SBA Names District Small Business Person of the Year

Small Business Week 2017 North Florida Small Business Person of the Year
Release Date: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Release Number: 
Nayana Sen (904) 443-1900

Jacksonville, Fla. – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) North Florida District Office is proud to announce the 2017 Small Business Person for the North Florida District is Gabriel Ruiz LTC (Ret.), President and CEO of Advanced IT Concepts, Inc. based out of Orlando, Florida. The North Florida District covers the top 43 counties of Florida spanning from Pensacola to Orlando and Jacksonville.

“Congratulations to LTC Ruiz on this recognition for his hard-work and dedication. This award is very competitive and our office received nominations from all over the northern part of the state. I look forward to presenting this award in May as we celebrate Small Business Week. I also want to congratulate Paul Morrow, President of South Dave Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, based out of Homestead, Florida for his recognition as the 2017 State of Florida Small Business Person of the Year,” stated Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, SBA District Director.

Other winners for the District and State of Florida Small Business Week winners will be announced shortly. The North Florida District Office will present its business and lender recognition awards during the 2017 Small Business Week Celebration hosted by the Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida on May 4, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  LTC Ruiz will be honored at a private event hosted by the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida, on May 16, 2017 at the Citrus Club in Orlando, Florida. 

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small   Business Week.  National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year the dates are April 30 – May 6 with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Indianapolis, Dallas and Fresno, Calif.

For a full list of winners for Small Business Person of the Year or for more information about National Small Business Week, please visit

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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent 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. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.