In an effort to retain and grow existing Macomb County businesses, County Executive Mark Hackel announced a contest to award top businesses in the county.
"Macomb County has a responsibility to create an environment where business can thrive," said Hackel.
The announcement was made Tuesday at Fori Automation global headquarters in Shelby Township. The manufacturing company invited county leaders to an open house to celebrate Fori's 15,000-square foot building expansion and recent leap in growth.
The Macomb Business Awards is part of the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development's new initiative, "Home in Macomb Business Retention Program," which is aimed at helping existing Macomb County businesses thrive.
"We're coming for you," joked Hackel at a press conference, in regards to Macomb County's 18,000 businesses. Hackel said in his previous job as Sheriff, people would be afraid to hear him utter that phrase. However, now, he said he has made it his mission to help all businesses in the county flourish.
Although the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Department is there to help all county businesses succeed, said Hackel, the contest is geared toward second-stage companies that have a revenue above $1 million and more than nine employees.
The first Macomb Business Awards will be presented during a Feb. 12 breakfast award ceremony.
Awards will be given out based on the following categories:
- Champion of Workforce Development – significant job growth utilizing innovative ways to hire, train and keep employees focused on continuous improvement practices.
- Diversification Leader – success in balancing a customer base to serve multiple industries
- Energy Efficiency Expert – best use of green technologies to reduce energy consumption and reduce operating expenses
- Corporate Citizen – meaningful involvement in community projects through service and support
- Economic Development Partner of the Year – department collaborator that provides outstanding service in conjunction with department clients.
Nominations for the awards will be collected through Nov. 2.
Once the nominations are in, a panel of judges, which includes Dr. Jim Jacobs, President of Macomb Community College, Cindy Goodaker, executive editor for Crain's Detroit Business and Gene Lovell, president of First State Bank.
A contribution from AT&T will help underwrite the program costs.
"AT&T has invested nearly $2 billion in our network in recent years with an aim to giving businesses and residents the high-speed tools they need to grow and succeed here in Michigan," said Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan. "That is what the Macomb Business Retention Program is about and we are excited to have an opportunity to support it and all local job providers it will serve."