News Articles


Date ArticleType
3/29/2017 Member News
Growing GLBR Business Scores a Double Win as Recipient of the Best Small Business and Main Street USA Awards

For Immediate Release

Contact: Christine M. Greve, Regional Director
Office: (989) 686-9597

Growing GLBR Business Scores a Double Win as Recipient of the Best Small Business and Main Street USA Awards

University Center, Michigan – March 29, 2017 – Sandlot Sports, LLC, based in the Great Lakes Bay Region (GLBR), has been recognized by the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as the Best Small Business for the Michigan SBDC GLBR and the Main Street USA honoree for the statewide network. The team from Sandlot Sports will be honored during National Small Business week at the thirteenth annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business gala event on May 4, 2017, in Lansing (MI).

Michigan Celebrates Small Business is the state’s premier awards program celebrating small business excellence and honoring advocates of the small business community. Sandlot Sports is 1 of only 12 companies chosen from over 5,500 small businesses that worked with the Michigan SBDC in 2016. These companies were selected based on their success in creating jobs, increasing sales, improving their business strategy, and their level of involvement with the Michigan SBDC. One business from these elite 12 is then selected as the Main Street USA honoree. All winners are selected by a panel of Michigan SBDC Regional Directors, consultants, and external judges.

“Due to the intensive work and guidance from the Michigan SBDC, we’ve taken the first step towards building a strong foundation for our company,” said Ryan Dost, Co-Owner of Sandlot Sports. “To receive these awards for our growth and working with the Michigan SBDC is truly an honor.”

Sandlot Sports is a growing custom apparel decoration company with locations in Saginaw and Bay City. They specialize in screen printing, embroidery, and specialty decorating of apparel and promotional products. The business was started in June 2008 by co-owners Ryan Dost and Adam McCauley. Sandlot Sports has expanded from their original 400-square foot building to three locations, including an 18,000-square foot facility that serves as the company’s headquarters and production facility. Their team has grown as well to include
23 full-time employees and 5 part-time employees. In 2016, the team at Sandlot Sports surpassed $2 million in sales.

As the company grew, Dost and McCauley sought out industry experts to help them manage the growth of sales, employees, equipment, and locations. Dost was referred to Kevin Kuhl, a Michigan SBDC Business Growth Specialist who provided confidential, one-on-one guidance to them at no cost. Through the support of Kuhl and the resources available from the Michigan SBDC, Sandlot Sports made huge strides in transitioning from a startup operation to a growing small business with close to 30 employees. The services they received included a Strategic Needs Assessment (SNA) to discover their strengths and weaknesses, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) analysis done on their website which provided recommendations for improvement, and support in developing standard operating policies and procedures. Currently they are working with Kuhl to open the door for selling their products and services at an event in Canada.

“Kevin pushes us to look at working on the business instead of working in the business,” said Adam McCauley, Co-Owner of Sandlot Sports. “We never expected to win an award for our growth and the improvements he’s helped us instill in the business, and to be recognized as the Main Street winner – WOW!”

To learn more about Sandlot Sports, click here to download a Michigan SBDC client spotlight story or visit their website and Facebook. Interested in placing an order, call them at (989) 791-5900.

Be a part of the celebration. Reserve your seat today for the Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

About the Michigan SBDC
The Michigan Small Business Development Center (Michigan SBDC) provides counseling, business education, information-based planning and technology commercialization to new and existing businesses throughout Michigan’s 83 counties.

The Michigan SBDC is located at the Grand Valley State University, Seidman College of Business in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As host of the Michigan SBDC State Headquarters, the Seidman College of Business oversees the 11-region Michigan SBDC network. Entrepreneurs and small business owners may access the services of their nearest Michigan SBDC by calling (616) 331-7480 or visiting

About the Michigan Celebrate Small Business
The Michigan Small Business Development Center is the managing partner of Michigan Celebrates Small Business in 2017. Michigan Celebrates Small Business was founded by the Michigan Small Business Development Center, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, U.S. Small Business Administration - Michigan, Edward Lowe Foundation, Chris Holman - Small Business Advocate, and the Small Business Association of Michigan.

The Best Small Business and Main Street USA Award is presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

Founding underwriters include the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, PNC Bank, AF Group, and Dynamic Edge, Inc.

Contributing Underwriters include Comcast Business Class, Consumers Energy, Dean Transportation, DTE Energy Foundation, EDGE Partners, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Fifth Third Bank, Hungerford Nichols CPAs and Advisors, Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates, Rehmann, Varnum Attorneys at Law, and Vistage Michigan.