WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced four Resource Partners of the Year awards. SBA Resource Partners, funded in part by the SBA, provide America's small businesses with technical assistance, training, and access to capital. In the first two years of the Biden-Harris Administration, a record-breaking 10.5 million Americans applied to start a business – more than any two years on record. These annual awards recognize the winners' impact on local economic growth, job creation, and support of our Nation's newest entrepreneurs. The awardees will be honored at a ceremony during National Small Business Week, April 30-May 6, 2023.
"The Resource Partner of the Year awards recognize organizations that are making a real difference in the lives of countless small business owners — connecting them with tools and resources and empowering them with the strength of their networks and their expertise," said U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. "Congratulations to all the honorees for your achievements, and thank you for your work uplifting our Nation's veterans, women entrepreneurs, and all of America's 33 million small businesses."
"We congratulate these tremendous SBA Resource Partner honorees, distinguished in service and impact to our small business owners from Washington state to California to Florida," said the Associate Administrator of the Office of Entrepreneurial Development Mark Madrid. "As our small business owners across America continue to exhibit resilience and hope, our SBA Resource Partner network leverages the power of SBA tools and resources."
The SBA congratulates the 2023 Resource Partner winners that, include the SCORE Chapter of the Year from Broward County, Florida; the Women's Business Center of the Year from San Diego, California; the Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award for the SBDC in Miami, Florida; and the Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award from Tukwila, Washington.
SCORE Chapter of the Year
Broward County Chapter (SCORE)
George Gremse, Chapter Chairman
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Through its dedicated network of 75 volunteers, SCORE Broward, Fl., offers free and confidential mentoring, business training, and resources to anyone looking to start, grow or exit a small business. Last year, these efforts created 419 new businesses and 1,773 jobs across Florida's Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Broward County communities. Under the leadership of SCORE Broward Chairman George Gremse, the Chapter has grown its network of municipal, government, and other nonprofit community partners to deliver expanded services to a wide range of diverse local entrepreneurs and small business owners in need of support. SCORE Broward's dedicated volunteer corps boasts a low turnover rate (15% of the Chapter's volunteers have 10-20 years of service). At the same time, its outstanding performance and culture actively attract new volunteers committed to sharing their time and talents.
Women's Business Center of the Year
San Diego and Imperial Women's Business Center (WBC)
Katty Ibarra, Director
San Diego, California
Katty Ibarra is the Director of the San Diego and Imperial Women's Business Center. Under her leadership, the San Diego and Imperial Women's Business Center has created more than 130 businesses, helped businesses access $3 million in capital, and served more than 3,000 unique clients. Ibarra promotes inclusive entrepreneurship by providing services in English and Spanish, Mindset Reset Program, and entrepreneurial development capacity building for childcare businesses. The San Diego and Imperial Women's Business Center has consistently exceeded its performance goals. The San Diego and Imperial Women's Business Center is a program of Southwestern Community College. In addition to supporting the women's entrepreneurial ecosystem, the San Diego and Imperial Women's Business Center is a valued partner of the San Diego District Office.
Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award
Florida SBDC at Florida International University
Brian Van Hook, Regional Director
The Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Florida International University (FIU) provides high-quality services that allow the Miami-Dade area to remain competitive in attracting, growing, and retaining small businesses.
The FSBDC at FIU began offering services in Miami-Dade County in 2014 and expanded to Monroe County in October 2018. Today, the Small Business Development Center has 30 business specialists in Miami-Dade and the Keys. Led by Brian Van Hook, the FSBDC at FIU consistently exceeds its performance goals by building meaningful partnerships that expand its footprint in underserved communities and across the Miami-Dade region. The FSBDC at FIU partners with six other community organizations to bridge the gap between local small businesses and SBA programs and resources.
In addition to the FSBDC at FIU team's work in their community, members of the FSBDC at FIU are active in advancing best practices across the FSBDC network through the leadership of the New Business Starts Task Force and participation in the other task force groups. The FSBDC at FIU prides itself on being mission-driven and community-focused, and their client outcomes last year demonstrate this dedication to their small business clients.
The FSBDC at FIU regularly demonstrates its commitment to working alongside the SBA District Office in South Florida. It has cultivated and maintained a relationship that allows strong collaboration and provides high-quality offerings to meet the needs of small businesses in the region.
Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award
Veterans Business Outreach Center at Business Impact Northwest
Steve Watts-Oelrich, VBOC Director
Business Impact Northwest was founded in 1997 as the Seattle Economic Development Fund DBA Community Capital Development.
The Region 10 Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) at Business Impact NW offers training opportunities, one-on-one coaching, referrals to resource partners, and networking events in Region X, encompassing the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The Region X VBOC delivers approximately 100 Boots to Business training sessions at 17 military installations, including Coast Guard stations in Alaska.
VBOC Director Steve Watts-Oelrich is an Air Force Veteran who obtained his B.S. Degree in Workforce Education, Training & Development. Upon separation from the military, he used his VA benefits to attend law school.
In 2016, Watts-Oelrich joined Business Impact NW Region X VBOC as a Boots to Business Instructor and Business Coach. In 2018, he was named VBOC Instructor of the Year and subsequently promoted to VBOC Program Director in 2019.
For more information about National Small Business Week, visit www.sba.gov/NSBW.
Co-sponsorship Authorization# 23-1-C. The SBA's participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.
About National Small Business Week
For 60 years, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, recognizing 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 create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they're working to grow small businesses, create 21st-century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America's global competitiveness. And in recognizing the changing face of America, the SBA's National Small Business Week awards honor individuals and businesses that reflect our nation's rich diversity.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. 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, 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.