The Awards

Michigan Celebrates Small Business recognizes small businesses in a variety of different industries and fields whose growth supports Michigan’s economy. Every small business is unique. Together with our founders, we established a variety awards to honor the many different ways that small businesses demonstrate excellence across the state. A business may be eligible for one or all of the awards.

Selected award recipients will be announced in March. All awardees are recognized at the awards gala hosted at the Lansing Center on May 3, 2018. The program draws a full-house of nearly 1,000 attendees, along with tremendous statewide media exposure for awardees during the event and throughout the year.

Click here to see prior year winners.

Michigan 50 Companies to Watch

The Michigan 50 Companies to Watch is a substantial awards category that recognizes 50 companies out of more than 400 nominations who are up and coming as high potential companies in the future of the Michigan economy. After submitting a nomination, the company will be notified to complete an application, including information to determine its eligibility.

Eligibility Criteria:

To be considered for selection as one of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch, the enterprise must meet the following for the year ending 2017.

Questions? Please contact Joshua Marko at markojos@gvsu.edu or (616) 331 7373.

Michigan 50 Alumni Award: Most Engaged Workplace

The Michigan 50 Most Engaged Workplace Award recognizes a previous Michigan 50 Companies to Watch recipient for their increased contributions to their community and who have fostered a creative, collaborative workplace culture to enhance performance and sustain a competitive advantage. To be considered for this award, the company must meet the following for the year ending 2017:

Michigan 50 Alumni Award: Strategically Focused

The Michigan 50 Strategically Focused Award recognizes a previous Michigan 50 Companies to Watch recipient that has strategically increased their sales since they were awarded the Michigan 50 designation to ensure continued sustainability in the ever changing economy. To be considered for this award, the company must meet the following for the year ending 2017:

Small Business Awards

Small Business Innovation Award

Small businesses must be innovative in order to thrive and grow. This award recognizes a company as a leader of small business innovation as demonstrated by an innovative product, service, policy, strategy or process.

Eligibility Criteria:

In order to be eligible for this award, the innovation must have been developed by the applicant during the previous three years (beginning July 2014). The company must also provide information regarding the significance and impact of the innovation.

Main Street USA Award

This award is given to a client of the Michigan SBDC who received substantial services from Michigan SBDC programs that have resulted in a positive impact on the company in access to capital, jobs created, development and implementation of a strategic plan, entry into new markets, and similar areas .

Considerations for the award are identified by Michigan SBDC Regional Directors and Business Advisers. The pool of possible awardees is identified in February and announced along with other MCSB awardees in mid to late March. If you have any questions about the Main Street Award, please contact Hanna Burmeister at 616-331-7489 or burmeish@gvsu.edu.

Government Contracting Award

This award goes to a client of the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) of Michigan. Nominations are made through the regional Michigan PTAC offices.Applications are submitted and reviewed by a carefully selected judging panel. The awardee is selected based on a clear set of criteria, including demonstrating a profitable product/service niche and performance on contract awards received.

Small Business Administration Awards

Small Business Person of the Year

This awardee is selected for developing an outstanding, growing business; innovative product(s), increasing jobs, increasing sales, overcoming adversity, and community contributions.

Eligibility Criteria:

Small Business Exporter of the Year

This awardee is selected for significantly increased export sales and profits, encouraging other firms to export, increased jobs through exports, and innovative methods of creating markets.

Criteria include:

Veteran Owned Small Business

This awardee is selected as a business owned by a member of the military community including Veterans, Service-disabled veterans, Active-Duty Service Members eligible for the military’s Transition Assistance Program, reservists and National Guard members.

Criteria include:

Women-Owned Business of the Year

This awardee is selected as a small business owned 51% or more by a woman or women that also demonstrates outstanding growth, innovative product(s), increasing jobs, increasing sales, overcoming adversity, and community contributions.

Criteria include: