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Minnesota’s 2020 Small Business Week Winners Announced

Eleven Celebrated for Business Success and Support
Release Date: 
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Release Number: 

MINNEAPOLIS – The U.S. Small Business Administration is recognizing 11 Minnesota-based small businesses and small business champions, including Minnesota’s Small Business Person of the Year, during National Small Business Week. Held annually to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and small business supporters across the nation, Small Business Week is May 3-9, 2020.

“It’s an honor to celebrate these small business owners and champions,” said Brian McDonald, acting district director, SBA’s Minnesota District Office. “Together they represent the positive impact the over 520,000 small businesses in the state, which help to create two out of every three jobs in the private sector, are having right here in Minnesota.”

Minnesota’s winners were chosen for their success in starting or helping small business and their efforts to give back to the community. Each business also received SBA assistance, directly or from SBA’s resource partners, in the form of guaranteed loans, business training and consultation, and more.

Small Business Person of the Year

Paula Trenda, Curly Girlz Candy, Inc. , Owatonna

As the Minnesota Small Business Person of the Year, Trenda has been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C., on May 3-4, where she will be honored with her individual award. During those ceremonies, the SBA will announce the 2020 National Small Business Person of the Year among the individual winners represented from across the U.S. and territories.   

Additionally, the SBA Minnesota District Office will join partners across the state to celebrate Trenda and the following winners at events to be announced soon:

Exporter of the Year

David Garcia, Jr. and James Masterlark, AMMI Risk Solutions, Inc., Eagan

Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year

Chiamaka Enemuoh, Lifestone Health Care, Inc., Proctor

Minority Small Business Champion of the Year

ChaQuana McEntyre, Family Rise Together, Duluth

SBDC Excellence & Innovation Center of the Year

Michael Hahn, Small Business Development Center - South Central Region, Mankato

Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year - Team

Michael Dukart, Christopher Dukart and Jeffrey Dukart, The Industry TV, LLC, Oronoco

Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year

Sean Richards, American Crystal Sugar Moorhead Factory, Moorhead

Women in Business Champion of the Year

Amalia Moreno-Damgaard, Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota, Eden Prairie

Women-Owned Small Business of the Year

Ingrid Christensen, INGCO International, Minneapolis

Women's Business Center of Excellence

Sarah Pike, WomenVenture, Minneapolis

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Bethany Wood, HealthSource of St. Paul Grand Ave, St. Paul

Get Involved: SBA and partner organizations will host a two-day Small Business Week Virtual Conference on May 5 and May 6. The conference, which is free for any business owner or aspiring entrepreneur, will feature presentations by business experts, mentoring, and virtual networking. SBA will also host a Twitter chat on May 8 using the hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek. The public can follow along all week on social media using the hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek. For additional information about National Small Business Week, visit the official website at




About National Small Business Week

For more than 50 years, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership.

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