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Seven Small Business Owners from Washington Honored by SBA Seattle District for National Small Business Week

Local Businesses Share Journeys Before and Through Coronavirus Outbreak
Release Date: 
Monday, June 29, 2020
Release Number: 
2020-06-29
Advisory Date: 
Monday, June 29, 2020
Contact: 
Lisa White | lisa.white@sba.gov | 206-553-7050

NSBW 2020 Winners

SEATTLE – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Seattle District announces the winners of its annual awards program, part of National Small Business Week 2020.

The small business awards program is part of National Small Business Week, which is typically held during the first week of May every year since 1963. National Small Business Week award announcements and celebrations were postponed this year due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The 2020 dates for National Small Business Week have yet to be announced.

“This year’s National Small Business Week winners represent the best and most resilient entrepreneurs our district has to offer,” SBA Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd said. “They’ve not just survived these unprecedented times, they’ve thrived by innovating, pivoting and working with the SBA and our partners.”

2020 winners from the SBA Seattle District include the following:

               Washington Small Business Person of the Year

               Olga Sagan, Owner of Piroshky Piroshky

               Seattle, WA

Small Business Person of the Year winners from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam are all finalists eligible to win the National Small Business Person of the Year. Sagan arrived in the United States from Russia at 16 years old. She learned English and navigated being a woman leader in business. Using knowledge and resources gained from the SBA Emerging Leaders course, Sagan grew the bakery from 38 to 69 employees and increased sales 53% from 2016 to 2018. Read more about Sagan.

               Small Business Exporter of the Year, Pacific Northwest Region

               John and Susan Hannah, President and Senior Vice President of Pacific Valley Foods  

               Bellevue, WA

Pacific Valley Foods was selected from winners in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The regional winner is one of 10 finalists for the SBA National Exporter of the Year award. Co-founders Scott and Lynn Hannah began the business in the basement of their home, distributing their branded line of frozen vegetables and french fries to U.S. grocery stores. Today the multi-million-dollar company is run by their children – John and Susan Hannah – and sells 95% of their goods internationally to more than 25 countries and employs a staff of 11. Read more about the Hannahs.

               8(a) Graduate of the Year, Pacific Northwest Region

               Cy Oatridge, Owner of Oatridge Security Group (OSG)

               Tacoma, WA

The SBA 8(a) Business Development Program is a nine-year government contracting certification to provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities. OSG is the regional winner, one of 10 finalists for the SBA National 8(a) Graduate of the Year award. OSG enrolled in the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program in 2010 with less than one million dollars in revenue. They graduated from the nine-year program in 2019 and ended the year with more than 1000% growth in revenue from 2010; and, more than 100 employees. Read more about Oatridge.

               Rural Small Business of the Year

               Susie Jensen, Owner of Wheel Line Cider

               Ellensburg, WA

In only three years, Jensen took Wheel Line Cider from an idea to a reality and went from a staff of one to five full-time employees, while growing a popular presence both in-person and online. Cider production has doubled during the past year. She is one of the few woman-owned cideries with their own apple orchard in the United States. Read more about Jensen.

               Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year

               Matt Purcell, President and Founder of PCI Pest Control

               Olympia, WA

In its first year of operation, PCI Pest Control generated $35,000 in annual sales as a one-person operation based out of Purcell’s living room. During the past 14 years, the company grew to $900,000 in annual revenue and nine full-time staff. Read more about Purcell.

               Rising Startup of the Year

               Madison Brewer, Owner of Brewers Coffee

               Snohomish, WA

In 2019 at the age of 20, Madison Brewer identified an opportunity to buy her own espresso stand and used an SBA loan to start Brewers Coffee Co.  Business is off to a great start; Brewer employs a staff of three and within the first six months did more than $100,000 in sales. She is already scouting a second location to grow the business. Read more about Brewer.

               Young Entrepreneur of the Year

               Sam Franklin, CEO of Greenvelope.com

               Seattle, WA

Franklin launched a paperless stationery company out of his college dorm room. During the past 11 years, the company has seen tremendous growth and success, both domestically and internationally. Greenvelope.com went from a one-person startup to a company with 14 full-time employees that serves 5,000 business clients and has more than 700,000 users in 35 countries. Read more about Franklin.

“National Small Business Week is a time to recognize the impact entrepreneurs and small businesses have on our economy and in our local communities,” SBA Pacific Northwest Regional Administrator Jeremy Field said. “Like many things in 2020, the journeys of this year’s award winners took a turn most didn’t anticipate. However, themes of ingenuity and tenacity remain the same as small business owners continue to inspire us in new and meaningful ways.”

A celebration honoring local SBA winners from Washington and the SBA Seattle District – which serves Washington and northern Idaho – has been postponed due to the pandemic but is slated to be rescheduled once conditions are safe to do so.

For more information about National Small Business Week, visit www.sba.gov/nsbw.

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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 www.sba.gov. The Seattle District serves Washington and northern Idaho with office locations in Seattle and Spokane.

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