Four Small Business Owners from Washington
Honored by SBA Seattle District
During National Small Business Week
Entrepreneurs Share Their Journey From Startup, Through COVID-19 and Beyond
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Seattle District Office announces the winners of its annual awards program, part of National Small Business Week May 1-7, 2022.
“Small Business Week is a time to recognize the achievements of small business entrepreneurs and the impact they have on our local communities,” SBA Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd said. “This year, in the wake of the unprecedented challenges encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are especially excited to be gathering in person to celebrate the resiliency and determination of these entrepreneurs, as well as the SBA resource partners and lenders who continue to support them along the way.”
2022 winners from the SBA Seattle District Office include the following:
Washington Small Business Person of the Year
Efrem Fesaha, Founder and CEO of Boon Boona Coffee
Boon Boona Coffee began in 2012 with the mission of empowering small-scale African coffee producers through intentional sourcing, while building local community around coffee culture here in the Pacific Northwest. Today Boon Boona Coffee roasts more than 100,000 pounds of African coffee, with 20 employees across two locations.
Fesaha is also the 2022 Pacific Northwest Small Business Person of the Year, selected among state winners from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, making him one of 10 finalists for the SBA National Small Business Person of the Year Award.
Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Jessica Atkinson, CEO of Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop
Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop is known for high quality and customized cakes, cupcakes and unique treats, greeting customers across two locations and employing more than 35 staff. Starting at age 14, Atkinson joined forces with the original founders (her mother and a family friend) and has worked full time in the business in various roles. Now 24 years old, Atkinson leads the business as CEO as they continue to grow and innovate.
Rural Small Business of the Year
Bluebird Grain Farms
Founded in 2004 by Brooke and Sam Lucy, Bluebird Grain Farms is a certified organic producer and processor, specializing in ancient grains, fresh-milled flour and whole-grain handcrafted blends. What started as a grassroots business venture to provide organic ancient grains to their local community has expanded well beyond their small rural town to become an award-winning, vertically-integrated, value-added business that supports eight employees, a regional network of grain producers, and serves more than 19,000 customers.
Small Business Exporter of the Year
Richard Brinton, Founder and President of BBD International
Richard Brinton founded BBD International in 1997 as an exporter of construction equipment. Through a 25-year career Brinton has developed business relationships spanning 6 countries, and expanded his exporting business to include machinery, spare parts and military equipment. Brinton values the direct, personal relationships he has forged as key to his success.
“I am so excited to announce this year’s winners of our Pacific Northwest regional awards for National Small Business Week,” SBA Pacific Northwest Regional Administrator Mike Fong said. “Each of these businesses navigated through the pandemic and worked with our SBA programs to be more resilient and position themselves to thrive into the future. I want to thank all our small business owners and entrepreneurs across the region for what they do each and every day for our communities.”
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