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Monsoon Kitchens Headlines SBA’s 2019 Small Business Week Awardees for Massachusetts

Annual Celebration to be held on May 8th at Assumption College in Worcester
Release Date: 
Monday, April 1, 2019
Release Number: 
Contact:, 617-565-8510

BOSTON — SBA Massachusetts District Director Robert H. Nelson announced this year’s National Small Business Week honorees today.

“National Small Business Week is a time to reflect on the significant achievements and community impact that our small businesses have on the local economy." said SBA Massachusetts District Director Robert H. Nelson. "It’s truly an honor to present these awards to this group of amazing entrepreneurs who are making a difference with job creation and community development.”

Every year since 1963, 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.

As part of National Small Business Week, this year being celebrated May 5th – 11th, 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.

Massachusetts honorees will be celebrated at the annual awards luncheon at Assumption College in Worcester on Wednesday, May 8th.  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:


2019 Massachusetts Honorees:

Small Business Person of the Year
Swati Elavia, President
Monsoon Kitchens
Shrewsbury, MA

Exporter of the Year (MA & New England)
Grace Preston, Director of International Sales
Optim LLC
Sturbridge, MA

Financial Services Champion of the Year
Barbara Arena, Vice President
Granite State Economic Development Corporation
Portsmouth, NH

Minority Owned Business of the Year
Alma Moreno, Owner
El Huipil
Maynard, MA

Veteran Owned Business of the Year
Robert J. Brown, President
Broco Oil
North Reading, MA

Woman Owned Business of the Year
Suzanne Merritt, President
Lenox Fit
Lenox, MA

Microenterprise of the Year
Lisa Evans and Timothy Kinte Smith, Co-Owners
We Grow Microgreens
Roslindale, MA

Homebased Business of the Year
Stephanie Thompson, Owner
Warrior Runners
Sandwich, MA

Family Owned Business of the Year (MA & New England)
Leslie Carrio, President
Depaoli Mosaic Company
Canton, MA

Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Renee Ann Diaz, Owner
The Queen’s Cups
Worcester, MA

8A Graduate of the Year (MA & New England)
Dawn Dearborn, President
Tantara Corporation
Worcester, MA

Small Manufacturer of the Year
Neil Grover, President
Grover Pro Percussion
Woburn, MA

SBDC Services Center Excellence and Innovation Award (MA & New England)
MSBDC Government Sales Advisory Program
Sandra Ledbetter, Government Sales Advisor
Daniel Lilly, Government Sales Advisor & SBIR Specialist






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