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National Small Business Week celebrates entrepreneurial success

National Small Business Week celebrates entrepreneurial success

By Chris Pilkerton, Acting SBA Administator
Published: May 6, 2019 Updated: May 6, 2019

Jeffrey and Jennifer Herbert with Acting Administrator Chris PilkertonJennifer and Jeffrey Herbert built their future on a 4,000-year-old idea.

They believed mead, an alcoholic beverage brewed from fermented honey and enjoyed around the world since ancient times, could appeal to 21st-century consumers.

The Herberts started Superstition Meadery in Prescott, Arizona, in 2012, producing 300 gallons of mead and cider in a 20-square-foot space. Within two years, demand had grown, and they were soon producing 6,800 gallons in an expanded space. The Herberts sought counseling from their local Small Business Development Center and got two SBA-guaranteed loans that enabled them to expand their production and distribution even more – even exporting to five countries. Superstition Meadery’s sales grew from $724,000 in 2015 to $1.9 million in 2017, and the Herberts more than doubled their workforce from nine employees to 20.

In recognition of their success and commitment to their community, Jennifer and Jeffrey Herbert were honored as the 2019 National Small Business Persons of the Year.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is an advocate for America’s entrepreneurs and its 30 million small businesses. During National Small Business Week, May 5-11, we celebrate the entrepreneurs who innovate new products and services, create jobs and drive our nation’s economy. Winners from every state and U.S. territory were recognized as local Small Business Persons of the Year.

We at the SBA like to say we power the American Dream. The entrepreneurs we celebrate during National Small Business Week are proof that with perseverance and the right guidance, that dream can be a reality. Whether they needed funding, counseling, training on accessing government contracts, or help recovering from a declared disaster, the SBA has been there, working with them in pursuit of whatever goals they set. We are proud to be a part of their success.

The awards ceremony in Washington, DC, is just one part of the weeklong celebration. The SBA is hosting more than 200 events nationwide, spanning every one of our 68 districts. We are hosting a virtual conference where entrepreneurs can learn new business strategies, build their professional networks, and get personalized advice from experienced mentors. We (@SBAgov) are also hosting a Twitter Chat on Friday, May 10 at 12:00 p.m. ET on how to start or grow a business. Join the conversation using #SmallBusinessWeek. I invite you to check out SBA.gov/NSBW for more on these events. And please share your own experience on social media using #SmallBusinessWeek.

It’s my honor to congratulate Jennifer and Jeffrey Herbert and all the statewide winners. I hope they will be ambassadors for the SBA and inspire others to pursue their own small business dreams.

About the Author:

Chris Pilkerton

Acting SBA Administator

Chris Pilkerton serves as the Acting Administrator and General Counsel of the U.S. Small Business Administration.