Floriza Genautis, founder of MBS, wins Best Small Business Award from MI- SBTDC

Sharon Hanks

Someone forgot to tell Floriza Genautis the country is in a recession, with Michigan especially facing economic uncertainty. The talent recruitment firm founded by Genautis in downtown Grand Rapids has been growing quickly since it opened its doors in 2006.

In recognition of its growth, the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center named Genautis' company called Management Business Solutions, Inc. as its recepient of the 2009 Best Small Business Award from the West Michigan region, one of 12 companies selected in each of the state's 12 regions.

The award is the latest in a long list of accolades honoring the business acumen of Genautis, a Philippine native who migrated to California after college and moved to her husband Rob's hometown of Grand Rapids several years ago with their daughter Isabel, now 7 years old. Located at 77 Monroe Ave. NW, the company now employs six and has clients spanning from the Midwest to California.

Genautis says she was "speechless," when she learned MBS had won the award, attributing the recognition to the collaboration of her employees. "It was a team effort to lead us where we're at," she says. "Without the team and everyone's willingness to step up to the plate, we wouldn't be here."

That teamwork continues to build growth. "We're looking at the first half of this year and we've increased by 50 percent," she says. Among MBS's local clients are Meijer and Steelcase.

She also credits MBS's success to the advice she has received from the Small Business and Technology Development Center. In the fall of 2006, she sought help from the SBTDC with an idea as to what the ideal talent recruitment firm would be. Working with Regional Director Dante Villarreal, she developed a business plan and continued to meet with him monthly for help reviewing and executing the strategy.

"I still see Dante every month," Genautis says. "The SBTDC has been very significant in making sure we are always headed in the right direction."

This past fall, MBS received its SBA 8(a) certification which qualifies it to bid on federal contracts. Last year Genautis was named Minority Entrepreneur of the Year by the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.

The SBTDC provides counseling, training and advocacy for Michigan's new business ventures, existing small businesses, expanding businesses, new technology, and innovators. It is housed at Grand Valley State University's Seidman College of Business in downtown Grand Rapids.

Source: Floriza Genautis, founder and owner of Management Business Solutions, Inc.; Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, Grand Rapids.

Sharon Hanks is innovations and jobs news editor at Rapid Growth Media. Please send story ideas and comments for the column to Sharon at [email protected]. She also is owner of The Write Words in Grand Rapids.

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