SCORE, the Small Business Association's resource partner dedicated to mentoring entrepreneurs, has announced winners in six categories for its third annual awards highlighting small business and entrepreneurial excellence.
SCORE will present the awards Sept. 15 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.
This year the association named winners to six categories:
- Outstanding minority-owned small business: C. Ray Kennedy, American Product Distributors, Charlotte, N.C.
- Outstanding small business launched by an individual older than 50: Gary Bickford, Healthy Life Clinic, Knoxville, Tenn.
- Outstanding veteran-owned small business: Dolly Garnecki, Spinal Health & Wellness, Charlottesville, Va.
- Outstanding woman-owned small business: Rachel Weeks, School House, Durham, N.C
- Outstanding socially progressive business: Patricia Walker, East Cooper Meals on Wheels, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
And the newest category:
- Outstanding nonprofit organization: Lynn Rippey, Young Adult Development in Action -- Youthbuild, Louisville, Ky.
"Despite a tough economic year, many small businesses were able to survive and thrive," SCORE's CEO Ken Yancey said in a statement Wednesday. "The SCORE Awards celebrates and honors these successful and innovative entrepreneurs and the small-business advocates who support entrepreneurship in America. It is important for us to recognize those businesses that are supporting their community through their success."
Mark Dobosz, executive director of the SCORE Foundation, said the nonprofit category was added this year because a significant number of these organizations were asking SCORE for help.
"We treat them as small businesses because they are small businesses," he says. "We see a fair number through all our chapters. We wanted to continue to recognize our work we are doing with nonprofits by recognizing an outstanding nonprofit
The awards measure businesses' financial growth, involvement in their local community, the number of jobs created and saved through each company and how they worked with SCORE to expand the business. Each category had as many as 20 nominees, Dobosz says.
The six winning businesses were successful because of the lengths they took to reach out to organizations, programs and resources to further the growth of the businesses, he adds.
"Success is tied to them getting additional assistance in their businesses and not just going at it alone," Dobosz says.