Propelling Impact and Innovation
Michigan Entrepreneurs

The Awards

Michigan Celebrates Small Business seeks to recognize small businesses in a variety of different industries and fields whose growth is supporting Michigan’s economy. Every small business is unique. Together with our founders, we established several different awards to honor the many different kinds of small businesses across the state. A small business may be eligible for one or all of the awards. Please click on the awards below to find out more information.

If you would like to see the 2016 winners of these awards, please click here.

Michigan 50 Companies to Watch – 2017 Nominations Are Closed

The Michigan 50 Companies to Watch will be recognized at the 13th Annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business event on May 4, 2017. This year’s theme is Propelling Impact and innovate and we’re looking for companies that are innovative in their fields or business practices, are achieving growth and success, and will have a breakout year in 2017. This event and awards program draws nearly 1,000 attendees and generates tremendous media exposure for the awardees each year. Hundreds of companies are nominated for the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch Awards.

Eligibility Criteria for Michigan 50 Companies to Watch

To be considered for selection as one of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch, the enterprise must meet the following for the year ending 2016. After submitting this form, your nominee will be notified to complete an application, including information to determine its eligibility.

Questions? Please contact Jennifer Deamud at or 616.331.7482.
Michigan Small Business Development Center is the Managing Partner for Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

Small Business Awards – 2017 Nominations Are Closed

Innovation Award

Important: In order to be eligible for this award, the innovative product or service must have been developed by the applicant and earned revenue for the first time during the previous three years (from Oct. 1, 2013). You will be asked to provide the following information:

Click here to apply for the Small Business Innovation Award. Nominations may be sent directly to Michael Rogers at the Small Business Association of Michigan – 517.267.2209 – or email

Main Street USA Award

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

Considerations for the award are identified by Michigan SBDC Regional Directors and Consultants. The pool of possible awardees is narrowed down and identified early February and announced with all of the MCSB awardees in mid to late March. If you have any questions about the Main Street Award, please feel free to contact Hanna Burmeister at 616-331-7489 or

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 company recognized is chosen based on a clear set of criteria, including: profitable product/service niche and follow on contract awards received. The Government Contractor of the Year will be announced mid March and recognized at Michigan Celebrates Small Business Gala Event in May.

Small Business Administration Awards – 2017 Nominations Are Closed

SBA’s Michigan District Office is now accepting nominations for its 2017 Small Business Awards. Winners will be honored at the Michigan Celebrates Small Business event in May 4, 2017. The Michigan Small Business Person of the Year and the Michigan Exporter of the Year will be in contention for national awards.

To nominate a business, submit a preliminary one page nomination letter, following Steps A and B, and briefly address the criteria for each award. Your nomination will be reviewed for eligibility and you will be notified if the nomination merits further consideration in the form of a complete nomination package. Preliminary nomination letters that do not address A, B and C will be disqualified.

The following criteria should be your guide for the one page nomination, and the subsequent nomination packages. If you have questions, please call June Foyt at 313.324.3608 or e-mail

Small Business Person of the Year

For developing an outstanding, growing business; innovative product(s), increasing jobs, increasing sales, overcoming adversity, and community contributions. Criteria include:

Small Business Exporter of the Year

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

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

A small business owned by 51% by a woman or women with outstanding growth, innovative product(s), increasing jobs, increasing sales, overcoming adversity, and community contributions. Criteria include: