SBA Honors Hawaiʻi Island Businessperson

April 6, 2015, 1:10 PM HST · Updated April 6, 1:17 PM
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island-naturals-organic-ladyBy Maui Now Staff

Today, the head of the US Small Business Administration announced this year’s Small Business Person of the Year winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands.

The top small business person selected from the state of Hawaiʻi is Russell Ruderman, president of Island Naturals Market Inc., Island Naturals Kona Inc. and Island Naturals Pahoa Inc. on Hawaiʻi Island.

A panel is currently reviewing the state winners. A national winner and two runners-up will be selected and announced at a future date. The national winner will be recognized as the 2015 National Small Business Person of the Year by the SBA this year in Washington, D.C., May 8.

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“It is my pleasure and honor to announce the 54 winners,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “Competition was extremely keen across the nation for these prestigious awards. I couldn’t be any prouder than recognizing these outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners, they represent the backbone of our economy. Small businesses created nearly 2 million of the roughly 3 million private-sector jobs generated in 2014. More than 7 million of the 11 million jobs created during our recovery have been generated by start-ups and small enterprises.”

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. This year, National Small Business Week will be recognized from May 4 to 8 with national events planned in Miami, Los Angeles, San Antonio, New York and Washington, D.C.

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