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SBA Officials Visit Eastern Pa. 2016 Small Business Person of Year

Advisory Date: 
Monday, May 2, 2016
Advisory Number: 
Robert Goza (610) 382-3084 |
Scranton’s Backyard Ale House recognized May 3 at 11 a.m.

EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA– U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta officially introduces eastern Pennsylvania’s Small Business Person of the Year, Backyard Ale House, on May 3 at 11 a.m. with owners Patrick G. Nasser, William K. Nasser, III, Eric D. Miller and Anthony V. Potis. Media are invited to attend.

WHO:    Antonio (Tony) Leta, U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director

Kristin Magnotta, Regional Manager of Northeastern PA, Office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey

Christian Conroy, State Director, Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers

Scott Dunkelberger, Deputy Secretary, Business Financing, DCED 

Robert Maximowicz, SBA Wilkes-Barre Branch Manager

Lisa Hall-Zielinski, Director, University of Scranton Small Business Development Center

Leigh Magnotta and Gretchen Kukuchka, Business Consultants, University of Scranton SBDC

Backyard Ale House owners Patrick G. Nasser, William K. Nasser, III, Eric D. Miller, Anthony V. Potis

WHAT:  Backyard Ale House owners are introduced as 2016 Pennsylvania Small Business Person of the Year; media tour of business with interview and photo opportunities

WHEN:    May 3, 2016 at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden Street Scranton, PA 18503

“It’s great to have the privilege to recognize the achievements of Pennsylvania small business leaders like Patrick, William, Eric and Anthony,” said Antonio (Tony) Leta, U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director. “Small businesses like Backyard Ale House are where the rubber meets the road, helping drive our nation’s economy. SBA and our resource partners, like University of Scranton’s Small Business Development Center, are proud to play a role in helping them start and succeed.”

Since Backyard Ale House opened in 2008, when the owners seized the opportunity to form a partnership between the brothers and two of their lifelong friends, the downtown Scranton “craft beer-oriented” bar establishment has won numerous awards for service, beverage selection and atmosphere. The success of the business in the last seven years speaks to its success in fulfilling a much-needed and desired niche in the market. That success lead to a major renovation in 2011 including expansion into the vacant store next door, a façade make-over, enlargement of the inside bar room, a bottle shop with six-pack takeout and merchandise, second floor storage and a full-service top of the line kitchen. The successful two and half year renovation has helped the Backyard Ale House become a fixture in the downtown Scranton community. In the last three years there has been a steady 35% growth financially leading to an 80% growth in number of employees to meet growth in sales and demand.

“Our goal at the Backyard Ale House is to create a casual and easy going atmosphere that can appeal to anyone.  Regardless of whether it’s a customer first visit or if they come in once a day, once a week, or even once a year, we want them to have the feeling of being a ‘regular’ customer. We make that happen by focusing on the fundamentals that make a good bar/restaurant successful: fast and friendly service, clean and modern facilities, quality products and value-added pricing,” Patrick Nasser said. “Our experience with SBA’s resource partner, University of Scranton Small Business Development Center was very positive. Our first internship was a great experience and a big help with our social media marketing and advertising.”

“The University of Scranton SBDC was honored to nominate the owners of Backyard Ale House for SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year Award for 2016. I am thrilled to see them win this prestigious award. Backyard Ale House is an excellent candidate for SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year award. One noteworthy engagement with them occurred last year when Bill inquired about our Small Business Internship Initiative,” said Lisa Hall-Zielinski, Director, University of Scranton Small Business Development Center. “Following meeting with them to discuss their goals and whether an internship was a good fit for the business, they went on to become an internship host site. That work paid off with a win-win experience: the business learned and gained skills and resources from a visual arts intern/local college student while the student learned to develop and apply effective marketing strategies to the success of an active restaurant and beverage business in the heart of Scranton.”

The University of Scranton SBDC’s mission is to grow the economy of South Eastern and South Central Pennsylvania. One of 18 Small Business Development Centers in the Pennsylvania SBDC Network and an accredited affiliate of the national network of Small Business Development Centers, the SBDC provides consulting services and educational programs to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their small business. SBDC consultants may work with entrepreneurs in confidential, one-to-one sessions to help them with a range of business issues including testing a new business proposition, shaping a business plan, investigating funding opportunities, and much more.

SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta will present the 2016 Small Business Week Awards at the annual “SBA Day at the Ballpark” event June 8. The event is open to the media.

The awards ceremony begins at 10 a.m. June 8 with a luncheon at the “XFINITY Live! Philadelphia” restaurant at 1100 Pattison Ave. (tickets available: followed by a 1:05 p.m. Phillies game at nearby Citizens Bank Park (tickets available: The event is cosponsored by Constant Contact and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania Small Business Person of the Year award winner is selected annually from among nominees located across Pennsylvania’s eastern 40 counties. These events are local observances of the annual Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week. National Small Business Week recognizes the small business community’s contribution to the American economy.


To request interviews or photos, contact Robert Goza, SBA’s Public Information Officer in the Eastern Pennsylvania District Office, at 610-382-3084 or

Cosponsorship Authorization #16-0303-111. 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. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact: Robert Goza, 610-382-3084.