Lynden Portable Storage Company Owner Named 2019 SBA Washington Small Business Person of the Year

Owner Ross Black of Simple Box Storage Takes Top Honors, Finalist for 2019 SBA National Small Business Person of the Year, Celebration to Recognize All Local SBA Award Winners May 8
Release Date: 
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Thursday, April 4, 2019

SEATTLE – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 2019 Washington Small Business Person of the Year is Ross Black, founder and CEO of Simple Box Storage in Lynden, Washington. 

Founded in 1997, Simple Box Storage rents and sells shipping containers for storage, moving or modification. Today Simple Box Storage has eight locations across Washington, Idaho and Oregon and employs 26 people. What started as a high school project for Black turned into a business that grew to serve consumer needs.

“Ross has proven that anyone with the right vision, resources and determination can be a successful business owner,” SBA Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd said. “Not only is he a great role model for young aspiring entrepreneurs, he is also giving back to the community in meaningful and impactful ways.”

The SBA Small Business Person of the Year award – part of National Small Business Week May 5-11, 2019 – recognizes small business owners who demonstrate staying power and substantiated history as an established business with at least three years of business operation. Winners must also show growth in net worth and business expansion, increase in jobs and sales, innovativeness of products or services, response to adversity and contributions to community-oriented projects.

“It is such a humbling thing to win an award like this because I know that it would be impossible without such amazing support around me,” Black said. “When I started the business as a 17-year-old, I had dreams of being successful, but I really had no idea what true success looked like. As I worked through the SBA Emerging Leaders program, the dreams became plans and the plans have now become reality. I know that there is still so much room for me to grow as a leader, but it is an incredible honor to be recognized for the progress that has been made so far.”

After the first few years of success, Black knew he wanted to grow his business, but didn’t know how. In 2013, Black enrolled in the SBA Emerging Leaders course, which provides free entrepreneurship education and training for executives of small, poised-for-growth companies. After completing the program Black had a roadmap to guide the growth of his company.

Since completing the Emerging Leaders program, Simple Box Storage grew from two locations to eight, increased revenue by 400 percent and added seventeen new employees.

Black’s success has allowed him to make a difference in communities across the globe. Black sponsors one orphan or widow for each employee the company has. Black has also provided containers and supplies for global and national disasters, sponsors local community events and volunteers his time coaching and teaching local students. Ross says community service and charitable giving are one of the main reasons why he is in business.   

"National Small Business Week is a time to recognize the impact of small businesses, which make up 99 percent of all businesses in the Pacific Northwest and create two out of every three net new jobs,” SBA Regional Administrator Jeremy Field said. “Small business owners represent our country’s best. They are innovators, job creators and community leaders. Shining a spotlight on their inspirational stories and journeys is an honor.”

Small Business Person of the Year winners from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam will converge in Washington, D.C. May 5-6 when one of them will be selected as the National Small Business Person of the Year.

A celebration honoring local SBA winners from Washington state and the SBA Seattle District – which serves the state of Washington and northern Idaho – will be May 8, 2019. Other SBA local awards that will be recognized at the celebration include Exporter of the Year, Veteran-Owned Small Business, Rising Startup and Small Business Champion of the Year.

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.

For more information about National Small Business Week, visit


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 The Seattle District Office serves most of Washington and northern Idaho with office locations in Seattle and Spokane.



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