Government, Nonprofits, and Small Business & Startups

Small businesses: Please stand and be recognized

March 31, 2014
Text Size:
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

Our community uses a variety of definitions to describe small businesses. The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy defines a small business as one with fewer than 500 employees.

Large impact

While these businesses might be small by definition, there is nothing small about the impact they have on our local, state and national economies.

America is the world's most entrepreneurial country. Yet, many Americans don't really understand the significant contribution entrepreneurs and small business owners make to our economy.

The total number of jobs in Michigan has increased 2.92 percent between 2009 and 2012, according to Stage-one companies (2-9 employees) had the most significant growth of 11.29 percent. Stage-three companies (100-499 employees) had the second most significant growth of 6.33 percent. While stage-four companies (500+ employees) showed a decrease of 4.7 percent between 2009 and 2012.

Not only do these small businesses create jobs, but they also re-invest in their communities and are an important element in the fabric of American society.


It’s important for communities and states to recognize companies that contribute to the economic stability of a region.

There are a number of award programs across the state that recognize the contributions small business make. Two examples are the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s EPIC Awards and Michigan Celebrates Small Business.


The chamber’s EPIC Awards celebrate businesses — and people — that demonstrate growth and support their communities. The winners must be EPIC — or entrepreneurial, progressive, innovative and collaborative.

The EPIC Awards will be May 15 at Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Michigan Celebrates Small Business

The Michigan Celebrates Small Business award program shines the spotlight on a vital driver of local and state's economies — small businesses. The program recognizes small businesses that have demonstrated real accomplishments and service providers who have rigorously supported their growth.

The award winners value their awards and appreciate their local communities recognizing their commitment to maintain and create jobs.

“By receiving a Michigan Celebrates award and growing our business, we have contributed to growing Michigan's economy by hiring new employees, increasing tax revenues that both the city and state receive and by being an open-book management company with a gain-sharing policy, we encourage our employees to spend their gain share on other local Michigan businesses.” -Argent Tape & Label, 2012 award winner

“Winning the Michigan Celebrates Small Business award helped us validate business decisions we had made, and it confirmed our outlook for the future. Having this confidence helped us as we moved forward into the next phase of our growth.” -Billhighway, 2009 award winner

The 10th annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business award program will be May 6 at the MSU Breslin Center.


There are numerous small business award programs across the state, including our West Michigan community.

The next time you see an opportunity, you may want to consider recognizing a small business in your community. 

Comments powered by Disqus