Small Business Administration Extends Deadline for Annual Award Nominations


The Small Business Administration has extended until Jan. 28 the deadline for submitting nominations for its prestigious local Small Business Awards. The awards recognize outstanding companies or individuals in several categories.

“If you or someone you know has an inspiring small business success story to tell or maybe they’ve been instrumental in building small business, nominate them for one of our local prices, ”the SBA said in a press release.

The awards are presented at ceremonies during Small Business Week, which is scheduled for the first week of May. The SBA has celebrated Small Business Week for more than 50 years, recognizing “the essential contributions of American entrepreneurs and small business owners,” according to the SBA.

The SBA defines a small business as one with fewer than 500 employees. Rhode Island is made up of over 90 percent small businesses.

The deadline for submitting what the SBA calls its application package is January 28 at 3 p.m. ET. This was previously January 11. Complete information and filing instructions can be found on the SBA in Rhode Island website:; or at national level at

Individuals can nominate themselves for awards, or nominations can be submitted by others. The packages are filled by the candidate. Completed packages must be submitted to:

The district award categories are:

  • Small family business of the year
  • Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year
  • Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year
  • Small minority business of the year
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Micro-enterprise of the year
  • Small Business Manufacturer of the Year
  • Small Home Business of the Year
  • Financial Services Champion

Last year’s winners included three from Newport County: Harmony Oschefski, owner of Cedar Hwang of Newport, Rhode Island Small Business of the Year; Joseph Janson, CEO of NVTS Night Vision Technology Solutions LLC of Jamestown, Rhode Island & New England Small Business Exporter; Kaitlyn Szczupak, Owner / President of S&S Transmissions and Auto Repair, Inc. of Tiverton, Young Rhode Island Entrepreneur.

The other winners from last year were:

  • Angela Laperriere, AVP, Business Assistance Manager and Lending Officer at SEED Corp. of Taunton, Rhode Island and New England Financial Services Champion.
  • Michael Black, President, National Marker Company of North Smithfield, Rhode Island and New England Small Business Manufacturer
  • Rebecca Twitchell, President and Founder, Half Full, LLC of Providence, Micro-enterprise from Rhode Island and New England.
  • Juan Langigua, President and CEO of The Family Cake of Providence, Small business owned by minorities in Rhode Island and New England.
  • Duran and Kristy Searles, co-owners / artists, Painted Karma Custom Designs of Kingston, Small home based business in Rhode Island.
  • Dan Shedd, President of Warren’s Taylor Box Company, Rhode Island Jeffrey Butland Small family business.
  • Adam Batchelder, Owner, Pawtucket Smoke & Squeal BBQ, Small business owned by a Rhode Island veteran.
  • Janelle Blakely Photopoulos, Owner and Creative Director, Blakely Interior Design of North Kingstown, Small business owned by a Rhode Island woman.
  • Paul DeRoche, Small Business Advocate, Rhode Island District Manager’s Award.

Frank Prosnitz brings several years of journalism to WhatsUpNewp, including 10 as Editor-in-Chief of Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau chief at Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalistic career as a sports reporter at Asbury Park (NJ) Press, before joining The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ (West) radio, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday to Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won the National Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) Best in Business Award, has twice been named Media Lawyer of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an award investigative reporter for the New England Press Association and writes newspaper articles. Rhode Island Press Association award.

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