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SBA announces award winners

By Staff | Mar 31, 2011

HONOLULU — The U.S. Small Business Administration last week announced the 2011 winners of prestigious SBA Small Business Awards.

Each year, SBA honors outstanding small business owners, entrepreneurs and advocates who demonstrate the business acumen, tenacity and achievement, particularly in the face of adversity, to excel in their industry.

Nominees for the annual SBA Awards are evaluated on job creation, growth in annual revenue, innovation, staying power and contributions to their community.

Outstanding business owners, advocates and business leaders will be honored at the 24th annual Statewide SBA Small Business Awards Luncheon on April 29 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Mariah Brown and Les Tomita of Restaurant Destinations Inc., d.b.a. Da Kitchen, were selected as Maui’s 2010 Small Business Person of the Year.

The Entrepreneurial Success Award is given to a company that started as a small business and, with assistance from SBA, has since grown into a successful large business.

Maui County’s winner is Curtis Takaoka, second generation owner of Tasty Crust Inc. in Wailuku.

The Small Business Exporter Award is presented to a small business that derives a significant portion of its sales from export outside the U.S. and is supportive of other efforts to export U.S. made products and services.

The state winner is Joseph Rossi, president and owner of Maui Babe Inc. in Wailuku.

The Minority Small Business Champion title is awarded to those individuals who have selflessly provided assistance and support to minority entrepreneurs and business owners.

Maui County’s honoree is Kai Pelayo of the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber and Grand Wailea Resort

Home Based business has emerged as a popular alternative to the high cost of maintaining a business location.

The Home Based Business Award goes to an individual who has experienced the reward of owning a home based operation and has also supported others in that effort.

The state winner is Roger Lane, president of Roger Lane Inc. of Hana.

For more information on the SBA Awards, call the Hawaii District Office at (808) 541-2990.