“We’ve been hearing for the past three years that manufacturing is down. With the organizations I work with, we do see that manufacturing is very active. It shows that manufacturers are learning how to diversify,” said Jennifer Deamud, associate state director for the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center and managing partner for the Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards, which includes the 50 Companies to Watch.
“These are second-stage companies,” Deamud said, “and they’ve found the resources and capital here in Michigan not only to stay alive but to grow.”
Manufacturers are healthier, and state support from programs such as Pure Michigan Business Connect has helped, Deamud said.
To be considered for the program, businesses must be privately held, second-stage companies facing issues of growth — not survival. They must be based in Michigan, employ six to 99 full-time people and have between $750,000 and $50 million in annual revenue or working capital in place from investors or grants. There also must be a growth trend over the past three years.
Collectively, the 2013 class of Michigan 50 Companies to Watch generated $333 million in revenue and employed 1,284 Michigan workers in the past year, according to data collected by the program organizers. The 50 companies project 46 percent revenue growth and a 25 percent increase in employees for 2013.
An example of manufacturing’s comeback in Michigan can be seen in one of the highlighted company profiles that are linked from the list below.
Panther Global Technologies in Wixom makes engine parts for lawn equipment. In 2004, it began manufacturing parts in China to compete on cost with Asian competitors.
“We had to do that because we went from 200 people in Wixom to 15 or 20. That broke my heart,” said the founder of the company, Don Leith. “I vowed to myself we would someday rise again in the U.S.”
On May 2, small and second-stage businesses will be honored for their achievements at the ninth annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business event. The event is a collaborative effort of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Small Business Association of Michigan, MSBTDC, Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Cassopolis-based Edward Lowe Foundation. PNC Bank is the founding sponsor.
Michigan’s 50 Companies to Watch
Here is the list of 50 companies to watch. There are profiles of all 50 companies:
- NITS Staffing Inc., dba NITS Staffing Solutions Inc., Farmington Hills
- Phoenix Environmental Inc., Green Oak Township
- LinTech Global Inc., Farmington Hills
- Panther Machine Inc, dba Panther Global Technologies, Wixom
- Resource Recycling Systems Inc., Ann Arbor
Also in Southeast Michigan:
- Check Corp., Troy
- Cirrus Group LLC, dba Daycare Works, Rochester Hills
- Constructive Eating Inc., Ann Arbor
- Edibles Rex Inc., Detroit
- Embedded Logix Inc., Shelby Township
- Innovative Surgical Solutions LLC, dba Sentio LLC, Southfield
- Kyyba Inc., Farmington Hills
- Marvel Technologies Inc., Novi
- MatchRXchange LLC, dba MatchRX, Royal Oak
- Mills Pharmacy & Apothecary LLC, Birmingham
- OPS Solutions LLC, Novi
- Preferred Solutions Inc., Northville
- Prolim Global Corp., Farmington Hills
- 906 Technologies LLC
- Air Advantage LLC
- Altus Brands LLC
- Automated Process Equipment Corp., dba APEC USA
- BGL Asset Services LLC
- Cadillac Culvert Inc.
- Cherry Capital Foods LLC
- Critter Control Inc.
- Ferrier Brand LLC, dba Mindscape at Hanon McKendry
- Gazelle Sports Inc.
- Genemarkers LLC
- Global Lift Corp.
- Grand Traverse Distillery LLC
- Gravity Works Design LLC, dba Gravity Works Design & Development
- H&H Wildlife Design and Fur Dressing Inc.
- Ideomed Inc.
- ITB Packaging LLC
- Jollay Orchards LLC
- M22 LLC
- M&S Extrusions Inc., dba Vintech Industries
- MPF Acquisitions Inc., dba Marshall Plastic Film
- Micron Mfg. Co.
- Moomers Homemade Ice Cream LLC
- Newmind Group Inc.
- NobisAgri Service Inc., dba NobisAgri Science Inc.
- Northern Fab & Machine LLC
- Pro-Vision Inc., dba Pro-Vision Video Systems
- QST Consultations Ltd.
- Supermercado Mexico – Division Inc., dba Supermercado Mexico
- WizWheelz Inc., dba TerraTrike li>
- Uckele Health & Nutrition Inc.