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U.S. Small Business Administration Announces the 2022 New Hampshire Small Business Week Award Winners

Release Date: 
Thursday, April 7, 2022
Release Number: 
NH 22-12
Cheryl A. Croto

CONCORD, NH – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced its 2022 New Hampshire Small Business Award winners recognizing outstanding small business owners throughout the state. Sara B. Nadeau, owner of Carriage Hill Assisted Living of Madbury has been selected as SBA’s New Hampshire Small Business Person of the Year.

For more than 50 years, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.  More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. The SBA will co-host along with SCORE, to honor the nation’s 32.5 million small businesses for their perseverance.  National Small Business Week (NSBW) will take place May 1-7, 2022. The virtual summit will acknowledge small businesses from across the country for their resilience, ingenuity, and creativity with a four-day series of events including a live virtual summit, educational sessions, and award presentations. Ms. Nadeau will compete with the Nation’s top small businesses for the honor of National Small Business Person of the Year. Registration is free at

Sara Nadeau grew up in Madbury, NH. After high school, Sara attended the University of New Hampshire (UNH) with a dual major in Economics and International Affairs. She then attended Boston University (BU) earning her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and Masters in Arts (MA) in International Relations.  After graduating from Boston University, she was recruited as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Air Force (USAF) Medical Service Corps where she served for 9 years.

Sara’s entrepreneurial journey began in 2013 after separating from the U.S. Air Force as a Major and working for 9 years at a local community hospital. She partnered with her husband and brother to design and open an assisted living facility in Madbury. ‘Carriage Hill Assisted Living’ opened in 2015 as a 24-bed traditional assisted living residence.  The project was financed with a SBA 504 loan from Granite State Development Corporation and third-party lender, Optima Bank & Trust (now Cambridge Trust). This facility provides a much-needed service for the surrounding communities and earned ‘Best of Assisted Living Awards’ in 2017 and 2019. Due to the pandemic the company faced some challenges but was able to sustain their workforce of 44 with a SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan which helped them remain open and achieve $1MM in sales for the past 3 years.

According to Sara, the SBA programs were vital in this journey.  “Without the SBA loan for construction, we would not have been able to start the business.  It was an instrumental part of our funding for the project. Then, during the beginning of the pandemic, the SBA loan payments we received was a huge relief in those unsettling months. In addition, the Paycheck Protection Program loan allowed us to avoid significant layoffs in early 2021, following a COVID outbreak that significantly contributed to our resident population dropping to under 50%.  We were able to sustain operations and maintain staffing through this critical period due to the PPP forgivable loan until our admissions increased by the summer of 2021,” explained Sara.  Sara attributes her determination and ability to open her own business to the significant specialized experience and training she received in the Air Force.  Each position she held over the years gave her the insight and training that was invaluable to being able to manage all the facets of business ownership and operations. Sara also finds time to work in another family business offering a unique event venue for weddings and other specials events in a converted church known as “The Hall at Great Falls” in Somersworth which opened in 2018.  Sara lives in Lee, just next to Madbury, with her spouse. She has three stepchildren, a 12-year-old son, and two grandchildren.

“The New Hampshire 2022 Small Business Week Award winners are great examples of businesses that are helping to build a better America through Entrepreneurship,” said Mike Vlacich, SBA New England Regional Administrator.  “These business owners demonstrate the resiliency and tenacity of entrepreneurs across NH and across the nation.  They have proven their staying power, they create jobs, have shown response to adversity during unimaginable setbacks and they give back to their communities through their businesses and on their own time. I congratulate them on their achievements and on the part, they are playing in powering our nation’s historic economic comeback.

Amy Bassett, District Director of the NH SBA office added, “It is our great pleasure to celebrate the success of Sara Nadeau.  We thank her for her service to our country and her commitment to giving back to others.  Sara is a perfect example of how through hard work and perseverance a committed entrepreneur can succeed through extremely challenging times.  Sara is joined by a great group of New Hampshire award winners and regional winners this year who have shown great leadership and commitment to their businesses and their communities.  We look forward to celebrating their successes in the months ahead.”       

Award winners will be honored at an annual small business week celebration hosted by the SBA NH District Office and the NH Banker’s Association that will be held on Thursday, May12th from 3:30pm-5:30pm at the Manchester Country Club in Bedford, NH.

2022 NH Small Business Week Award Winners


Small Business Person of the Year
Sara B. Nadeau
Carriage Hill Assisted Living
Madbury, NH

Lynne Beernaert
Hug Patrol
Newmarket, NH 

Kelly E. Jewett
Bog Road Designs

District Director Award
Steve Kesselring 
Your Oil Tools

Veteran Owned
For NH and New England
Adam ‘AJ’ Jarnagin 

Woman Owned 
Jennifer Legere
A Place to Grow

Minority Owned
Nizar Jhaver
Global American Sales, Inc. 

Financial Services Champion
Denise Roy-Palmer
Wentworth Economic Development Corp. (WEDCO) 

Small Business Manufacturer
Mark Sullivan
Environmental Devices Corporation 

Jeffrey Butland Family Owned
For NH and New England
Fritz Family
Electrical Installations, LLC

Small Business Champion
Heather Turner
Merrimack Valley SCORE