2012 SBDC Excellence Award

SBA HONORS ARIZONA’S ENTREPRENEURS AND SMALL BUSINESS CHAMPIONS

PHOENIX – In celebration of Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration is honoring Arizona entrepreneurs and small business champions for their contributions to the economy.  Over 97 percent of the businesses in the state are small businesses and have proven, year after year, to be the greatest sources of the innovation, jobs and growth that is needed to fuel Arizona’s dynamic economy.

“Each year the SBA has the honor of spotlighting Arizona winners of our Small Business Week awards in a ceremony that recognizes and celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and community activism that has long characterized the small business community of our great state,” said Robert J. Blaney, the District Director of the SBA in Arizona.  “These men and women are the risk takers, the innovators and the employers that power our economy and daily serve our communities in business and as local leaders.”

On May 1 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, a formal ceremony will be conducted to present awards to Arizona’s Small Business Person of the Year, Small Business Exporter of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year, Minority and Small Business Champion of the Year, Women in Business Champion of the Year, Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year, and Financial Services Champion of the Year.

Winners of awards at the state level compete with winners from other states for similar awards on a regional basis.  Regional winners then go on to compete for national awards presented at ceremonies in Washington, DC May 20 through 26, during national Small Business Week.

On May 1, awards will be presented to Arizona’s Small Business Week winners in a ceremony at the Arizona Biltmore which will be hosted by the Arizona Small Business Association.

2012 Arizona Small Business Development Center of Excellence Yuma, AZ

This award honors a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for its excellence in providing value to small businesses and advancing program delivery and management through innovation.  Among the many characteristics examined are a Center’s record of new business creation, capital infusion, counseling success, job creation, and program and training innovation.

Arizona’s network of 11 service centers is a partnership between the state’s community college districts and the SBA.  These centers serve thousands of clients annually through business training programs and free, one-on-one confidential counseling by counselors who use their real-life business ownership and management experience to offer practical and relevant advice.

The Arizona Western College SBDC in Yuma won the award this year for its record of success, innovation and economic impact.  Center Director Randy Nelson’s personal background – MBA in management and marketing, business professor, restaurant owner, middle manager in the plastics manufacturing industry and a vice president with Budget Rent-A-Car – typifies the experience Center counselors offer clients.

The Center offers counseling workshops in both Spanish and English, and offers expertise in accounting, marketing, technology, import/export, procurement, compliance issues and financial analysis.  These are in addition to the fundamentals of business plan development, marketing strategies, strategic planning, research, patents, procurement registration and certification, and personnel management.

Social Marketing Strategy is among the new focuses the Center offers, helping businesses understand how websites, email marketing and traditional marketing are complimented by social media marketing using Twitter, FaceBook, and Google Apps.

Under Randy’s direction, the Arizona Western College Center in 2011 helped start over twenty new businesses, create over 150 jobs and increase sales among the businesses counseled by nearly $12 million.  He and his team have built a legacy of excellence and a reputation for innovation and community involvement in Yuma, the surrounding area and among their peers throughout the state.