Opening Doors Blog

Colorado Small Business Week Winners Announced

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Image courtesy of the U.S. Small Business Administration

Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration recently announced this year’s Small Business Person of the Year winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. All of the winners have been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C on May 1-2 where they will be awarded their individual awards along with recognition of the runners-up and the naming of the 2016 National Small Business Person of the Year.  Reed Howard Silberman, Founder and CEO of Denver-based Ink Monstr, is the 2015 Colorado Small Business Person of the Year winner.


In making the announcement, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said: “It is my distinct pleasure and honor to announce the 54 winners from across the U.S. and her territories.  These small business owners represent the best of the best and showcase daily their entrepreneurial spirit and what it takes to be successful in today’s evolving and competitive business environment.”


The Colorado Winners include:


1.     Colorado Small Business Person of the Year winner is Reed Howard Silberman, Founder and CEO of Denver-based Ink Monstr.  Ink Monstr is a custom print shop specializing in interior design, wall and window wraps, branding, and web design.

 2.     Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Excellence and Innovation Center Award. Our colleagues at the Southern Colorado SBDC, based in Pueblo, are the winner of this award.  The center, and its director Caroline Trani, have played a vital role in helping entrepreneurs across Southern Colorado gain access to business training and counseling services.  The Southern Colorado SBDC was also named the Region VIII winner of this award.


3.     8(a) Graduate award of the Year Award. Richard Lewis, President and CEO, of Denver-based RTL Networks, Inc. RTL Networks, Inc. is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned (SDVOSB) company focused on maximizing customer technology systems and processes in order to meet immediate needs and long-term objectives. RTL Networks, Inc. was selected for this award because of his overall qualifications and expertise of their management, recognition of their special achievements and exceptional past performance record, their cost performance, innovative services and their economic engagement of disadvantaged communities.


 4.     Region VIII Administrator’s Small Business Advocacy Award.  Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, and the Office of Economic Development, are the winners of this year’s award.  The mayor, and Office of Economic Development, have both played critical roles in promoting small business development with the establishment of the Commons on Champa, and their continued collaboration with the U.S. Small Business Administration on multiple programs and initiatives.

Congratulations to all of this year's winners!


This year, Denver was selected to host a national Small Business Week event on May 4.  SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will be in Denver to participate in the day’s events. In the morning the SBA will host a Celebrating Women’s Business Forum at the Federal Reserve Bank Denver Branch office.  Following the women’s event, an awards celebration will be held at the History Colorado Museum where each of the Colorado Small Business Week winners will receive their awards; four new businesses will be inducted into the Colorado Small Business Wall of Fame; and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, and Office of Economic Development, will receive the Regional Administrator’s Small Business Advocacy Award. Various events will be held across Colorado celebrating small business week.


Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year the dates are May 1-7 with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix and San Jose and Oakland, California.


In Boulder County, during National Small Business Week, we at the Boulder SBDC currently have a couple of workshops scheduled:

Wednesday,  May 4, 5:30 - 7:30 PM: Boot Camp de Planificación de Negocios Parte 1

We hope to see you that week!
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