It is the entrepreneurial spirit of men and women across America that drive our economy, so it’s fitting that we celebrated National Small Business Week this month starting on May 12. For over 50 years, this week has provided the opportunity for us to not only acknowledge small business owners across America, but the impact small businesses have on our great state. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business and since the economy began to recover, small businesses alone have been responsible for 63% of the new jobs created.
This year, in honor of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has awarded several extraordinary small businesses across Wyoming who have shown exceptional achievements.
This year, the SBAs Wyoming Small Business Person of the Year honor went to Jeni Merrill, the founder of general contracting firm Merrill Inc. According to the Wyoming Business Report, Jeni’s hard work has helped her company grow by leaps and bounds, with her company tackling projects from the Grand Canyon to Yellowstone.
The SBA also recognized the cloud sorting company Green House Data, along with co-owner and founder Shawn Mills, with the “Spirit of Wyoming” award for their leadership in Wyoming's growing technology sector. To win this award, Green House Data had to demonstrate its potential for success in several areas – including steady growth of the company, innovation and imagination in products and services, and demonstration of the “Spirit of Wyoming” through volunteerism and community involvement.
We also applaud Offero, LLC, and owner Mitch Bangert, for winning both the SBA 2014 Region VIII Small Business Exporter of the Year and the 2014 Wyoming Small Business Exporter of the Year honors. Offero’s achievement in exporting their unique coffee cups and stylish glassware across the world shows how small rural companies can accomplish great success through innovation and hard work in Wyoming
As we applaud these companies for their great success, let’s not forget that they are only a small representation of over 60,000 Wyoming small businesses helping to keep Wyoming communities together and thriving. Everyone knows someone who owns or works for a small business, especially in Wyoming where the entrepreneurial spirit thrives. I urge you all, as Chamber and community members, to salute yourselves and your fellow small business owners. Thank you for all that you do.
National Small Business Week focuses solely on small business issues and allows for networking and education. As small businesses drive the economic recovery of the United States, it is critical to ensure that they have the resources they need and are kept in the loop on changing rules and regulations.
More information regarding National Small Business Week, including the agenda and how to remotely access events, can be found at http://www.sba.gov/nsbw.