Nominations for the prestigious Small Business Administration’s annual awards is slightly more than a week away (Dec. 8), with awards given on a local, regional, and national level.

The SBA presents awards in several categories, meant to celebrate small businesses across the country, and locally. Specific information about the nomination process is available at or by calling the Rhode Island District Office at 401-528-4561. Individuals can nominate themselves.

The SBA has celebrated National small Business Week, recognizing entrepreneurs and small business owners for more than 50 years. Awards locally will be presented at the Rhode Island District’s annual Salute to Small Business Award Luncheon on Tuesday, May 3 at Quidnesset Country Club in North Kingstown.

Each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Island, and Guam will recognize its Small Businessperson of the Year, who will then compete for the National Small Businessperson of the Year.

Besides Small Businessperson of the Year, awards in Rhode Island District will honor the small business manufacturer, woman-owned small business, financial services champion, Rhode Island microenterprise, minority-owned small business, veteran-owned small business, young entrepreneur, Joseph G.E. Knight Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, and the Rhode Island District Director’s Award.

This year’s winners were:

  • Small Businessperson of the Year – Byron Delmonico, Owner and CEO
    The Riddle Room, LLC in Warwick and East Greenwich.
  • Small Business Manufacturer – Scott Chapin, Owner and Julianne Chapin, Owner
    CakeSafe, LLC in Peace Dale. They also won the regional award for New England.
  • Woman-Owned Small Business — Mary Ann Shallcross Smith, President and CEO
    Dr. Day Care Learning Center in Smithfield. She also won the regional award for New England.
  • Rhode Island Financial Services Champion –William Cunningham of Barrington.
  • Rhode Island Microenterprise — Kelley McShane, CEO, Granny Squibb’s Organic Iced Tea, Westerly.
  • Rhode Island Minority-Owned Small Business — Javier Brown, President
    O2J, Inc. in Pawtucket.
  • Rhode Island Veteran – Owned Small Business Mark Torok, Owner
    Anchor Physical Therapy in Wakefield.
  • Rhode Island Young EntrepreneurAlexa Trembly and Emory Harkins, owners of Twenty Stories in Providence.
  • Rhode Island Joseph G.E. Knight Award for entrepreneurial excellence — Katherine Westcott, CEO of Katrinkles, Inc. in Providence.

Rhode Island District Director Award – Rhode Island Small Business Development Center, hosted by the University of Rhode Island, Diane Fournaris, State Director … and SCORE Rhode Island, James Mutschler and Jeff Bodenstab, Co-Chairs.

Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal....