LANSING — Michigan Celebrates Small Business, the state’s premier awards program celebrating small business excellence and the importance of small business success to Michigan’s economy, will be held May 2 at the Lansing Center.

“Michigan Celebrates Small Business fosters the entrepreneurial spirit in Michigan,” said Carol Lopucki, state director of the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center. “The awards dinner is an opportunity to celebrate the success of small business in Michigan by highlighting more than 60 small businesses that have helped build Michigan’s economy in the past year. Now in its ninth year, we are expecting 1,000 guests to celebrate this success.”

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For more details on the Michigan Celebrates Small Business event and to purchase tickets, visit

Six organizations that support and celebrate entrepreneurialism in Michigan came together in 2005 to create Michigan Celebrates Small Business, the state’s premier awards ceremony for entrepreneurs and small business leaders. The program’s founders are the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, the Edward Lowe Foundation, the Small Business Association of Michigan and Chris Holman, a radio host, publisher and small business advocate.

Underwriters for this year’s event are PNC Bank, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., DTE Energy Foundation, Comcast Business Class, Varnum Law, Michigan Certified Development Corporation, Accident Fund, Michigan Credit Union League, Consumers Energy, Comcast Spotlight, AARP and Dynamic Edge Inc.

“Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” is an awards program administered by the Edward Lowe Foundation and presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

Nominated companies must be second-stage companies, defined as having six to 99 full-time-equivalent employees and generating $750,000 to $50 million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants. In addition, the companies must be privately held and headquartered in Michigan.

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The judges evaluated the nominees on the following:
• Employee or sales growth
• Exceptional entrepreneurial leadership
• Sustainable competitive advantage

U.S. Small Business Administration Michigan District Office Small Business Awards

As part of National Small Business Week, the SBA has been recognizing the special impact made by outstanding American entrepreneurs and small business owners since 1963. The SBA honors the exceptional small business owners and the champions who support them each year at Michigan Celebrates Small Business. The following winners were selected because of their staying power, financial performance, innovativeness, response to adversity, contributions to their communities, and advocacy for the advancement of small business.

• Small Business Person of the Year, Douglas Hekman, President of Quincy Street Inc., Holland
• Family-Owned Business of the Year, Helen Irene Zeerip, Teddy’s Transport, Holland
• Veteran-Owned Business of the Year, Lane Coleman, Strike Group, Detroit
• Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Johnathan David Julien of LJJ Construction LLC, Houghton
• Small Business Exporter of the Year, Donald Carbone and Timothy Keighron, Managed Programs, LLC, Auburn Hills
• SCORE Counselor of the Year, Thomas Raymond, SCORE Detroit Chapter 18
• SBTDC Counselor of the Year, Melissa Angel, Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, Kalamazoo

2013 MCBS Other Award Recipients
• Main Street USA Award, Ryan and Erin Cottongim, Witch’s Hat Brewing Company, South Lyon
• Innovation Award, Paul Neeb, RealBio Technology Inc., Kalamazoo
• Government Contracting Award, David Goudreau, Northern Wings Repair, Inc., Newberry

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For more information regarding Michigan Celebrates Small Business, contact Jennifer Deamud at the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, managing partner of Michigan Celebrates Small Business at or (616) 331-7482.