North Carolina’s Triangle Rock Club team.
For the past 50 years, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has celebrated the nation’s entrepreneurs and small-business owners during its annual National Small Business Week, which kicks off today.
In addition to events, panels, and talks that happen around the U.S., the SBA names winners for Small Business Person of the Year from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. From this group of 53 outstanding entrepreneurs, one is chosen as the national winner on May 16.
The SBA, which provides American small-business owners with loans, federal contracts, and strategic counseling, selects the winners based on a handful of factors, including the business’ staying power, growth in number of employees, sales growth, innovation in the field, and contributions to the community. The SBA defines a small business as one that is independently owned and operated, organized for profit, and, depending on the industry, has a maximum staff of 100 to 1,500 employees and revenue of $500,000 to $20 million.
This year’s winners are creating jobs, driving innovation, and carving out niche markets. Take South Dakota’s Ryan McFarland, who created a safe bicycle alternative for young children that brought in $10 million in sales last year, or the New Jersey-based family business Kiran Gill, an environmental firm that has grown revenue an average of 50% annually to $13 million.
These entrepreneurs show that a smart strategy, a little luck, and a lot of hard work can still pay off.
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