Michigan Celebrates Small Business names winners

LANSING—The Michigan Celebrates Small Business event, which has been honoring small businesses in the state of Michigan for 17 years, has announced the awardees of the 2021 MCSB annual gala.

The 2021 gala will take place on July 20 and will feature three award categories including Michigan 50 Companies to Watch, Michigan 50 Distinguished Alumni, and Best Small Business.

“Small businesses create significant economic impact in communities across Michigan,” said Josh Hundt, chief business development officer and executive vice president of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “We are excited to acknowledge and celebrate more than 80 small businesses this year who have been selected by their peers, communities and small business support organizations and demonstrate the resiliency and impact of Michigan small businesses.”

MCSB strives to provide resources needed to help build the foundation of small businesses to assist in their success. Michigan Celebrates Small Business acknowledges the effort it takes to run a small business and aims to raise awareness of the impact they have on their communities. The founding organizations of MCSB keep Michigan’s economy flourishing by supporting businesses who place an emphasis on growth and innovation.

Tonya Lockwood, owner of Motor City Gas, a Royal Oak-based distillery, shared her appreciation at being one of Michigan’s 50 Companies to Watch. “Our business revolves around authenticity and creating new beverages that meet the standards of our customers,” she said. “We had to go against the grain this past year and Michigan Celebrates Small Business has given us the opportunity to share our story with others. We are looking forward to being a part of the celebration.”

Another company in this year’s Michigan 50 Companies to Watch is Ironwood-based Jacquart Fabric Products, which sells apparel and hats under the brand name Stormy Kromer. “Since 1958, our family-owned sewing factory has grown, evolved and endured tough times to become what it is today,” said Gina Jacquart Thorsen, the company’s president, noting that “Stormy Kromer (is) a brand well-known in our home state and beyond, and all of our employees are grateful for this recognition from Michigan Celebrates Small Business.”

The full list of businesses that will be recognized as this year’s gala can be found at

Michigan Celebrates Small Business is planning to celebrate in-person on July 20 at the Breslin Center. MCSB will comply with all CDC, state and Breslin Center pandemic guidelines. If the environment will not allow for an in-person gala, there will be a virtual gala that can be viewed by those who register. To purchase viewing options visit www.MichiganCelebrates.org.

Since 2005, Michigan Celebrates Small Business has brought together organizations that offer resources for small businesses to recognize how small businesses positively impact our communities and state. It was founded by the MEDC, the Small Business Association of Michigan, the U.S. Small Business Administration – Michigan, the Edward Lowe Foundation, the Michigan Business Network, and the Michigan Small Business Development Center. It is managed by Kinexus Group, a Benton Harbor-based business development organization.

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