The Kansas Small Business Development Center and its eight regional centers and two outreach centers honored 17 Kansas owners of small businesses in a ceremony in the state Capitol on March 16.
"Our economy couldn't survive without entrepreneurs and the businesses they launch," said Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. "Every business in existence today -- large or small -- was born out of the dream of an entrepreneur. And small businesses are the foundation upon which our prosperity is built, which is why we must encourage their creation and success.
"This year we are again honoring successful Kansas entrepreneurs and small businesses, which are important parts of our state's growing prosperity. They're helping make our state a stronger and more prosperous place, and I'm proud to celebrate their achievements."
Wally Kearns, state director of the KSBDC, said, "Entrepreneurship and innovation are the keys to a revitalized Kansas economy. From its inception in 1983, the Kansas Small Business Development Center Network has been growing Kansas entrepreneurs by delivering one-on-one counseling, training and support services to small businesses and entrepreneurs in every county in Kansas."
Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, was master of ceremonies. FHSU serves as the administrator of the KSBDC network, which is a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Kansas Department of Commerce.
The ceremony was sponsored by Prairie Band Pottawatomi Nation and FHLBank Topeka.
The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of 17 plaques to the businesses by each business's state senator and representative. Eight of the awards were for an Existing Business of the Year, and nine were for an Emerging Business of the Year from each of the KSBDC's eight regions.
The Existing Business of the Year honorees and their SBDC (in parenthesis):
Mid-West Business Service, Emporia (Emporia State University)
Eldridge Fencing Inc., Great Bend (FHSU)
kadee’s coffee break, Garden City (Garden City Community College)
The Online Auction Company, Overland Park (Johnson County Community College)
Paradise Mall – Antiques & Collectibles, Pittsburg (Pittsburg State University)
Starving Artists Moving, Lawrence (University of Kansas)
CD Tradepost Inc., Topeka (Washburn University)
SEW COUNTRY, Belleville (Wichita State University)
The Emerging Business of the Year honorees and their SBDC:
Walburn's Athletic Club Inc., Emporia (ESU)
The Shepherd's Mill Inc., Phillipsburg (FHSU)
Stanton County Hardware LLC, Johnson (GCCC)
I Support Learning LLC, Olathe (JCCC)
Brother's Railroad Inn, Independence (PSU)
ComTECH Construction, Lawrence (KU)
Glenn Moore Meadows, Holton (Washburn)
Gatherings on the Prairie LLC, Junction City (Washburn)
Cleo's LLC, Kingman (WSU).
Since the inception of the program in 1983, the KSBDC Network has consulted with more than 78,000 clients and has conducted in excess of 4,100 workshops with more than 73,000 entrepreneurs in attendance.
For more information on the KSBDC, call 1-877-625-7232.