Every day at Business Impact NW we celebrate the success of small businesses around the Pacific Northwest--and once a year we are honored to join the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) for National Small Business Week. For more than 50 years, the U.S. Small Business Administration has celebrated National Small Business Week (NSBW), which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Every year by shining a spotlight on the nation’s 30 million small businesses across the country, National Small Business Week brings the work of entrepreneurs like Business Impact NW’s own Boon Boona Coffee and Leisureland RV into the spotlight.
This year’s NSBW celebrations will be unlike any before. The theme for this year's NSBW is “Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation” with the intention of highlighting the tenacity of America’s small business and their determination in recovering and adapting to the current crisis. As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration and cosponsors will host three days of virtual events from September 22-24, 2020-- after NSBW was postponed from May due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s virtual event will include numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover, contributing to a stronger economy. The event will recognize the national award winners, including the naming of the National Small Business Person of the Year. The importance of this year's NSBW cannot be understated and Steve Watts-Oelrich, Program Director of Veterans Business Outreach Center, put it best “This year, spotlighting small business for National Small Business Week feels more important to me than it has ever been (at least in my lifetime). I believe small businesses can use all the support they can get as they navigate these unprecedented times. I am proud to be part of an organization that provides coaching, training and access to resources to persons who are at some point on their entrepreneurial journey.”
Many of the small businesses honored at National Small Business Week are veteran, women and minority-owned, some of whom are champions in the Business Impact NW community. This year’s SBA winner of the Idaho Small Business Persons of the Year is John DeHoff, Owner of Leisureland RV Center in Boise, Idaho. Together, John and wife Carina built Leisureland RV Center from a small RV dealership founded in 2015 into a company serving the entire western United States. The business has grown to have 21 employees and more than $7 million in sales and 272% growth since inception. John has applied leadership principles learned from serving 25 years in the U.S. Air Force--where he retired at the rank of Senior Master Sergeant in 2014. John and wife Carina are Boots to Business alumni and we at Business Impact NW are proud to have them in our community and are thrilled to celebrate their success this year. Congratulations John and Carina!
Our very own Boon Boona Coffee will also be recognized this year after being nominated for the Washington Small Business Persons of the Year Award (2020). Boon Boona was born in 2018 after founder and CEO Efrem Fesaha brought the East African tradition of freshly roasted beans to the Puget Sound area. Soon after Boon Boona received assistance from Washington Women’s Business Center (WWBC) and in 2018 won the Impact Pitch Community of Color Award. Today, Boon Boona has a café and roaster in Renton, WA made unique by their long-lasting sustainable relationships with coffee producers, exporters and importers in East Africa as well as their commitment to local community development. In addition to partnering with local schools to provide opportunities for students of color in the Renton area, 90% of Boon Boona’s staff are local, as are their contractors and vendors. Boon Boona is a leader in job creation and community development in the Puget Sound area. We are continually impressed by Boon Boona’s incredible work and are so happy to celebrate their nomination. In the words of Susan Perreault, Director of the Washington Women’s Business Center, “Daily, the WWBC team is inspired by our clients’ perseverance, resiliency, and adaptability in the face of the current unprecedented challenges. During National Small Business Week, we want to recognize their accomplishments and the contribution of small businesses as the foundation of our communities and our economy.” Thank you Efrem Fesaha for your determination and pioneering leadership!
Join us in celebrating the incredible success, resilience, and innovation of small businesses like Boon Boona and Leisureland RV Center next week. For details and registration information about National Small Business Week’s virtual events check out the Small Business Association's event page: https://www.sba.gov/NSBW.