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Hastings Small Business Owner Named 2020 SBA Nebraska District Small Business Person of the Year

Release Date: 
Friday, September 4, 2020
Release Number: 
20-03
Contact: 
Elizabeth Yearwood

Rakesh Srivastava, owner of Innovative Prosthetics & Orthotics, to be Honored as Part of Annual National Small Business Week, Shares Business Journey Before and Through Coronavirus Outbreak

Omaha - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 2020 Nebraska District Small Business of the Year  is Innovative Prosthetics & Orthotics in Hastings, NE.

Founded in 2006, Innovative Prosthetics & Orthotics provides comprehensive prosthetics, orthotics and Durable Medical Equipment services.  A prosthetics user himself due to a childhood accident, Srivastava began his career in a rehabilitation center in New Delhi, India. He has since relocated to the US where he opened his first clinic in Hastings, Nebraska. 

Innovative Prosthetics & Orthotics will be locally recognized in an awards ceremony at the Hastings location on September 25th.

The small business awards program is part of National Small Business Week, which has typically been held during the first week of May every year since 1963. National Small Business Week award announcements and celebrations were postponed this year due to the Corona Virus outbreak. The 2020 dates for National Small Business Week will be a virtual online event, tentatively scheduled for September. The national dates and participation information will soon be announced.

"National Small Business Week is a time to recognize the impact entrepreneurs and small businesses have on our economy and in our local communities," SBA Great Plans Regional Administrator Tom Salisbury said. "Like many things in 2020, the journeys of this year's award winners took a turn most didn't anticipate. However, themes of ingenuity and tenacity remain the same as small business owners continue to inspire us in new and meaningful ways." 

The SBA Nebraska District Small Business Person of the Year recognizes exceptional business growth, job creation and resiliency. “I’m excited to recognize Rakesh Srivistava as the SBA Nebraska Small Business Person of the Year for 2020,” SBA Nebraska District Director Leon Milobar said. “Small businesses are the life blood of Nebraska’s economy, and Small Business Week is a wonderful opportunity to recognize the hard work companies like Innovative Prosthetics & Orthotics perform in our local communities.”

Innovative Prosthetics & Orthotics has grown immensely since that first clinic opened in 2006. Since then, the original 600 sq-foot clinic  with two employees has blossomed into a 5,600 sq-ft facility with two additional clinics opened in Omaha and Grand Island, and an additional 45 employees between his Nebraska clinics and clinical centers in his native India. The Nebraska Business Development Center, a partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, has played a part in the success of the company. Srivastava sought the Center’s assistance in 2013 with obtaining government contracts and then again in 2015 with obtaining a state prototype grant.  NBDC consultant Sara Bennett has been working with Srivastava since 2018 to expand his current operations to include manufacturing custom-made prosthetic devices utilizing 3-D printing technology.  Bennett says, “Rakesh and his team at Innovative Prosthetics & Orthotics have done an outstanding job in growing the company, providing insight to the industry, and devising innovative ways to adapt prosthetic devices in the market. He is truly making an impact in improving the quality of life of amputees and prosthetic and orthotic users. Rakesh’s giving spirit of improving his community of Hastings and helping to open prosthetic clinics in India further solidifies his character and exemplifies remarkable qualities of an entrepreneur.”

Like other small business owners, the corona virus pandemic in spring of 2020 both caught Srivastava by surprise and had a negative impact on his small business. “I’m very passionate about my business and what I do, and when this pandemic happened COVID affected us a lot,” Srivastava stated. “Elective surgeries were closed, hospitals were reserving beds for COVID patients, and since we are a referral service our numbers went down to nothing.” For Srivastava, shutting down his business was not an option. He turned to the Bank of Doniphan to apply for the SBA-backed Paycheck Protection Program loan that allowed him to keep his business going. Srivastava says, “We got the PPP notification and it was like an angel sent to our small business. It gave me a cushion to stand back up again. It really saved us from having to shut down the business, because I couldn’t afford [to keep it running] after 3-4 months. We had to pay vendors, rent, and we just moved into a brand new facility with the mortgage to be paid and no income.” The coronavirus pandemic continues on, but thanks to his determination and the PPP loan, Srivastava is continuing to serve the Hastings, Omaha and Grand Island communities.

For more information about National Small Business Week, visit www.sba.gov/nsbw

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov. The NEBRASKA District serves Nebraska with an office location in Omaha.