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JAX contractor among SBA small business honorees

The top small business owner from Jacksonville, Fla., will join 52 other top entrepreneurs throughout the nation at the U.s. Small Business mary-tappouniAdministration’s National Small Business Week celebration, May 17-23, 2009. The highlight of the celebration will be the announcement of this year’s winner of the National Small Business Person of the Year.  

Florida’s winner is Mary G. Tappouni, president of Breaking Ground Contracting Company,, a Jacksonville business that focuses on sustainability and green construction techniques. It holds a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating.

This year, Small Business Week will be a three-day event in Washington, D.C., taking place at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Events can be viewed virtually through SBA’s free, live Web casting, which will be accessible at

The National Small Business Person of the Year and runners-up will be selected from among the 53 state small business winners, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. More than 100 outstanding small business owners will be honored, reflecting a broad range of business products, services, and innovations offered by our nation’s entrepreneurs. They include a bed and breakfast owner, Web site developer, printer, brewer, and mobility aid maker.

These small business owners will be recognized during five major award events that will focus on the achievements of America’s top entrepreneurs. Besides the State Small Business Persons of the Year, men and women involved in disaster recovery, government contracting, small business champions as well as SBA partners in financial and entrepreneurial development will be honored.

The 2009 National Small Business Week award events will include the following individuals and groups:

• The National Small Business Person of the Year, selected from the 53 State Small Business Persons of the Year.

• The Champion Awards, recognizing both individuals and organizations for their achievements on behalf of small business, including minority, women and veteran-owned small businesses.

• The Phoenix Awards, recognizing a public official, two business owners, and a volunteer whose efforts have helped their businesses or communities recover successfully from a disaster.

• The Lender of the Year, honoring financial institutions, including those that provide financing for small business exporters and inner city businesses.

• The Entrepreneurial Development Awards honoring Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and the National SCORE Chapter of the Year for their innovation and excellence in assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

• The Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence, recognizing large prime contractors who have excelled in their utilization of small businesses as suppliers and subcontractors.

• The Gold Star Award, recognizing exemplary performance of federal staff who manage the aggressive goals and strategic initiatives that help ensure a role for small business in the federal marketplace.

• The Frances Perkins Vanguard Award, honoring government and industry for excellence in the use of women-owned small businesses as prime contractors and subcontractors.

• The Small Business Prime Contractor and Small Business Subcontractor of the Year, honoring small businesses that have provided government and industry with outstanding goods and services as prime or sub contractors.

Small Business Week will feature a series of forums on energy (Going Green), business financing, and social media, designed to help entrepreneurs with current, real-world issues that impact their business, plus a town hall forum to discuss small business concerns. Small businesses nationwide will be able to view the forums and town hall via live Web cast online. The Small Business Week Cyber Café, sponsored by Trend Micro, will provide free Wi-Fi to all attendees.

Co-sponsors of the event include SCORE, Sam’s Club, Symantec Corporation, Ford, Raytheon, Administaff, Visa, Sage, Trend Micro, Lockheed Martin, Moran Media Group, Dun & Bradstreet, the Small Business Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC), the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO), the National Association of the Self Employed (NASE), and the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC).

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration,

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