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SBA’s Lower Rio Grande Valley Announces 2019 Small Business Week Awardees

Joe Perez of Smoothie King takes Top Honors as the 2019 Lower Rio Grande Valley District’s Small Business Person of the Year
Release Date: 
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Release Number: 
Angela R. Burton, District Director

HARLINGEN – Today, Angela Burton, district director for the SBA’s Lower Rio Grande Valley District announced the 2019 District Small Business Week awardees for 10 small business categories.

“It is with great honor we congratulate Mr. Joe Perez of MGG Investments, Inc., dba Smoothie King as the Lower Rio Grande Valley District’s Small Business Person of the Year,” Burton stated.

Mr. Perez, an avid athlete with an appetite for nutrition takes pride in changing people’s lives and helping the community understand and reach their health and wellness goals.  What started as a single location has now increased to four locations across Corpus Christi, Texas with more than 30 employees.  Founded in 2008, Smoothie King is a juice bar franchise that specializes in nutritional products, natural smoothies, supplements, vitamins and healthy snacks.

The SBA Small Business Person of the Year award – part of National Small Business Week May 5 - May 11, 2019 – 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.

“It’s truly an excellent time to recognize the importance of small business ownership and to celebrate model entrepreneurs who use innovation to solve problems, create jobs and whose enterprises contribute to the growth and prosperity of the Lower Rio Grande Valley District,” Angela R. Burton, district director, Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office stated.  “National Small Business Week is one of my favorite events.”

“When I began my franchising endeavor with Smoothie King in April 2008; I had no idea the impact it would have on my health and wellness and the ability to educate my community to a healthier lifestyle,” Joe Perez said.

Mr. Perez, nominated by Del Mar College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has been a client since 2013.  The SBDC assisted him with business planning, financial projections and obtaining bank financing.

To honor all Lower Rio Grande Valley District awardees, two celebrations will be hosted one in the Rio Grande Valley and the other in the Coastal Bend area.

On Tuesday, May 7th, 2018 the Rio Grande Valley Partnership will host a lunch celebration from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Double Tree Suites by Hilton Hotel in McAllen.  For more information contact Monica Sanchez at (956) 968-3141 or via email to

On Wednesday, May 8th, Del Mar College Small Business Development Center will host an evening event from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Center for Economic Development, CED 106 in Corpus Christi.  For more information contact Monica Benavides Stuber at (361) 698-2422 or via email to

Additional Small Business Week awardees include:

2019 District Director Awards

8(a) Graduate of the Year
NVS Corporate Services, Inc., Nicolas Valentin Soto, Jr., Brownsville, Texas

Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery
Southern Style Auto Body Solutions, Mr. & Mrs. Rene Moreno & Rachel Hinojosa, Mercedes, Texas, nominated by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance

Rural Owned Small Business of the Year
Cappadona Ranch, Victoria Barrera Cappadona and Jaclyn Cappadona Jackson, Linn, Texas, nominated by Aaron Gonzalez, UTRGV Small Business Development Center

Home Based Business of the Year
Janktafied Goodness, LLC, Lamar Jones, Weslaco, Texas, nominated by Marlene Rodriguez, LiftFund

Family Owned Small Business of the Year
Blanquita's Mexican Restaurant, Martin Morin, San Benito, Texas, nominated by Dr. Enriqueta Lopez Ramos, Retired

Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year
Weslaco's Daily Grind, LLC, Adam Shidler, Weslaco, Texas, nominated by Marcus Villagran, UTRGV Veterans Business Outreach Center

Minority Owned Small Business of the Year
MAX Underground Construction, LLC, Maximiliano Salinas, Corpus Christi, Texas, nominated by Celia Garza, Del Mar College Small Business Development Center Rural Program

Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Parga Products, Saul Parga, Brownsville, Texas, nominated by Elizabeth Charles,  Women’s Business Center-Rio Grande Valley

Women Owned Small Business of the Year
Habibi Gourmet, LLC., dba Dip It, Maria De Pilar Gonzalez, Mission, Texas, nominated by Marlene Rodriguez, LiftFund

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


About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit