CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WVSBDC) congratulates ten West Virginia small businesses owners and three small business lenders on winning 2016 Small Business Administration district awards.

 “Year after year, the West Virginia SBDC is privileged to work with and nominate an elite group of small business owners for their innovation, hard work and creativity,” said Kristina Oliver, state director of the WVSBDC. “We at the WVSBDC wholeheartedly believe that these hardworking men and women are the entrepreneurs that keep our state’s economy growing and thriving. I’d like to personally congratulate each nominee and this year’s award winners on a job well-done.”

 Awards will be presented at the West Virginia SBA Awards ceremony in Fairmont on May 4 as part of National Small Business Week May 1-7.

 The WVSBDC supports budding entrepreneurs and existing small businesses and this year submitted 18 nominees for the coveted SBA awards. All ten of this year’s honorees currently are or have been clients of the WVSBDC.

 The 2016 Small Business Award Winners are:

 WV (8a) Graduate of the Year (National Winner!)

  • Diane Lewis Jackson, Action Facilities Management, Inc. Since its inception in 2001, the Action Facilities Management (AFM) team has proven successful as a provider of government and commercial contract services. 

West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year: Arria Hines, Allegheny Science & Technology Corp. Allegheny Science & Technology Corp is a management and technology solutions company offering a broad range of services including systems engineering, program management and data analytics and engineering.

  • West Virginia Exporter of the Year: Scott Hedges, Power Sonix Inc., Martinsburg. Power Sonix produces long range amplified public address systems.
  • West Virginia Family-Owned Small Business of the Year: Douglas Kreinik, Kreinik Manufacturing Company, Parkersburg. Kreinik Manufacturing makes metallic, silk and machine sewing threads.
  • West Virginia Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: Francisco Guerrero, El Rey Mexican Restaurant, Clarksburg. El Rey Mexican Restaurant offers authentic Mexican food.
  • West Virginia Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Lisa Levendosky Fritsch, Agile5 Technologies Inc., Fairmont. Agile5 Technologies is a systems architecture and software development firm that specializes in the planning, development, integration and maintenance of large enterprise systems.
  • West Virginia Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: Douglas Edward Tate, Alpha Technologies, Hurricane. Alpha Technologies Inc. specializes in the design and integration of data, voice and video systems.
  • West Virginia Encore Entrepreneur of the Year: Ralph and Amelia Garcia, Garcia’s Latin Market LLC, Morgantown. Garcia’s Latin Market restaurant and retail shop provides a selection of gourmet authentic South and Central American foods.
  • West Virginia Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Nesha Ashok Sanghavi, University Girls, Charleston. University Girls manufactures and distributes its women’s officially licensed collegiate clothing line.
  • West Virginia Small Business Champion of the Year: Jens Kiel – Made in Germany, South Charleston. Made in Germany is a marketing and creative strategy firm, specializing in corporate communication, brand marketing, content marketing and design services.

 West Virginia’s top small business SBA lenders include:

  • West Virginia Lender of the Year: Huntington National Bank. Approved 56 SBA-guaranteed loans worth more than $4.4 million.
  • West Virginia Community Bank of the Year: MVB Bank. Approved 11 SBA-guaranteed loans in West Virginia totaling more than $3.6 million.
  • West Virginia Microlender of the Year: First Microloan of West Virginia. Approved 11 SBA-guaranteed loans for $394,000

Each year since it was established in 1963, National Small Business Week has recognized the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The WVSBDC is a statewide network of business coaches who meet one-on-one with small business owners to provide assistance with business plan development, financial statement preparation, cash flow analysis and other services.

The WVSBDC is supported by the West Virginia Development Office, funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the SBA and is an Accredited Member of America’s SBDC network.