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The SBA Announces the 2020 Rhode Island Small Business Week Awardees

Release Date: 
Monday, August 31, 2020
Release Number: 
RI20-34
Contact: 
Ryan.Brissette@sba.gov, (401) 528-4630

PROVIDENCE – The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the 2020 Rhode Island Small Business Week Awardees. This year's winners are led by the Rhode Island Small Business Persons of the Year, Harmony Oschefski and Cedar Hwang, owners of the Bodhi Spa in Newport, along with the five New England regional winners and six state-level awardees. 

Historically, Small Business Week is observed in early May but due to the risk of COVID-19 and state guidelines for social distancing the annual event was postponed. 

"The small business community here in Rhode Island is one of the greatest in the country," said SBA District Director Mark S. Hayward. "These businesses have demonstrated a creativity, business acumen, staying power, and success needed to rise to the top of the business world. They have also displayed the intuition and resiliency in this post-COVID world to pivot their business plans and find new and inventive ways to keep their products and services relevant and marketable. These men and women are the true embodiment of entrepreneurship and and the Rhode Island motto; Hope."

The 2020 Rhode Island Small Business Week Awardees are:

RHODE ISLAND SMALL BUSINESS PERSONS OF THE YEAR

Harmony Oschefski, Owner Cedar Hwang, Owner
The bodhi spa
Newport
Nominator: Josh Daly, RI SBDC

RHODE ISLAND & NEW ENGLAND SMALL BUSINESS EXPORTER
Joseph Janson, CEO 
NVTS Night Vision Technology Solutions LLC
Jamestown
Nominators: Linda Woulfe, John H. Chafee Center for International Business

RHODE ISLAND & NEW ENGLAND FINANCIAL SERVICES CHAMPION
Angela Laperriere, AVP, Business Assistance Manager & Lending Officer
SEED Corporation
Taunton
Nominator: Tamarah Bacon, Pawtucket Credit Union

 RHODE ISLAND & NEW ENGLAND SMALL BUSINESS MANUFACTURER
Michael Black, President
National Marker Company
North Smithfield
Nominator: Josh Daly, RI SBDC

 RHODE ISLAND & NEW ENGLAND MICROENTERPRISE
Rebecca Twitchell, President & Founder
half full, llc
Providence
Nominator: Elizabeth Russo & Karina Wood, 10K Small Businesses

RHODE ISLAND & NEW ENGLAND MINORITY-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS
Juan Lantigua, President & CEO
The Family Cake
Providence
Nominator: Manuel J. Batlle, RI SBDC

RHODE ISLAND HOMEBASED SMALL BUSINESS
Duran & Kristy Searles, Co-Owners/Artists
Painted Karma Custom Designs
Kingston
Nominator: Josh Daly, RI SBDC

RHODE ISLAND JEFFREY BUTLAND FAMILY-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS
Dan Shedd, President
Taylor Box Company
Warren
Nominator: Melissa Travis, RISCPA

RHODE ISLAND VETERAN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS
Adam Batchelder, Owner
Smoke & Squeal BBQ
Pawtucket
Nominators: Amit Basnet, RI SBDC / Pam LaBreche

RHODE ISLAND WOMAN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS
Janelle Blakely Photopoulos, Owner & Creative Director
Blakely Interior Design
North Kingstown
Nominator: Elizabeth Russo & Karina Wood, 10K Small Businesses

RHODE ISLAND YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR
Kaitlyn Szczupak, Owner/President
S & S Transmissions and Auto Repair, Inc.
Tiverton
Self-Nominated

RHODE ISLAND DISTRICT DIRECTOR AWARD
Paul DeRoche
Small Business Advocate