Michigan Celebrates Small Business gets new manager

LANSING—The Michigan Celebrates Small Business event, a nonprofit organization that has conducted an annual business gala for 15 years, has a new managing partner—Kinexus Group, a Benton Harbor-based nonprofit working in workforce and economic development.

MCSB’s purpose is to raise the profile of small business in Michigan, build a network of entrepreneurial companies, and tell the stories of successful, growing Michigan entrepreneurs.

“MCSB remains on the forefront of championing small business and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in Michigan, which is why Kinexus Group is a natural fit as managing partner for the awards gala,” said MCSB board chair Jennifer Deamud. “Kinexus Group brings  a variety of resources, additional partners, and opportunities to help small businesses across Michigan grow.”

Added Todd Gustafson, Kinexus Group president and CEO: “We are honored to be the managing partner for Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards gala because we truly believe that small business is the heart and lifeblood of Michigan. “We know that it will take an intentionally collaborative effort by all the private and public sector small business organizations in Michigan to help this sector survive, prosper, and grow in the months and years to come. We’re thankful to work alongside some of the most talented and supportive partners in the state to do just that.”

MCSB is driven by nearly 100 small business support organizations from across the state. It was founded in 2004 by the Edward Lowe Foundation, the Michigan Business Network, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Michigan Small Business Development Center, the Small Business Association of Michigan, and the Michigan District Office of the federal Small Business Administration.

Nearly 1,000 companies have been honored at MCSB during its history, including 800 second-stage companies recognized by a “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” award. Nominations for the 2021 MCSB awards open next week, and can be submitted at www.MichiganCelebrates.org.

Kinexus was founded as a local agency of the federal Manpower Act of 1965, and has since evolved into a diverse economic development organization serving Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties in southwest Michigan. It offers training, education, entrepreneurship mentoring, business development assistance, public policy advocacy, economic analysis, and other services. It had revenues of $9.8 million in 2017, the latest year for which the nonprofit’s Form 990 financial statement is available online. More at www.kinexus.org.

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