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Local Franchiser Named 2016 SBA Washington Entrepreneurial Success Award Winner of the Year

Owner of five PNW Dairy Queens Takes Top Honors, Celebration Recognizing Winners May 4th at Museum of Flight, Boeing Field
Release Date: 
Friday, April 29, 2016
Release Number: 
SDOPR 16-12
Contact: 
Matthew Williams, 206-553-7315

PORT ORCHARD - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 2016 Entrepreneurial Success Award winner is Ronald Baxter, owner of five Dairy Queen Restaurants throughout the greater Puget Sound area.

Baxter was judged in multiple categories, including staying power with a substantiated history as an established business, growth in number of employees, and response to adversity with problems that faced his business.

He began his venture as a franchise owner in 1974 after being laid off from his job as a Boeing machinist. He found immediate success and grew rapidly. 

However, Baxter said one of his biggest challenges came after growing too quickly and running into some financial turbulence.

“I owned 12 locations at one point but the interest rates were too much and I just couldn’t handle it.  I  sold all but one of location,” Baxter explained. “But I didn’t quit. I worked hard, paid off a lot of debt, and was able to regrow my franchise numbers over the following years.”

District Director Nancy Porzio said Baxter is a shining example of how hard work, dedication and commitment to a dream can pay off.

“Ron Baxter is such a fine example of the entrepreneurial spirit, and how entrepreneurs refuse to quit,” said Porzio. “This is what Small Business Week is all about; celebrating achievements and showcasing entrepreneurial spirit.”

Baxter participates in Dairy Queen’s partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and their “Miracle Treat Day” where proceeds are donated to the local Children’s Hospital. He also purchases lunch for 10 different youth athletic teams at every location annually.

“National Small Business Week is a time to recognize the impact small businesses 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.”

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.