HONOLULU - The U.S. Small Business Administration last week announced the Hawaii winners of its prestigious 2012 SBA Small Business Awards.
Each year, SBA honors outstanding small business owners, entrepreneurs and advocates who best illustrate the important contributions of small businesses to the local economy and quality of life.
Twenty-seven exceptional small business owners, advocates and leaders from across the islands will be honored at the 25th annual Statewide SBA Small Business Awards Luncheon on May 9 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
"Hawaii's 2012 SBA Small Business Awards reflect the diversity of our small business community in their products and services, marketing, management models, social and cultural awareness, yet all with a real commitment to success and taking their business to the next level," said District Director Jane Sawyer of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
"It is inspiring to see such entrepreneurial spirit and determination. They represent a great mix of the key industries we need to push the local economy forward, including retail, tourism, food and hospitality, manufacturing, export, construction and financial and personal services."
The 2012 Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Hawaii is Michael Tokunaga, president of S. Tokunaga Store in Hilo.
This family owned shop caters to fishing, diving and sport enthusiasts from around the globe, attracting customers with their expertise, wide product selection and custom finishes for quality equipment. The store also sponsors internationally known tournaments and activities.
Tokunaga Store is now in competition for the national title, and staff are invited to celebrate National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C., with the winners from the other 49 states, Guam and Puerto Rico.
Small Business Person of the Year for Maui County is Garrett Marrero, founder of Maui Brewing Company in Lahaina.
Supporting local agriculture and sustainability, the award-winning brewery and pub and has created 24 full-time and 30 part-time positions since opening in 2005.
The Family Owned Small Business Award recognizes a small business with at least a 15-year history that has been owned and operated by the
family, creating jobs, increasing revenues and providing opportunities for other family members.
The County of Maui honoree is Clarence Tavares of Sonny Vick's Paving Inc. in Puunene.