Several Big Island businesses and entrepreneurs will be honored next week in Honolulu by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The SBA each year celebrates outstanding small business owners, entrepreneurs and advocates who best illustrate the contributions of small business to a vibrant local economy and thriving community.
The winners of the 2013 SBA awards will be honored Feb. 28 during a luncheon at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu. The Hawaii winners of the awards include:
— Small Business Person of the Year (Hawaii County): John and Nancy Edney of Tropical Dreams Ice Cream and Lalamilo Farms in Waimea.
— Entrepreneurial Success Award (State of Hawaii), which honors an entrepreneur whose venture began as a small business and, with SBA assistance, has grown into a flourishing enterprise and is no longer considered “small”: Allan Ikawa of Big Island Candies.
— The Family Owned Small Business Award (Hawaii County), which recognizes a small business with at least a 15 year history that has been owned and operated by the family, creating jobs, increasing revenues and providing opportunities for other family members: Colin Nakagawa of Seaside Restaurant, an icon in the Hilo community for the past 90 years.
— The Small Business Exporter Award (Hawaii County), presented to a small business that derives a significant portion of their sales from export outside the U.S. and is supportive of other efforts to export U.S. made products and services: Greg Colden of Kona Natural Soap Co., whose aromatic soaps made in Keauhou reach consumers in Canada, Japan, Brazil and Russia.
— Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Hawaii County), which identifies an individual who has successfully owned and operated a small business, increasing revenue, jobs, and demonstrating potential for long term success for at least three years before reaching the age of 30 at the time of the award: William Bierman, president of Omega Computers in Keauhou, an IT consulting firm.
— Minority Small Business Champion (Hawaii County), which awarded to those individuals who have selflessly provided assistance and support to minority entrepreneurs and business owners: Kari Waldhus, business coach, advocate and owner of the Entrepreneurs Source.
— Women in Business Champion (Hawaii County), goes to those individuals who, as advocates, have fulfilled a commitment to the advancement of women’s business ownership and who assist and support women in their quest to own, manage and direct their own company: Laura Kinoshita, owner of Kinoshita Communications.
— Home Based Business Champion (Hawaii County), acknowledges the contributions and possibilities of the growing home based business segment of the economy: Joan and Warren Chong, partners in Chong Enterprises, for their support of the small business sector through links to legal support, effective networking and mentoring.