Pets Naturally

Business owner Kathy Hyland at Pets Naturally in Traverse City in 2014.

LANSING — Michigan’s 50 Businesses to Watch will take on a new meaning in 2020.

The 16th Annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards gala will be held virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The July 28 virtual gala begins at 6 p.m.

The virtual gala celebrating the award winners requires advance registration. Small business award winners and guests can register at

Among the annual list of “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” are two from Traverse City: Certified Training Institute and Pets Naturally.

Located at 3135 Logan Valley Road, the Certified Training Institute “is a leading provider of online education and training for professionals in the general construction industries,” according to its website. More information on the company is available at

In Suite B at 1117 W. South Airport Road, Pets Naturally says on its website it is “northern Michigan’s only holistic pet supply store.” More information on the company is available at

Making the list of the top 50 companies from northern Michigan were B&P Manufacturing of Cadillac; Boyne Boat Yard, Inc. of Boyne City; and High Five Spirits of Petoskey.

According to a release from Michigan Celebrates Small Business, the 50 Companies to Watch totaled $365 million in total annual revenue in 2019.

The release stated “these companies generated $1 billion in revenue and added 723 employees (both in Michigan and out of state), reflecting a 101.9% increase in revenue and 93.8% increase in jobs for the four-year period. That translates into a 26.9% annual revenue growth and 24.8% annual growth in employees.”

Each company nominated for the 50 Companies to Watch award must be a second-stage company. The Small Business Development Center defines this as a company with 6-99 full-time-equivalent employees that generates between $750,000 and $50 million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants.

Companies also must be privately held and headquartered in Michigan.

Michigan Celebrates received a record 575 nominations for the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch award, blowing far past the 425 nominations received in 2019.

According to the release, a company’s intent and capacity to grow is based on:

  • Employee or sales growth
  • Exceptional entrepreneurial leadership
  • Sustainable competitive advantage
  • Other notable factors showcases success

In addition to being one of the 50 Companies to Watch, B&P Manufacturing was named one of the Best Small Businesses by the Procurement Technical Assistance Center. Joining B&P Manufacturing on the list was Advanced Matrix, Inc., Plymouth; Cignys, Saginaw; Debora Smith Energy Partners, Attica; Fulgham Machine and Tool Company, Jackson; Macomb Sheet Metal, Clinton Township; Premier Group Associates LC, Detroit and Virtual Sandtable, West Olive.

The Small Business Association of Michigan has two awards for companies previously named one of the 50 Companies to Watch. The Strategically Focused Award among the 50 Distinguished Alumni went to Tech Defenders of Grand Rapids while the Most Engaged Workplace Award was Walker-Miller Energy Services of Detroit.

Other awards presented at the gala next month include the Michigan Economic Development Corporation SmartZone Best Small, the Michigan SBDC Best Small Business Awards and the Michigan District office of the U.S. Small Business Administration honors, which includes the Small Business Person of the Year.

Redi-Rock International of Charlevoix is listed as one of the Michigan — U.S. Small Business Administration award winners. Also listed are Advanced Environmental Management Group, LLC (AEM Group), Plymouth; ALDEVRA LLC, Kalamazoo; Beth Millner Jewelry, Marquette; Detroit SCORE Chapter 18, Royal Oak; Elevated Technologies Inc., Grand Rapids; Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, Livonia; J.J. Barney Construction, Inc., Rochester Hills and West Michigan SBDC, Grand Rapids.

A complete list of the 94 total award winners in Michigan can be found at

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