Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the three 2022 National Small Business Week Resource Partners winners in recognition of their impact on local economic development, job creation, and support of small business growth in the U.S., especially among women and veteran entrepreneurs as well as small business owners from rural communities. Thousands of SBA resource partners have offered critical support to small business owners navigating pandemic challenges, as well as pivoted and grown as we continue building a better America. The winners include:
- Metro-Atlanta Women’s Business Center (WBC) – Norcross, Georgia
- Louisville Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – Louisville, Kentucky
- McNulty Veteran Business Center (VBOC) – Watervliet, New York
Each year, the SBA counsels, trains, and advises more than one million entrepreneurs and small business owners with the help of its resource partners. Together, SBA resource partners continue to improve on the decades of expertise in counseling for each stage of a business’s lifecycle.
“The SBA’s national network of resource partners provides mentoring, training, resources, and localized assistance that has a tremendous impact on small businesses across the country. In 2021, our network-enabled small businesses to access more than billions of dollars in capital and relief aid, start over 26,000 new businesses, and create and retain more than two million jobs,” said Mark Madrid, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development. “We have much work ahead, and I am energized to continue to deepen our collaboration with our resource partners as we advance our shared goal of ensuring 2022 is brighter for all of our entrepreneurs. I am honored to have the opportunity to recognize and congratulate these resource partners for their exceptional efforts.”
The SBA congratulates the following 2022 National Small Business Week Resource Partner winners:
Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award
- Metro-Atlanta Women’s Business Center (WBC)
- Sandra Font, Director
- Norcross, Georgia
Sandra Font is the Director of the Metro-Atlanta Women’s Business Center. Under her leadership, the Metro-Atlanta WBC has supported 1,277 jobs; helped create more than 240 businesses; helped businesses access $37,069,809 in capital, 44% through SBA loans; and served more than 5,000 unique clients.
Since joining Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs in 2017, Ms. Font has been an innovator implementing inclusive entrepreneurship initiatives such as the Hispanic Entrepreneurship Series, ACE Annual Speed Coaching, and the Annual Minority Business Expo.
Notably, the Metro-Atlanta WBC has consistently exceeded its performance goals. The Metro Atlanta WBC is a program of Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, a Georgia 501(c)(3) nonprofit and community development financial institution (CDFI) that provides capital, coaching, and connections to help borrowers create and grow sustainable businesses that generate jobs.
Small Business Development Service Excellence and Innovation Award
- Louisville Small Business Development Center
- David Oetken, Director
- Louisville, Kentucky
The Louisville SBDC consistently exceeds all its scorecard goals. When the pandemic hit, the SBDC was the first to provide timely information and convene experts to ensure vital information and resources to Kentucky’s communities as fast as possible.
When SBDC counseling transitioned to virtual meetings, the SBDC leveraged its online scheduling program. The team introduced the software to the state network, and it was quickly adopted in all centers. Moreover, the SBDC developed and launched COACH CONNECT, a webpage where clients can quickly and easily view a coach’s unique skillset, contact a coach, or view the coach’s calendar and schedule a meeting.
Additionally, the team created, developed, tested, and launched the Guide to Entrepreneurship group coaching program to give entrepreneurs basic information, tools, and materials to help plan their startup in a group setting. In addition, the Louisville team recorded all the material and is making it available for clients.
Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award
- McNulty Veteran Business Center
- Amy Amoroso, VBOC Director
- Watervliet, NY
Since 2014, the McNulty Veteran Business Center (VBC) has helped veterans, service members, and military spouses start and grow their businesses. The center serves as a critical host organization for the U.S. Small Business Administration Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC), covering New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
McNulty VBC provides a range of services and networking opportunities through entrepreneurial training and counseling to veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses. Utilizing emerging technologies, the center strengthens the veteran business ecosystem by providing services both virtually and in person.
Originally founded as an accelerator program, the Michael R. McNulty Center for Veteran Entrepreneurial Activity helped veteran entrepreneurs overcome obstacles to starting a small business and provided access to business resources in the Capital Region. The McNulty Veteran Business Center strives to build on that legacy of empowering business success for those who served.
National Small Business Week 2022
The SBA will co-host a free, four-day virtual summit from May 2 through May 5, 2022, along with SCORE, to honor the nation’s 32.5 million small businesses for their perseverance. This year’s summit will feature access to critical federal resources, educational workshops, and networking to help our nation’s entrepreneurs pivot and grow in the face of any challenge, seize new opportunities, and make sure the dream of starting a small business is in reach for every American.
The 2022 Small Business Persons of the Year award winners from each state, including the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, will be honored, and the SBA will announce the 2022 National Small Business Person of the Year from among the state winners represented. In addition, National Small Business Week recognitions and educational sessions will occur throughout each of the SBA’s 10 regions and 68 district offices.
Details on National Small Business Week event registration and speaker information will be announced later and posted on www.sba.gov/NSBW.
Cosponsorship Authorization# 22-1-C. The SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.News Source: Globe Newswire