Administrator Linda McMahon, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, has announced this year’s Small Business Person of the Year winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. All of the winners have been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C on April 29-30 where they will be honored with their individual award along with special recognition of the three runners-up and the naming of the 2018 National Small Business Person of the Year.
“It is my honor and distinct pleasure to announce the 52 winners from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico,” McMahon said. “These small business owners define entrepreneurial spirit and best represent the 30 million small businesses that are the backbone and economic engine of our economy. I look forward to welcoming the winners to Washington next month when they are officially honored for their achievements.”
Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year the dates are April 29 – May 5.
The Wyoming Small Business Week award winners include:
Small Business Person of the Year
The Wyoming SBA 2018 Small Business Person of the Year is Earth Work Solutions President Tyler Reed. Located in Gillette, Wyoming, Earth Work Solutions (EWS) is a heavy equipment construction company that mainly focuses on Wyoming industrial and commercial projects. Tyler Reed purchased Osborne Brothers Construction with a partner in 2006, and later changed the name to Earth Work Solutions. In 2010, EWS developed a unique aggregate source that, through a manufacturing process, is marketable throughout the United States. They have continually expanded the market and work to educate agencies about the benefits of their domestic product compared to imports from China. Tyler's efforts have resulted in an increase in aggregate sales from 2014 through 2017. "The expansion and diversification of their aggregate business shows that a company that is willing to rethink its strategies and pivot to new opportunities can succeed despite the significant challenges Wyoming's oil and coal industries have experienced in recent years," said Wyoming District Director Amy Lea. "I congratulate Tyler Reed for being named the 2018 Wyoming Small Business Person of the Year.”
SBA Region VIII and Wyoming Women’s Business Center of Excellence Awards
The Wyoming Women’s Business Center in Laramie is the only SBA Women’s Business Center in Wyoming. Its state funding partner is the Wyoming Business Council. The Wyoming Women’s Business Center (WWBC) has multiple tools to help Wyoming entrepreneurs, especially socially and economically disadvantaged women, pursue the American dream of small business ownership. Their programs include a microloan program that provides access to capital to those who are unable to access funds from traditional lenders; a Works of Wyoming store that provides entrepreneurial training to Wyoming artists as well as an outlet for them to sell their products; and their Individual Development Account (IDA) program offers a matched savings accounts for individuals pursuing small business ownership, education or home ownership. They also offer business roundtables and counseling and training opportunities statewide.
“The Wyoming Women’s Business Center is one of the best small business resource centers in the Rocky Mountain West,” said Daniel Nordberg, SBA’s Region VIII Administrator. “Debbie Gorski, and her entire team, have dedicated themselves to assisting Wyoming’s entrepreneurs create good jobs and opportunities across the state. Congratulations on a job well done and for winning this prestigious regional award.”
Spirit of Wyoming Award
The Spirit of Wyoming award is presented to small businesses that demonstrate potential for success in several areas, including growth in number of employees, increase in sales, steady growth of a company and innovation and imagination in product/services. Businesses are also evaluated on their “Spirit of Wyoming” which includes volunteerism, community involvement, and other contributions to their local community.
Jim Drever, SBDC Regional Director, nominated Hanna Hometown Market. Jim said, “The Youngs represent all things entrepreneurial. When Kyle and Amelia Young wanted to start a business in Hanna, WY, they looked for a business that would help the 400 residents of their town. They decided that a grocery store was what their rural neighbors needed, and worked for two years to make it happen.” Hanna Hometown Market has grown from small grocery store to a business that sells everything from groceries to lumber and power tools.
For more on this year's SBA Wyoming honorees, watch for the April edition of the Wyoming Business Report.