Small businesses and their champions honored at Small Business Week award luncheon

Small businesses in Western and Central New York were recognized for their accomplishments at a U.S. Small Business Administration Buffalo district awards luncheon earlier this month.

On May 11, 46 small businesses, nominated by local banks, chambers of commerce and community lending institutions, were recognized at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens in front of about 300 attendees, Kelly LoTempio, Buffalo district SBA economic development specialist, said.

The small businesses were nominated based on a set of criteria established by the SBA, including the companies’ staying power, employee growth, sales growth, innovation, response to adversity, and contributions to the community.

“Small businesses are the engine to our economy,” LoTempio said. “They’re not all family owned. They range from concrete to clothing. They’re all small businesses that contribute to our local economy.”

Read about honoree Zaw Win of Westside Value Redemption Center here.

Winners include Jason P. Barrett of Black Button Distilling, who was named Small Business Person of the Year, and Jonathon Ling, business development officer at PathStone Enterprise Center, who was honored with the Financial Services Champion of the Year recognition.

Chef’s Restaurant was named the Family-Owned Business of the Year, and John Vitale, chairman of SCORE Buffalo Niagara, won for District Director’s Recognition Award.

“Small Business Week recognizes the hard work, ingenuity, and complete dedication of our entrepreneurs. I am proud of the Buffalo district office winners for their personal achievements and their contributions to the American economy,” SBA Buffalo District Director Franklin J. Sciortino said.

LoTempio said attendance was up this year with several new partner agencies and their nominees represented. That includes Bank on Buffalo, Northwest Bank, and the Lackawanna Chamber of Commerce all presenting small businesses.

The awards banquet recognizes businesses in 14 of New York’s westernmost counties, which includes Rochester.

The following is a list of the SBA’s 2018 Buffalo District Office Small Business Week award winners.

773 North
Ace Specialty Company, Inc.
Andrew’s Jewelers
Arbeit Software LLC
Arro Manufacturing, LLC
Bailey Manufacturing Co., LLC
Baltz Concrete Construction, Inc.
Benefit Brokers of WNY, LLC
Benzinger’s Clothing Care
Borsari Food Company, Inc.
The Cat’s Pajamas Feline Hotel
Cedar’s Bakery & Deli
Dr. Francis P. O’Day DDS PC
Greg Liberto Focus
Growing Painz LLC/ POP! Party Supply
M.C.M. Natural Stone, Inc.
Makeup & Beauty Parlour Inc.
Mandela Market
The Mess Hall
Nash Connors, P.C.
Phatman Boardshop
Preston Medical PC
Ride Today Powersports, LLC
Robb’s Glass Inc.
Runners Roost
The Small Business Partners
SME Properties LLC / Auto Planet Leasing & Sales, LLC
Toralti & Marfurts Restaurant Inc.
Westside Value Redemption Center
Young Lion Brewing Company LLC

SBA District Winners:

Jason P. Barrett, Black Button Distilling: Small Business Person of the Year
716 Home Inspections: Home-Based Business of the Year
Chef’s Restaurant: Family-Owned Business of the Year
Jonathon Ling: Financial Services Champion of the Year
Tammy Worden/ConServe: Government Contracting Champion of the Year
John Vitale, Chairman, SCORE Buffalo Niagara: District Director’s Recognition Award
Herbert Courtney: Minority Small Business Champion of the Year                                                             
Hélène Biandudi Hofer: Women in Business Champion of the Year
William Ritter, SCORE, Upstate New York: District Director’s Special Award of Distinction & Achievement
Vanocur Refracteries, LLC: Exporter of the Year                                                 
William Smalley Cleary: Veterans Champion of the Year

Read more articles by Joel Lehman.

After spending 15 years in northern Vermont where he worked as managing editor for a daily publication, Western New York native Joel Lehman returned to Buffalo this summer to be part of the city’s renaissance. He lives with his girlfriend and his goldendoodle, Wilson, and he enjoys running, skiing and cooking for his family.
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