West Michigan firms populate ‘50 Companies to Watch’ list

Originally posted in Grand Rapids Business Journal on December 28, 2015

Eight of Michigan’s 50 Companies to Watch are from Grand Rapids and three more are from West Michigan.

The city’s eight companies make it the community with the most small businesses on the list from Michigan Celebrates Small Business. The companies on the list all must be privately-held, headquartered in Michigan with between six and 99 employees generating between $750,000 and $50 million in revenue, or have working capital from investors or grants in 2014.

Ann Arbor had seven businesses on the list.

The businesses were honored at the recent Grand Rapids City Commission Committee of the Whole meeting.

“We thank you for choosing the city of Grand Rapids to headquarter your operations,” Mayor George Heartwell said. “We appreciate your role in driving economic development in this community and for providing jobs for our citizens. May you all be blessed with continued success in the marketplace.”

Collectively, the 50 companies on the list earned more than $308 million in revenues with 1,748 employees in 2014, with 798 new jobs expected this year, according to Diane Durance, the president of MiQuest and managing partner of Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

Grand Rapids’ eight

Blackford Capital

Boxed Water is Better

Creative Studio Promotions

Firstronic

Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing

NxGEN MDx

Sun Title

Varsity News Network

West Michigan honorees

AlSentis, Holland

SpinDance, Holland

Genius Phone Repair, Kentwood

Individual awards

Pat LeBlanc, chairman of Holland’s EBW Electronics, Small Business Person of the Year

Tiger Studio in Zeeland, with Luciano Hernandez as president, Veteran Owned Small Business.