Small Business

Small Business Week Honors Minnesota Businesses

This week is National Small Business week. As part of the celebration, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Minnesota District Office will be recognizing 12 small businesses across the state.

The businesses were chosen for their success in starting or helping small business in Minnesota and for their efforts to give back to the community. Each business also received SBA assistance, directly or from SBA’s resource partners, in the form of guaranteed loans, business training and consultation, and more.


Small Business Person of the Year

Brenda Nolby, Jam Hops Gymnastics Factory, Inc., Ham Lake


Encore Entrepreneur of the Year

Mark Johnson, Artisan Restoration LLC, Kasota


Family-Owned Small Business of the Year

Bert Kissoond, Randy’s Booth Company, Crystal


Minority Small Business Champion of the Year

Mary Lundeen, UMD Center for Economic Development, Duluth


Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year

Sergio Espinoza, E & H Piping, LLC, Hanley Falls

SBDC Excellence & Innovation Center of the Year

Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center, St. Cloud


Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year

Clint Kruger, Preferred Electric, Inc., Minneapolis


Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year

Dennis Welch, Frandsen Bank & Trust, Arden Hills


Women Owned Small Business of the Year

Karen Schaar, Roca Climbing and Fitness, Inc., Rochester


Women’s Business Center of Excellence of the Year

WomenVenture, Minneapolis


Women Small Business Champion of the Year

Marnie Ochs-Raleigh, Evolve Systems, St. Paul


Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Katie Steller, Steller Hair Company, Minneapolis


“With more than 500,000 small businesses in Minnesota, we are excited to take this time to celebrate the efforts of a few of the best and brightest,” said Nancy J. Libersky, district director, SBA’s Minnesota District Office, in a statement. “In addition to all they do to help our economy and create jobs, our small businesses and business champions honored during SBA’s Small Business Week also go above and beyond to give back to their communities.”


The 12 businesses will be honored at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards Luncheon on May 11, 2018, at the Doubletree by Hilton Park Place in Minneapolis. Registration is open for the event until May 8, 2018 at


SOURCE: SBA Minnesota District Office