Small business owners and supporters will gather this month to show their support for Michigan’s growing companies at the state’s premier awards program for small business.

The 16th-annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards gala will be held virtually on Tuesday, July 28. Ninety-four (94) businesses will be recognized for their role in growing Michigan’s economy and creating jobs. The “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” will be recognized at the celebration.

Among this group is Chamber member Janel's Industries of Dowagiac. Located within the industrial park, Janel's is a prime government contractor, providing products to the government. It also provides subcontract opportunities for manufacturers in a numerous array of products, including machine parts, automotive and aircraft metal fabrication and forming, vehicle lighting, automotive and aircraft wiring harnesses, and springs. The company also has available consulting in Government Contracting, Military Packaging and Quality Assurance.

Janel's Industries is a Service Connected Disabled American Veteran Owned Small Business. The company established itself as a leader in the industry, having garnered numerous awards for outstanding service to the military.

"Receiving this award is good for the morale," Chad Perrin said. "This acknowledges that we are working hard. It confirms for our employees that what they are doing matters."

Janel's is also a previous two-time winner of the Procurement Technical Assistance Center Award.

Other small business awards will be presented at the gala, including Best Small Businesses from across the state. Additionally, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Michigan District Office will present a number of awards.

"Michigan’s small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economies and play a vital role in making our communities attractive places to live, work, visit and play,” said Josh Hundt, Chief Business Development Officer for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “As the state continues to recover from the Covid-19 outbreak, we are honored to recognize and celebrate these small businesses, which demonstrate the resilience, innovation and grit that sets Michigan apart.”

This year’s Michigan 50 Companies to Watch have made a substantial economic impact, totaling $365-million in total annual revenue for 2019. From 2016 through 2019, these companies generated $1-billion in revenue and added 723 employees both in Michigan and out of state, reflecting a 101.9 percent increase in revenue and a 93.8 percent increase in jobs for the four-year period. That translates into a 26.9 percent annual revenue growth and 24.8 percent annual growth in employees.

Companies nominated for the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch award must have six to 99 full-time-equivalent employees and generate $750,000 to $50-million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants.

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