West Virginia joins the national movement to recognize the hard work of entrepreneurs and economic impact of small businesses.
The American dream of owning a successful business is becoming a reality for more people today than ever before. More than half of Americans either own or work for small businesses, which create about two out of every three new jobs in the United States each year. In West Virginia, small businesses make up 95 percent of businesses and employ about 300,000 people.
As part of National Small Business Week on May 5-11, the West Virginia Small Business Development Center joins the U.S. Small Business Administration in recognizing the impact innovative entrepreneurs and small business owners have on the economy as they create 21st century jobs, drive innovation and increase West Virginia’s and America’s global competitiveness.
As part of National Small Business Week each year, the WV SBDC and the SBA award outstanding small businesses owners for their hard work and commitment to their communities. This year, award winners will be honored at a luncheon on Wednesday, May 8 at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center in Fairmont. Here’s a list of small businesses receiving an award this year.
Small Business Person of the Year
Michael Mills, managing principal of the Mills Group in Morgantown, is the 2019 Small Business Person of the Year. With over twenty years of proven experience in historic preservation, architectural design, and planning, Michael inspires each Mills Group team member to excellence and diligently collaborates with clients to ensure their full understanding and implementation of every project. Mills was nominated by WV SBDC Business Coach Sharon Stratton.
Woman-owned Small Business of the Year
Jill Scarbro-McLaury, Bright Futures Learning Services in Winfield, is the recipient of the 2019 Woman-owned Small Business of the Year. Bright Futures provides the best care for children with autism and other developmental delays. Jill maintains close contact with national experts and strives to assure that Bright Futures stays on the cutting edge of the field. She was nominated by WV SBDC Business Coach Doug Spalding.
Rural-owned Small Business Person of the Year
Dale Hawkins and Teresa Lipps, owners of Fish Hawk Acres in Buckhannon, are recipients of the 2019 Rural-owned Small Business Person of the Year award. Fish Hawk Acres is a farm, market, unique cafe and a wildly popular custom catering service that provides fresh food sourced locally and regionally. They were nominated by WV SBDC Business Coach Susie Higgins.
Veteran-owned Small Business Person of the Year
Jeremy Harris, owner of IT Mindshare in Morgantown, is the 2019 Veteran-owned Small Business Person of the Year. IT Mindshare is a technology firm that provides services and support for commercial, government and non-profit organizations. They were nominated by WV SBDC Business Coach Todd Crump and Jesse Bumps of Clear Mountain Bank.
Be sure to check back later in the week for full profiles on each small business.
The West Virginia Small Business Development Center supports small businesses through one-on-one coaching, training and facilitating connections to resources. Learn more about how a business coach can help inspire you to start or grow your business by visiting wvsbdc.com/resources.