Portland Coffee Roaster Owner Named 2018 SBA Oregon Small Business Person of the Year

Release Date: 
Monday, March 19, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 2018 Oregon Small Business Person of the Year is Matt Higgins, owner of Coava Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon.  Founded in 2008, Coava roasts coffees from under-sourced regions for professional baristas and everyday coffee drinkers.

Coava began in Higgins’ garage where the veteran barista and roaster bootstrapped the company by repairing motorcycles.  What was started in a garage 10 years ago has now expanded to three retail locations in Portland, Oregon and one in San Diego, California along with a new roasting facility.

“Successful small businesses are the building blocks of vibrant communities,” SBA Portland District Director Martin Golden said. “National Small Business Week is an opportunity for us to celebrate entrepreneurs like Matt Higgins who represents the thousands of small business owners who dedicate themselves every day to building a better life for their families, employees and neighborhoods.”

The SBA Small Business Person of the Year award – part of National Small Business Week April 29-May 5, 2018 – 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.

"I am very humbled to have been nominated and awarded Oregon's Small Business Person of the year,” Higgins said. “Coava's growth and success has been a huge team effort and a special thanks is in order to all of the Coava team, all the amazing professionals at the SBA, as well as our phenomenal customers that support us every day and make Coava possible. Thank you." 

Along with Coava’s success is its commitment to give back to the local community through donations to local area shelters and organizations providing emergency social services.  As the purchaser of an agricultural product in many of the world’s most economically challenged regions, Coava remains committed to financially supporting its producers during times of crisis and through investments in infrastructure so that the farms can continue to provide for their local laborers and their families.

“National Small Business Week is a time to recognize the impact of small businesses in the Pacific Northwest by sharing their inspirational stories of success, resilience and determination,” SBA Regional Administrator Jeremy Field said. “It’s my honor to celebrate the entrepreneurs who use innovation to solve problems, create jobs and make a difference in our local communities.”

Small Business Person of the Year winners from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam will converge in Washington, D.C. April 29-30 when one of them will be selected as the National Small Business Person of the Year.

A celebration honoring local SBA winners from Oregon and the SBA Portland District – which serves Oregon and southwest Washington – will be May 2. Other SBA local awards that will be recognized at the celebration include Exporter of the Year, 8(a) Graduate of the Year and Young Entrepreneur 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 www.sba.gov/nsbw.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012 has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.  The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.  Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. For more information visit www.sba.gov.


About the SBA Portland District Office:

The SBA Portland District serves Oregon and southwest Washington. SBA Portland District staff provides resources and services in three areas referred to as “the three C’s” – counseling, capital and contracting. Visit www.sba.gov/OR  or follow @SBA_PortlandOR for more information including resource partners, lenders, workshops, success stories and other resources to help business start, grow and succeed.


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