News Releases

Blackford Capital and Portfolio Companies Honored as 5000 List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Businesses

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackford Capital, a national private equity firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., today announced that has been ranked as one of America's fastest-growing private companies by Inc. magazine's 35th annual Inc. 5000. Ranked No. 1,610, Blackford Capital has successfully positioned itself in the top third of the prestigious group.

Additionally, two of Blackford's portfolio companies also received this prestigious honor, including Grand Equipment, a Hudsonville, Mich.-based family-owned and operated, value-added distributor of a broad line of construction equipment; and Staging Concepts, a world-class designer and manufacturer of staging equipment and railing systems, based in Minneapolis, Minn. The list represents the most successful companies within the American economy's most dynamic segment— its independent small businesses.

"We are thrilled to be recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in America. The recognition that Blackford and our two portfolio companies, Grand Equipment and Staging Concepts, have received from Inc. 5000 is a testament to all of the employees who work tirelessly to support each business," said Martin Stein, Blackford Capital's founder and managing director. "Blackford's team works together to achieve our goal of delivering best-in-class results, not only for our firm, but also for each of our portfolio companies. We believe that we need to serve as an example, and this is one step in our commitment to achieving continued growth in each of our portfolio companies and supporting the communities that our companies call home."

The 2016 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at, is the most competitive group in the list's history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year growth of 433%. The Inc. 5000's aggregate revenue is $200 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 640,000 jobs over the past three years, or about 8% of all jobs created in the entire economy during that period.

"The Inc. 5000 list stands out where it really counts," says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. "It honors real achievement by a founder or a team of them. No one makes the Inc. 5000 without building something great – usually from scratch. That's one of the hardest things to do in business, as every company founder knows. But without it, free enterprise fails."

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring all the companies on the list will be held from October 18 through 20, in San Antonio, Texas. Speakers include some of the greatest entrepreneurs of this and past generations, such as best-selling author and strategist Tony Robbins, SoulCycle co-founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice, Cornerstone OnDemand founder, president and CEO Adam Miller, Marvell Technology Group director and co-founder Weili Dai, and New Belgium Brewing co-founder and executive chair Kim Jordan.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at

About Blackford Capital
Winner of the 2015 M&A Advisor Deal of the Year award, Blackford Capital is a private equity firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich., that acquires, manages and builds family-owned, lower middle-market manufacturing, distribution and service companies, with 11 portfolio companies across the country. The firm has offices in Grand Rapids (headquarters) and Santa Monica, CA. Blackford reviewed roughly 4,500 transactions in 2015, and has closed over 40 transactions in the past ten years. The firm's investment criteria includes mature, profitable businesses with revenues between $20 million and $100 million, with management teams that are either willing to remain with the company or are seeking to retire. For more information, visit

About Grand Equipment
Founded in 2000, Grand Equipment is a family owned and operated, value-added distributor of a broad line of construction equipment providing new and used sales, rental, service and parts to a diversified customer base headquartered in Hudsonville, Mich. The company is one of the largest multi-line construction dealers in Michigan, providing road service, delivery and trucking, in addition to used equipment sales, rentals, parts and service offerings. To learn more about the company, visit

About Staging Concepts
Staging Concepts offers the finest in portable stage equipment including: performance stage platforms, seating riser platforms, custom applications, camera platforms, portable stairs and raised flooring. Staging Concepts has provided superior product solutions for stadiums, arenas, ballparks, convention centers, theatres and production companies, as well as educational, worship and governmental organizations since 1990. To learn more about the company, visit

About Inc. and the Inc. 500|5000
The 2016 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2012 to 2015. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2012. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2015. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2012 is $100,000; the minimum for 2015 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.'s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at

About Inc. Media
Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today's innovative company builders. Winner of the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 15,000,000 today.  For more information, visit

SOURCE Blackford Capital

For further information: Tyler Deur, Lambert, Edwards & Associates, (616) 233-0500,