New York City Entrepreneur will compete for National Small Business Person of the Year at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

SBA Selects Raj D. Thakkar as New York State Small Business Person of the Year; will be recognized by SBA Administrator, Linda McMahon
Release Date: 
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Release Number: 
Bailey Wolff (212) 264-1489

New York – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has named Raj D. Thakkar, Founder and CEO of Charter School Business Management (CSBM), as the New York State Small Business Person of the Year. Nominated by Paisley Demby, Business Services Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Thakkar was selected for tremendous growth in his company’s sales, an increase in employees, longevity and contributions to the community.

SBA Regional Administrator, Region II, Steve Bulger, said that Thakkar was selected from a competitive field of applicants from three SBA District Offices – Buffalo, Syracuse and New York.

“The 2.1 million small businesses in New York State represent the most diverse small businesses in the country: tourism, health care, agriculture, imports & exports, tech startups and restauranteurs from around the world are located here. Taking time to recognize the hard work and efforts of these innovators is crucial for they are the backbone of our economy and the engines driving us forward,” Bulger said.  

Beth Goldberg, Director of the New York SBA District Office, said that Thakkar was selected not only for his staying power in business but also for his track record of adjusting his business plan to grow through unexpected challenges throughout the lifecycle of his company. 

“Mr. Thakkar has found a way to adapt to the demands of the market and make great contributions to the Charter School environment both in New York City and across the country. We’re proud to call Mr. Thakkar and Charter School Business Management ‘ours’. We wish him luck in Washington,” Goldberg said.

Thakkar started CSBM in 2006, to solve a common problem facing charter schools throughout the country: namely, that one in every seven charter schools fails, mostly due to financial mismanagement. Through his work, Thakkar has impacted over 35,000 students and responsibly managed more than half-a-billion dollars in public funds. His financial management services business has kept the doors of charter schools open in New York City and several states across the nation. CSBM has grown from three employees to more than 50. The company has also expanded into non-profit finance and operations, providing the same expert support services to not-for-profit organizations that it has provided charter schools for more than a decade. Thirty-five percent of the charter schools in New York City are served by CSBM. Company revenues in 2017 exceeded $7.5 million.

Thakkar worked with SBA’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at LaGuardia Community College to discover many resources that were available for him to grow his company. Among the benefits of working with the LaGuardia SBDC were networking opportunities, education on various financing options and information on how the federal government might provide new opportunities for his business.  

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon will recognize Raj Thakkar, along with other winners from across the country, at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 29th and 30th.

The New York District SBA Office will recognize Thakkar’s achievement at a local ceremony on May 1, 2018, at the Microsoft Technology Center in Times Square. Registration for the ceremony is open through this webpage.

For additional information on National Small Business Week, please visit the dedicated Small Business Week website.  

Below is a complete list of the 2018 SBA New York District Office National Small Business Week Award Winners:





ABOUT THE U.S. Small Business Administration, New York District Office

The SBA New York District Office delivers its programs and services throughout New York City, Long Island and the downstate counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester. Our Long Island Branch Office provides services on Long Island. Visit for more information including resource partners, lenders, workshops, success stories and other resources to help businesses start, grow and succeed.

For more information about SBA’s loan programs, financial assistance and other services, visit

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