Nominations open for Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards

LANSING–Nominations have been opened for various awards to be presented next spring in the annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business event.

To nominate a business, visit The deadline for nominations is Nov. 15.

Michigan Celebrates Small Business recognizes small businesses in all industries whose growth supports Michigan’s economy. Together with its founders, MCSB has established a variety of awards to honor the many different ways that small businesses demonstrate excellence across the state.

Once a nomination is submitted, the nominee will be notified via email with a link to fill out an application. The deadline to submit applications is Nov. 28.

The awards up for nomination include:

* Michigan 50 Companies to Watch, which recognizes 50 companies that are high potential, second-stage companies. To be eligible, the company must be a Michigan-based privately held, commercial enterprise that has not received the award in the past (not a nonprofit, not publicly traded, not a subsidiary or division of another company) with 6 to 99 employees and have between $750,000 and $50 million in annual revenue. Winners must demonstrate the intent and capacity to grow based on employee sales growth, sustainable competitive advantage, or other notable successes.

* The Michigan 50 Distinguished Alumni Award, given to one of the 700-plus winners of past years’ Michigan Small Companies to Watch that best demonstrates continued success.

* The Michigan 50 Great Place to Work Award, which recognizes a previous Michigan 50 Companies to Watch recipient for increased contributions to its community and for fostering a creative, collaborative workplace culture to enhance performance and sustain a competitive advantage.

* The Michigan 50 Strategically Focused Award, which recognizes a previous Michigan 50 Companies to Watch recipient that has strategically increased its sales since receiving the Michigan 50 designation to ensure continued sustainability in an ever-changing economy.

Best Small Business Awardees

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), and SmartZones are organizations located across the state that provide support services to Michigan small businesses.

Each region of these various support organizations selects a company to be recognized as a Best Small Business Awardee for demonstrating a strong relationship with the organization as well as significant success as a company. You must be a PTAC, SBDC or SmartZone to submit a Best Small Business Awardee, and each PTAC, SBDC or SmartZone may only submit one company to be recognized.

SBDC Best Small Business Awardees should be selected based on the following criteria:

* Demonstrated growth as a small business
* Embodiment of the American entrepreneurial spirit
* Strength of the relationship with the SBDC

PTAC Best Small Business Awardees should be selected based on the following criteria:

* Demonstrated growth through government contracts
* Contributions to the success of the Michigan economy
* Strength of the relationship with the PTAC

SmartZone Best Small Business Awardees should be selected based on the following criteria:

* Demonstrated growth through technology commercialization
* Success with innovation
S* trength of the relationship with the SmartZone

Veteran Owned Small Business Award

The Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year is a business with at least a 51% ownership share held by a military veteran with a minimum of a “general discharge,” active-duty service member eligible for the military’s Transition Assistance Program, reservists and National Guard members. Proof of service (DD214, NGB-22, or other official proof of service must be submitted before award can be presented). To be considered for this award, the company must meet the following for the year ending 2022:

* Staying power, a history as an established business
* Demonstrate stable number of employees
* Financially stable
* Provide employment opportunities for members of the military community
* Demonstrated potential necessary for long-term business success and growth
* Have a positive company culture where employees are valued
* Community engagement, including contributions and volunteerism to aid community-oriented projects
* Voluntary efforts to support veterans directly or issues affecting veterans, including veteran-owned businesses, families of Veterans within the community

2022 Small Business Administration Awards

The SBA awards are offered to small businesses owners, leaders, and service providers in Michigan. SBA Awardees are recognized at the MCSB Awards Gala in the following award categories:

* Small Business Person of the Year: Nominees for this award must demonstrate success in business as well as contributions to their local communities.
* Exporter of the Year: This award recognizes individuals for their success and dedication to exporting products or services.
* 8(a) Graduate of the Year: This award is granted to a formerly certified 8(a) Business Development Program participant that has graduated from the 8(a) Program for at least one year. The firm does not have to currently be a small business.
* Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Excellence and Innovation Center Award: This award honors a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Service Center for excellence in providing value to small businesses from diverse backgrounds and advancing program delivery and management through innovation.
* Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award: This award honors a Women’s Business Center (WBC) for its excellence and innovation in assisting diverse women entrepreneurs by providing a wide variety of training and counseling.

Contact Laketa Henderson with questions related to the SBA small business awards at

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