SBA Honors Arizona’s Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

by Robert J. Blaney, SBA Arizona District Director

In the midst of unrelenting uncertainty, one constant has been the commitment of our state’s entrepreneurs to create, innovate and drive recovery.  Small business owners have weathered many challenges while demonstrating their resilience and dedication to building our local and state economies.  I invite you to join me in recognizing our state’s small business owners this National Small Business Week, May 1-7.

We celebrate our nation’s 32.5 million small businesses creating 2 out of every 3 net new jobs in the private sector.  Here in Arizona, 99.5% of companies are small and provide employment for 42.9% of private sector employees.  Year-after-year small businesses are the greatest sources of innovation, jobs and revenue growth in Arizona’s dynamic economy.  And each year we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments.

It is my honor to announce the Arizona winners of the 2022 SBA Small Business Week awards. These outstanding business owners are the risk takers, the innovators and the employers that fuel our economy and daily serve our communities as local leaders:

  • Arizona Small Business Person of the YearTracey Latham, Latham Industries, LLC – Phoenix, AZ
  • Pacific Region Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year – Edward O. Willis, WW Associates Management & Consulting, LLC – Scottsdale, AZ
  • Arizona 8(a) Graduate of the Year – Araunaud Teo, MAC GC-Electric, Inc. – Yuma, AZ
  • National Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) of the Year – Established Manager – Brian N. Burns, Sherman Chu, and Brian S. Smith, Grayhawk Ventures Fund II, L.P. – Scottsdale, AZ

Take part in the celebration by supporting your favorite local business.  Shop small, leave a positive online review and make a referral on social media.  Entrepreneurs can participate in the National Small Business Week virtual summit here.  SBA, along with valued small business partners, will share important information about the many programs and services available to help businesses start and grow, continue to power our economic growth, strengthen our supply chains, and deliver the products and services Americans depend on every day.  You can also access local business counseling, training and financial resources to start and grow your small business.

Robert J. Blaney has served as the district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration for the State of Arizona since 1998. His varied experience includes work as a federal agent, police officer, vice-president of an insurance brokerage and district director for the late Congressman Jack Kemp. He is a native of western New York and a graduate of the State University College of New York at Buffalo.

 The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations.

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