Message from Mark S. Hayward District Director U.S. Small Business Administration

Small businesses make up 96 percent of the Rhode Island’s private sector employers.  Their continued growth and success remain a key component to our state’s economic recovery.

The Rhode Island Salute to Small Business celebration held this year from June 10th through June 14st, provides the opportunity to recognize the contributions of our small business entrepreneurs and appropriately recognizes those small businesses and champions who have distinguished themselves as what I believe are the “best of the best.”

I especially want to thank Bill Welsh, chair of the Joseph G.E. Knight SCORE Chapter for making this important celebration possible by co-sponsoring the Rhode Island Salute to Small Business.  Bill and his team of small business mentors counsel hundreds of small business owners and would-be entrepreneurs each year.  Their vast experience and professionalism has resulted in the creation of countless small businesses.  SCORE certainly recognizes the importance of our annual salute to the state’s small business community.

These small business owners and champions will be honored at the Rhode Island Salute to Small Business Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, June 12th, at the Alpine Country Club in Cranston.  This gathering of small business owners, entrepreneurs and their advocates represents the shared success and accomplishments achieved over the past year.

This year we will honor nine entrepreneurs and champions.  Their accomplishments and dedication to small business are exceptional.  Among them are two regional winners.

I extend my congratulations to Brenda Brock, owner of Farmaesthetics, the 2013 Rhode Island Small Business Person of the Year.  Once again, Rhode Island is pleased to honor four regional award winners: David MacDonald, founder and CEO of The Children’s Workshop, the Entrepreneurial Success Award winner; Gerald Barry, chairman of MEDfx Corporation, the Veteran-owned Small Business of the Year; Dr. Drew Carey, principal of CoastalVision, the Microenterprise of the Year, and Robert Mancini, executive director of the Rhode island Society of Certified Public Accountants as the Financial Services Champion of the Year.

The stories about these outstanding honorees are truly inspiring.  Please take the time to read them in this special supplement.

I also want to acknowledge those businesses and organizations that have supported the co-sponsorship of this year’s event.  Without their help and dedication, this annual tribute to the small business community would not be possible.

Whether you have an existing business or are a would-be entrepreneur, the SBA and our resource partners: SCORE, the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University and the Center for Women & Enterprise are ready to assist you in developing or updating a business plan, creating financial projections, or obtaining access to capital.  I urge you to take advantage of these services.



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