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The SBA Celebrates Warwick Ice Cream on National Chocolate Ice Cream Day

“From Cow to Cone”

WARWICK, RI – June 7, 2018, is recognized as National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, and in keeping with the observation the U.S. Small Business Administration highlighted local small business, Warwick Ice Cream. Founded in 1930 by Charlie Bucci, Warwick Ice Cream has been family-owned and operated for 88 years, consistently focusing on locally sourced ingredients and quality product.

Warwick Ice Cream has a long relationship with the U.S. Small Business Administration including the use of SBA loan programs for both growth and disaster recovery, participation in technical assistance through programs such as the Emerging Leaders initiative, as well as being named the 2010 Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year.

Today, the fourth generation of the Bucci family is leading the way. Thomas Bucci Jr, a recent graduate of the SBA’s Emerging Leaders program, is dedicated to ensuring that Warwick Ice Cream continues to grow but not at the expense of quality, “We source each individual ingredient; our cream comes from local farms here in New England so the dairy for what we are producing next week is still on the farm right now,” said Thomas Bucci Jr. “That process is so close to our facility that it really is from cow to cone,” he added.


The Bucci’s understand that small business cannot necessarily compete with big business prices and have adjusted accordingly, “People think ice cream is ice cream but there are so many different qualities of it,” said Bucci. “Our family’s philosophy is to make the best ice cream, using fresh local ingredients and charge what we have to charge. Bigger companies make their ice cream on a price point where you can get a product for $1.99 but you look at the ingredients statement and you can’t even pronounce the words that are in it,” he affirmed.

For more information on the SBA programs please contact, or (401) 528-4630.


SBA Celebrates RI Small Business Excellence During Small Business Week

Every year, the U.S. Small Business Administration celebrates National Small Business Week with it’s annual Small Business Awards. This year, National Small Business Week was from April 29 – May 5, and spotlighted small business excellence all over the country, culminating with an awards ceremony in Washington D.C. with Administrator Linda McMahon.

The Rhode Island District Office of the SBA, with the cooperation of Governor Gina Raimondo, proclaimed the week of May 6 – 12, 2018, as Rhode Island Small Business Week. This observance allowed the SBA to properly celebrate local small businesses that exemplify the incredible entrepreneurial community here in Rhode Island. This year’s awardees included:

(L-R) Lt. Gov. Daniel McKee; SBA Regional Administrator, Wendell Davis; Small Business Person of the Year, Kelly Mendell; District Director, Mark S. Hayward; Secretary of State, Nellie Gorbea; General Treasurer, Seth Magaziner.

Kelly Mendell, President

Charles Dewey, CEO
David Evans, President
Evans Capacitor Company
East Providence

Carol Dancer, President
Absorbent Specialty Products, LLC.

John Shepard, CEO
Veterans Assembled electronics (VAe)

Buck Harris, Vice President
Community Investment Corporation

Michael Sigourney, CEO& Founder
Anne Beaupre Sigourney, CFO
Rick Grundy, President
AVTECH Software, Inc.

Donald J. Boyle, President
Jade Manufacturing Company, Inc.

Nancy Warner, Owner
The Worm Ladies of Charlestown, Inc.

Alba Rios, Owner
Tienda Alinary / Spanish Wholesale Center
Central Falls

Johnny Luo, M.D., President
Doctor’s Choice

Lisa M. Sienkiewicz, Co-Owner
Gail Parella, Co-Owner
Gil’s Appliances

Kim Coulter, Partner
William Coulter, Partner
Nina Luchka, Partner
Joshua Coulter, Partner
Stony Hill Cattle Company, LLC.

Cheryl Watkins Snead, Founder, President and CEO
Banneker Industries, Inc.
North Smithfield

Christine Francis, Owner
Carmen & Ginger

Rhode Island boasted three regional winners in the categories of Woman-owned Small Business, Veteran-owned Small Business, and Financial Services Champion. The Ocean State also brought home a national winner, with Evans Capacitor Company of East Providence being named the “National Subcontractor of the Year”.

“Small business is the backbone of the Rhode Island economy,” said District Director, Mark S. Hayward. “So often these business owners are so enthralled in the day-to-day happenings of their small business that they never take a second to realize and appreciate the amazing business they have built. “Rhode Island Small Business Week” is our chance to congratulate them on the incredible job they do everyday.” he added.

SBA & CWE’s Congressional Luncheon  Celebrates Awardees

The SBA held three independent events to promote and recognize the small business winners. The first event, held on May 4 was the congressional luncheon hosted by The Center for Women & Enterprise. The luncheon was held at Sam’s Inn in Warwick and was attended by the entire congressional delegation including, Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Langevin, and Congressman Cicilline. The event offered a unique and intimate setting for Rhode Island’s elected congressional leadership to meet, interact, and congratulate the awardees.

(L-R) Senator Whitehouse, Congressman Cicilline, Anne Sigourney, Michael Sigourney, Congressman Langevin, Rick Grundy, and District Director Mark S. Hayward.

Rhode Island House and Senate Recognize Small Business Excellence

On May 8, the Rhode Island House of Representatives and Rhode Island Senate, lead by the Chair of the House Small Business Committee, Representative Deborah Ruggiero, requested the presence of the SBA small business awardees. As the Senate session came to order, one by one, the awardees were recognized and honored.


Once all of the winners were acknowledge the senate took the time to individually congratulate them on the accomplishments. The awardees were then lead to the house and, upon their entry, Representative Ruggiero requested to be heard. The Speaker of the House, Nicholas Mattiello, recognized the Rep. Ruggiero and allowed her to honor the winners and their achievements. The group was once again individually honored and upon conclusion were met with a standing ovation from the house.


SBA awardees with Representative Ruggeiro.

The statehouse event helps demonstrates to the awardees how important their achievement is within the state and how important their individual small businesses our to the overall well-being and success of Rhode Island’s economy.

“Salute to Small Business” Draws Over 300 Attendees

The final event of Rhode Island Small Business Week was the “Salute to Small Business” sponsored by RI SCORE. This year’s event was held at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln held a crowd of over 300 attendees.

The flagship event of the Rhode Island district office, the “Salute to Small Business” is where the awardees receive their respective awards and are asked to address the crowd.

The festivities master of ceremonies was SBA District Director, Mark S. Hayward. Hayward started the event with the national anthem, sung by the Mount Saint Charles Senior Select Choir, lead by Ms. Brittany Dyer.

Hayward then invited RI SCORE Chair, Ed Gromada, onstage to make some opening remarks before turning the microphone over to SBA Regional Administrator, Wendell G. Davis. Davis addressed his own experiences as a small business owner and the role small business owners play in the financial success of the nation. Also making remarks were Lt. Governor Daniel J. McKee, Secretary of State, Nellie M. Gorbea, and General Treasurer, Seth Magaziner.

The 2018 class of SBA award winners was an exceptional group of small business owners and champions. If you know a small business that should be nominated for a SBA small business award, contact

SBA & Better Business Bureau Announce Signing of Strategic Alliance Memorandum

Opportunities for free business education to be offered


PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Rhode Island District Office announced that they have signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum with the Better Business Bureau. Beginning in June, the agreement will allow the two entities to work together to offer free educational opportunities to the local small business community.

“We found that the SBA and Better Business Bureau’s goals were the same; support and aid in the growth of business,” said SBA District Director, Mark S. Hayward. “We achieve this in different ways and by bringing our two entities together we can help to make the small business community stronger by helping to cultivate a relationship of trust with the public consumer base,” he added.

“The SBA encompasses similar standards to BBB – to help small business owners succeed in a responsible and focused manner,” said Chief Marketing & Sales Officer for the local BBB, Paula Fleming. “By working together, we can further represent these standards while bringing additional assurance to those seeking trustworthy professionals.”

The SBA was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

The Better Business Bureau’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. This is achieved by setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices by engaging with and educating consumers and businesses, celebrating marketplace role models, calling out and addressing substandard marketplace behavior, and creating a community of trustworthy businesses and charities.

The first joint event will be held on Tuesday, June 19th from 1:00 to 3:00pm at the Warwick Public Library, 600 Sandy Lane in Warwick, and will focus on the importance of cybersecurity to small business in the ever growing online marketplace.

For more information on the co-sponsorship agreement or inquiries about the cybersecurity course please contact, or (202) 805-9168.


SBA Selects AVTECH Software of Warren as the 2018 Rhode Island Small Exporter of the Year

Providence, R.I. – The U.S. Small Business Administration has selected AVTECH Software -Michael Sigourney, CEO and Founder; Anne Beaupre Sigourney, CFO; and Richard Grundy, President and COO -as the Rhode Island Small Business Exporter of the Year. AVTECH, located in Warren was founded in 1988 and is a computer hardware and software developer and manufacturer. AVTECH has over 150,000 end users located in over 180 countries, including organizations in every industry and on every continent.

“Nearly 96 percent of the world’s consumers are outside of the United States” said Mark S. Hayward, Rhode Island District Director. “AVTECH has successfully identified key international markets and have become a beacon in Rhode Island exporting. We are proud to have AVTECH as our Small Business Exporter of the Year” he added.

This award is open to any individual who owns and operates a small business for profit, has been in operation for a minimum of three years and is engaged in exporting.

The Rhode Island Small Business Awards will be held at Kirkbrae Country Club, 197 Old River Road, Lincoln, RI 02865 on May 11, and will honor all of the Rhode Island awardees and their exceptional small business accomplishments.

For more information about the awards luncheon please contact Ryan Brissette at 401-528-4630.

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