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GREAT SCORE! Sandlot Sports Recognized as Area's Best Small Business

Guidance from Michigan SBDC Cited as Aid to Company Growth

May 2, 2017       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Sandlot Sports Screen Printing

Local entrepreneurs are scoring big time.

And we at are cheering for them.

Sandlot Sports, LLC, based in the Great Lakes Bay Region (GLBR), is being recognized this week 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.

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!"


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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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