Street Talk: Leaving their mark

Smooth stroke.
74

The 2021 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch have left a big impact on the economy.

Michigan is home to more than 800,000 small businesses, employing nearly 2 million people. Through the hardships of the past 16 months, these businesses discovered they were able to push through obstacles, create jobs and bring in more revenue.

Through a rigorous selection process, two independent panels of judges from various entrepreneurial service organizations selected companies to be recognized on the Michigan’s 50 Companies to Watch list for 2021. These small businesses are located throughout the state, from the Upper Peninsula to the Thumb area. The businesses represent diverse industries and ownership, each bringing a unique identity that helps the economy of Michigan thrive.

“The Michigan 50 Companies are second stage businesses who are on a growth path. Annually, they generate a significant amount of revenue for Michigan and create new jobs,” said Jennifer Deamud, chair of Michigan Celebrates Small Business, the organization that created Michigan’s 50 Companies to Watch. “Given the economic environment over the past 18 months, it is exciting to see that small businesses are being innovative, staying relevant and as a result, they continue to grow.”

From 2017-20, this year’s Michigan 50 Companies to Watch generated $1 billion in revenue and added 1,038 employees, both in Michigan and out of state, reflecting a 33.9% increase in revenue and 77.9% increase in jobs for the four years. That translates into a 10.3% annual revenue growth and 21.4% annual growth in employees.

These companies project a 31.9% revenue increase and 24.3% growth in employees, both in Michigan and out of state, for 2021, compared to 2020. If their projections hold, these companies will have generated $1.4 billion in revenue and added 1,615 employees during the past five years — a 76.5% increase in revenue and 121.2% increase in jobs since 2016.

The pandemic affected small businesses greatly, but with resilience, these 50 companies were able to adapt and rise to the challenges, Michigan Celebrates Small Business said. In 2020, the Michigan 50 had $304 million in total annual revenue, a 12% increase in total annual revenue compared to 2019. Collectively, they had 2,371 full-time equivalent employees in 2020, and in 2021 they are projected to create 577 jobs.

Michigan Celebrates Small Business will recognize the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch and Michigan’s Best Small Businesses on July 20, at the program’s 17th annual gala at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. The list of businesses that will be recognized, along with a link to buy tickets, can be found at MichiganCelebrates.org.

I’ll have another

The Beer Serves America Report found sales volume of cheap beer has been up in 2020 over the previous year, but more concerning is at least one-third of Michiganders are reluctant to quit drinking, even if prompted by a doctor.

Alcohol.org, a site providing addiction treatment resources and recovery information, conducted a survey of 3,000 drinkers and found 33% of Michiganders admitted they would ignore their doctor’s advice to cut down on their alcohol consumption, compared to a national average of 28%.

When broken down across states, those in Louisiana appeared to be the most dismissive of their doctor’s advice with 57% saying this was the case. Comparatively, only 13% of those in Wyoming admit to doing this.

Additionally, 21% of respondents admitted they have lied to their doctor about how much alcohol they consume. Further analyzed, men (60%) were more likely to lie about their drinking habits to their doctor, as compared to women (40%).

Further, 31% of respondents said they ignore medical advice to stop drinking while taking certain medications. With some treatment courses, such as antibiotics, the reason alcohol should be avoided is because its interaction with certain medication causes unpleasant side effects. If a patient is prescribed sleeping or anxiety medication, for example, alcohol can exacerbate side effects of drowsiness and may cause others, like dizziness or nausea.

Some are unconvinced by this information as one in 10 said they are skeptical of medical professionals or studies saying alcohol is bad for them.

People aren’t just fudging the truth to their physicians, either. One in five (20%) also admitted to being dishonest with friends and family about their drinking habits, according to the report.

Whole and won

Meijer announced it is making a $25,000 donation to Kids’ Food Basket on behalf of Nelly Korda, the 2021 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give champion.

In addition to donating tournament proceeds to the Meijer Simply Give program, the retailer started a new tradition this year by contributing to a hunger relief program in a town of the champion’s choice.

“The impact of last year’s events was felt worldwide, impacting countless families in need,” Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said. “We wanted to work with Nelly to identify an organization meaningful to her to help lessen that impact and make a difference.”

The five-time LPGA Tour winner selected Kids’ Food Basket in Grand Rapids because she wanted to give back to the community that continues to support the LPGA Tour.

“I just felt like I wanted it to stay in Grand Rapids,” said Korda, following her Father’s Day win. “I also love kids. I have always wanted to do something for underprivileged kids, and that’s the first thing that popped into my head. Feels like a good decision and it means so much to give back.”

“We are so inspired by and grateful for this incredible gift from Nelly Korda,” said Bridget Clark Whitney, founding CEO of Kids’ Food Basket. “Through this gift Nelly continues to showcase how to be a role model for kids in local communities and demonstrates that we can all use our talents to work toward a greater good. This money ensure that West Michigan children are nourished so they can reach their limitless potential.”

In total, the Meijer LPGA Classic has generated $7.4 million for food pantries across the Midwest to feed hungry neighbors.

Facebook Comments