ST. LOUIS - The U.S. Small Business Administration's St. Louis District Office announced the top winners for its 2020 Small Business Week annual awards competition. Influence & Co. president Kelsey Raymond was named the 2020 Small Business Person of the Year for both the St. Louis district and the state of Missouri.
SBA St. Louis District Director Maureen Brinkley says one of the best parts of her job is calling business owners and giving them good news. "I've been with the SBA so long that this job has become my ministry," said Brinkley. "So when I have the opportunity to make someone's day with something so positive, it's an absolute honor."
This year the competition drew nominees from all over eastern Missouri including Columbia and Cape Girardeau. For the last two years, the district office has been on a mission to increase its visibility and the general public's awareness of all SBA programs.
"There is a perception that the SBA is the government's best kept secret. That's not a compliment. We don't want that distinction," said Brinkley. "We are laser focused on increasing outreach. We want every resident of Missouri involved in entrepreneurship to be aware of how the SBA can help them start, grow or expand their small business."
Each year the Eastern Missouri Small Business Week committee hosts an awards luncheon to recognize SBA's local winners. This year the ceremony takes place May 7 at the Marriott St. Louis West Hotel.
The complete list of eastern Missouri winners:
Small Business Person of the Year: Kelsey Raymond, Co-founder/CEO, Influence & Co.
Exporter of the Year: Beckon Worldwide
Technology Business of the Year: HITS Scanning Solutions
Young Entrepreneur: Dustin McLinden, Managing Partner, Lifetime Roofing & Renovation
Rural Small Business of the Year: Data Dash
Minority Owned Small Business of the Year: My-T-Sharp Janitorial Services, LLC
Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year: Legal GPS
Woman Owned Small Business of the Year: Fitness By Design
Home Based Small Business of the Year: Wings of Change Publications
Start-up Business of the Year: Tone Salon
8(a) Graduate of the Year: Project Controls Group
Small Business Advocate of the Year: Rick Cottrell, BizResults.com
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