SBA to Celebrate Mississippi Small Business Person of the Year, Business Champions, Top Lenders and Top CDCs at 2016 Small Business Week Awards Event

Release Date: 
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Bridget Johnson Fells (228) 863-4449 x225

JACKSON, MS – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Mississippi District Office is proud to announce that Mike Pornovets, owner of Everything Kayak, LLC of Gulfport, MS, has been named the 2016 SBA Mississippi Small Business Person of the Year. 

Everything Kayak, is a full service retail kayak company with an ever increasing market share along the Gulf Coast.  Mike is a veteran who made his business idea a reality when he retired from active military service. In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Mike helps other aspiring veteran entrepreneurs realize business success by working with the Mississippi Veterans Outreach Center (VBOC).  

The SBA Mississippi District Office will honor the Small Business Person of the Year, Small Business Champions, Top Lenders and Top CDCs at an awards ceremony in early May 2016 during National Small Business Week.  

“We are extremely proud of Mississippi’s Small Business Person of the Year and Small Business Champion Winners,” says Janita R. Stewart, SBA Mississippi District Director.  “This year’s top winner is not only a successful small business owner, but a U.S. Navy Veteran to boot!  It is always an honor to recognize the great service our veterans give and in Mike’s case, he gives back even more by assisting other veterans in our Veterans Business Outreach Center.  He’s also utilized several of SBA’s programs and services to grow his business here in Mississippi.”  

“On the small business lending front, during fiscal year 2015, SBA lending was up in Mississippi over the previous year by about nine percent in dollars, which is extremely significant for small businesses in our state.   “We play a vital role in enabling small businesses and entrepreneurs to get the capital they need to start and grow their businesses, create jobs and build communities. This could not have happened without the participation of our various in and out-of-state lending partners and we look forward to recognizing our top lenders and top CDCs at the awards ceremony in May,” said Stewart. 

Every year, SBA receives nominations from various categories including Small Business Person, Small Business Export, Young Entrepreneur, Generational Family-Owned Business, Minority Business Champion, Women Business Champion, Veterans Business Champion, Home-Based Business Champion, Financial Services Champion, Entrepreneurial Success Award, Small Business Journalist, 8(a) Graduate Award, and Phoenix Awards.




Small Business Person of the Year

Mike Pornovets

Everything Kayak

Gulfport, MS  


Small Business Exporter    

Marco Hawkins Moran

Dewmar International BMC, Inc.

Jackson, MS


Young Entrepreneur

Kyle and Regan Cravens

Allen’s Fine Jewelry

Winona, MS


Phoenix Award-Outstanding Contributions To Disaster Recovery

Mayor William A. Hill, City of Louisville

Louisville, MS


Veterans Small Business Champion

Natalie Guess 

Magnolia Business Alliance

Diamondhead, MS


Minority Small Business Champion

Dr. Sidney Rushing

Gaston Point Community Development Corp.

Gulfport, MS 


Financial Services Champion

Fred Crispen

Celtic Bank 

Panama City Beach, FL


Women Business Champion 

Dorothy P. Wilson

D Wilson and Associates

Gulfport, MS


Lender Awards


First Financial Bank 

Top Loan Volume & 1st Runner-Up Dollar Lender


Community Bank of Mississippi 

Top Dollar Lender & 1st Runner-Up Loan Volume 


Trustmark National Bank

2nd Runner-Up Loan Volume Lender



2nd Runner-Up Dollar Lender


Covington County Bank

3rd Runner-Up Loan Volume Lender


Peoples Bank

3rd Runner–Up Dollar & Honorable Mention Volume Lender


West Town Bank & Trust

 Honorable Mention Dollar Lender


Central Mississippi Development Company

Top Loan Volume Certified Development Company


Three Rivers Local Development Company

Top Dollar Certified Development Company


Trustmark Bank

Top Loan Volume Third-Party Lender on CDC Projects


ServisFirst Bank 

Top Dollar Third-Party Lender on CDC Projects


For more information on the award ceremony and/or to nominate someone for an award, please contact Bridget Johnson-Fells at (228) 863-4449, ext. 225.