HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., April 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While some retailers are depleting their staffs and struggling to make profits, a Sears Appliance & Hardware Store in Michigan has done the opposite and is being honored by a local organization for its outstanding growth. The Michigan Small Business Development Center is honoring the Big Rapids store, located at 14305 Northland Drive, with its 2013 Best Small Business Award for successfully creating jobs, increasing sales and improving business strategy. The retailer was one of a dozen stores chosen from more than 5,500 small businesses throughout the state that the Michigan Small Business Development Center provided confidential counseling and training to in 2013. "To say that this honor means a lot to us would be an understatement," said Tammy Weaver, who owns the Big Rapids Sears Appliance & Hardware Store with her husband, Scott. "We've worked so hard to get where we're at and are grateful to have the opportunity, as business owners, to allow our success to help the local community by creating more jobs." The Michigan Small Business Development Center helped the Weavers strategize how to increase consumer awareness of the store's expanded product lines, among other tactics. Since then, the Big Rapids location has effectively increased its hardware sales and grown its staff of three full-time and two part-time employees to four full-time and six part-time. "The Big Rapids Sears Appliance & Hardware Store is the true epitome of a local neighborhood store; Tammy and Scott live and breathe the brand to give their customers the best service possible," stated the store's District Manager, Sandra Jewell. "They take that service to the next level by being active in the community and taking the time get to know their customers on a personal level. This recognition is a direct result of the positive involvement and impact this store has in the community, and I am so proud to be a part of that."