership and sustainable competitive advantage.

Economic impact

The 2019 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch were responsible for $394.7 million in total annual revenue during 2018, a 26.5-percent increase in total revenue compared to 2017, according to the awards program.

Together, they provide 1,710 full-time equivalent jobs, 1,589 within Michigan, and are projected to create over 424 positions in 2019.

Other awards

Besides the 50 Companies to Watch, other small business awards will be presented at the gala.

SBAM will present two Michigan 50 Companies to Watch alumni awards: Most Engaged Workplace and Strategically Focused.

MEDC will present the SmartZone Best Small Business of the Year and PTAC Best Small Business of the Year awards.

MI-SBDC will present the SBDC Best Small Business of the Year award.

The Michigan District office of the U.S. Small Business Administration will present several small business awards, including the SBA Small Business Person of the Year.


Tickets, $145 per person, can be purchased at Table discounts are available.

2019 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch

AdAdapted Inc., Ann Arbor

Advance Plumbing & Heating Supply Company, Detroit

A-Line Staffing Solutions, Utica

AppleTree & Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool, Grand Rapids

Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club, Arcadia

ATLAS Space Operations Inc., Traverse City

BC Construction Group, Brighton

Beards Brewery, Petoskey

Brooklyn Outdoor, Plymouth

C2AE, Lansing

Campbell & Shaw Steel Inc., Marysville

Cheboygan Brewing Company, Cheboygan

Chronic Care Management, Traverse City

CORE Staffing, Frankenmuth

DBI – We Do Office, Lansing

Detroit Training Center, Detroit

E3M Solutions, Wyoming

Ebels Family Center, Falmouth

EverBlue Lakes, Richland

FOAM-iT, Grand Rapids

Fusion Coolant Systems Inc., Canton

Genomenon Inc., Ann Arbor

Groundspeed Analytics Inc., Ann Arbor

i3 Business Solutions, Grand Rapids

Industrial Magnetics Inc., Boyne City

K. Carroll Accessories, Auburn Hills

Kennari Consulting, Grand Rapids

Liberty Reach Inc., East Lansing

Mawby Sparkling Wine, Suttons Bay

METAS, Grand Rapids

Mettle Ops, Sterling Heights

Micro-LAM Inc., Portage

Midwest Construction Group, Zeeland

Miniature Custom Manufacturing, Vicksburg

Onyx Enterprise Inc., Detroit

Omega Electric and Sign Company Inc., Alpena

Our Family Friend, Hillsdale

Premier Group Associates, Detroit

Public Sector Consultants, Lansing

Pyramid Consulting International, Ann Arbor

Rutherford & Associates, Holland

Skidmore Studio, Detroit

SkySpecs, Ann Arbor

Stark Enterprises, Livonia

The Mitten Brewing Company, Grand Rapids

Therapy Today Counseling & Consulting, East Lansing

Valentine Distilling Co., Ferndale

Van Dyke Horn Public Relations, Detroit

White Glove Workshops, Birmingham

Zolli Candy, Commerce Twp.

Other Michigan Celebrates Small Business honorees

Michigan 50 Distinguished Alumni Award: Strategically Focused

MMI Engineered Solutions, Saline

Michigan 50 Distinguished Alumni Award: Most Engaged Workplace

Armor Protective Packaging, Howell

Duperon Corporation, Saginaw

SmartZone Innovation Award

SpinTech Inc., Bingham Farms

Michigan SBDC Best Small Business of the Year Award

Akervall Technologies Inc., Saline

Michigan SBDC Best Small Business honorees

Barrel + Beam, Marquette

Bob’s Butcher Shop, Roscommon

ellembee, Wixom

Feast Gourmet Kitchen Shop, Fenton

Growing Years Christian School, Saginaw

Guided Life, Newaygo

Heart of Michigan Café, Clare

Inhabitect, Traverse City

Massman Trucking Inc., Okemos

Midtown Fresh Market, Kalamazoo

PTAC Best Small Business of the Year

Northern Wings, Brookfield

PTAC Best Small Business honorees

A.C. Tourniquet, Saginaw

All Things By Design Inc., West Branch

Evolution Tool, Lapeer

Janel’s Industries, Dowagiac

Learning Designs Inc., Bloomfield Hills

Mettle Ops, Sterling Heights

Swint Logistics Group Inc., Detroit

SmartZone Best Small Business of the Year

Groundspeed Analytics Inc., Ann Arbor

SmartZone Best Small Business honorees

CertifID, Grand Rapids

Flash Steelworks Inc., Washington Township

GCI Water Solutions, Midland

Jolt Energy Storage Technologies, Holland

Laser Augmented Diamond Drilling (LADD), Muskegon

Life Magnetics Inc., Detroit

Osprey Technologies, Sault Ste. Marie

Prime Energy C.S., Rochester Hills

PromptPay Inc., Port Huron

SafeSense Technologies, Portage

Security Vitals, Pontiac

TempGigs, Marquette

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