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Local Daycare Named 2015 SBA Washington Small Business of the Year

Release Date: 
Monday, May 4, 2015
Release Number: 
SDOPR 15-14
Matthew Williams, 206-553-7315

Lori Blades, owner of Kids ‘n’ Us was awarded the 2015 Small Business of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Seattle District Office at an awards gala at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Wash., on April 30, 2015.

Kids ‘n’ Us has become a family-owned business with her daughter, son and husband helping to run the business. But Blades says it’s not just her blood relatives that make it a family-owned business.

“Some of my staff has been with me for 17 years,” Blades said. “It’s not just your actual family at that point; these people I work with are my family as well. And that makes for such a better work environment and more importantly a better environment for the kids we care for.”

“Lori Blades is exactly the kind of person that embodies the idea and spirit of what an entrepreneur really is,” said District Director Nancy Porzio. “She took an idea that stemmed from a love of her family and made a business filled with passion for what she does. It’s an amazingly inspirational story of how her success came to be.”

Blades has made use of multiple 504 loans to buy both buildings and land for Kids ‘n’ Us locations. The most current loan in 2014 is providing funds for ground up construction of a new state of the art childcare facility in Marysville, Washington.

Winning this award was a welcomed surprise said Blades.

“We have worked really hard to make this a great place for kids to come to,” Blades said. “It’s so great to have that effort my staff has put out being recognized, because it’s really about them and everything they have done to help me make Kids ‘n’ Us what it is today.”

“National Small Business Week is a time to recognize the impact small business has on our country,” said Regional Administrator Calvin Goings. “It’s a chance to celebrate the dedicated, hard-working small business owners who are making a difference in their communities.”

Small Business Person of the Year winners from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam will converge on Washington, D.C. in May, where one of them will be selected as National Small Business Person of the Year during the SBA celebration of National Small Business Week May 12-16.

Each year since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. SBA recognizes outstanding small business owners for their personal successes and contributions to our nation.