Governor says small businesses vital to Michigan's transformation
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced the 2009 class of "Michigan's 50 Companies to Watch" (MI 50), saying they represent the small businesses that are essential to the diversification and transformation of the state's economy. The honorees, companies with between 6 and 99 employees that represent all regions of the state and a range of both high-tech and traditional sectors, have generated a total $1.1 billion in revenue and added more than 700 employees over the past four years.
"More than ever, we need the energy, determination and innovation that small business owners and entrepreneurs live and breathe every day as we work to diversify our economy and create jobs," Granholm said. "We can't forget that small businesses represent 95 percent of Michigan's employers, and they are the backbone of our economy. I applaud these 50 companies and every small business owner who is helping to diversify Michigan's economy by creating and sustaining all kinds of jobs for all kinds of people."
The companies will be honored tonight at the 5th annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business award ceremony at the Lansing Center. Winners were selected by judges from the banking, economic development, entrepreneurship development, and venture capital communities. More information is available at www.michigancelebrates.biz.
"Michigan has no shortage of innovation, and these companies show what can be accomplished when it is paired with determination," said Greg Main, president of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), one of the sponsors of the event. "The state and its local partners had the privilege of providing business services and assistance to many of these companies early on in their development, and we will continue to focus our efforts on helping second-stage companies continue to grow."
Michigan's efforts to support the growth of small businesses, which make up 95 percent of Michigan employers, include:
- Michigan Business One Stop, an online service that guides users who want to start, operate or expand a business in Michigan, available at www.michigan.gov/business;
- Technical and financial support from the MEDC and other state agencies throughout a business's life cycle;
- Tax incentives that support small businesses and other entrepreneurial initiatives;
- Growth in the availability of venture capital through the development of initiatives such as the 21st Century Jobs Fund;
- A staffed, consolidated call center housed in the MEDC with expanded weekday hours designed to answer questions and help businesses obtain information and services they need; and
- A Michigan business ombudsman who will lead a team at the MEDC to assess business issues and mediate solutions to help both businesses and state agencies move forward in a coordinated fashion.
NOTE: A list of the 2009 class of "Michigan's 50 Companies to Watch" (MI 50) is attached.
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