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U.S. Small Business Administration Announces Resource Partners of the Year Awards

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has awarded four Resource Partners of the Year awards. Funded in part by the SBA, Resource Partners provide startups and small businesses in the US with technical assistance, training, and access to capital. The awards recognize the winners’ impact on local economic growth, job creation, and support of the nation’s newest entrepreneurs.

In the first two years of the Biden-Harris Administration, a staggering 10.5 million Americans applied to start a business – more than any two years on record. The Resource Partner of the Year awards recognize the organizations that are making a real difference in the lives of countless small business owners.

The awards ceremony will take place during National Small Business Week, which falls from April 30 to May 6, 2023. The awardees will be honored for the vital role they’ve played in uplifting 33 million small businesses, women entrepreneurs, and veterans in America.

“The Resource Partner of the Year awards recognize organizations that are making a real difference in the lives of countless small business owners — connecting them with tools and resources and empowering them with the strength of their networks and their expertise,” said U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.

The four 2023 Resource Partner winners are:
– SCORE Chapter of the Year from Broward County, Florida
– Women’s Business Center of the Year from San Diego, California
– Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award for the SBDC in Miami, Florida
– Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award from Tukwila, Washington

The winners belonged to organizations that have consistently gone above and beyond to make a positive impact on small businesses in their communities. Let’s take a closer look at each winner.

SCORE Chapter of the Year: Broward County Chapter (SCORE)
Led by Chapter Chairman George Gremse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, SCORE Broward provides free and confidential mentoring, business training, and resources to anyone looking to start, grow, or exit a small business. Last year, SCORE Broward created 419 new businesses and 1,773 jobs across Florida’s Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Broward County communities. This fantastic achievement was made possible due to SCORE Broward’s expanding network of government, municipal, and other nonprofit community partners, who deliver expanded services to diverse local entrepreneurs in need of support.

Women’s Business Center of the Year: San Diego and Imperial Women’s Business Center (WBC)
The San Diego and Imperial Women’s Business Center is led by Director Katy Ibarra. It has created more than 130 businesses, helped businesses access $3 million in capital, and served more than 3,000 unique clients. Ibarra promotes inclusive entrepreneurship by providing services in English and Spanish, Mindset Reset Program, and entrepreneurial development capacity building for childcare businesses. The San Diego and Imperial Women’s Business Center consistently exceeds its performance goals and is a valued partner of the San Diego District Office.

Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award: Florida SBDC at Florida International University
Led by Regional Director Brian Van Hook, the Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Florida International University (FIU) has built capacity for small businesses in the Miami-Dade area to remain competitive in attracting, growing, and retaining small businesses. The center has 30 business specialists in Miami-Dade and the keys and partners with six other community organizations to bridge the gap between local small businesses and SBA programs and resources. The FSBDC at FIU prides itself on being mission-driven and community-focused.

Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award: Veterans Business Outreach Center at Business Impact Northwest
Business Impact Northwest, founded in 1997 as the Seattle Economic Development Fund DBA Community Capital Development, offers training opportunities, one-on-one coaching, referrals to resource partners, and networking events in Region X encompassing the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The Region X Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) at Business Impact NW delivers approximately 100 Boots to Business training sessions at 17 military installations, including Coast Guard stations in Alaska. VBOC Director Steve Watts-Oelrich is an Air Force Veteran and works tirelessly to provide resources to veterans looking to start a business.

The US Small Business Administration congratulates the 2023 Resource Partner winners for their fantastic achievements in uplifting small businesses, women entrepreneurs, and veterans in America. National Small Business Week will recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners and highlight the impact of outstanding individuals and businesses across all 50 states and US territories. To learn more about National Small Business Week, visit www.sba.gov/NSBW.

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