U.S. Small Business Administration Announces
2023 Small Business Award Winners In Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, RI– The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the 2023 Small Business Week award winners in Rhode Island. The thirteen award-winning small businesses and advocates are headlined by this year’s Small Business Person of the Year, Craig Pickell, President & CEO of Lincoln-based Bullard Abrasives.

 

Mr. Pickell will be joined by the other awardees, a group that includes 2 New England regional winners, for the Rhode Island Salute to Small Business Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, May 3rd at the Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown.  Co-sponsored by the SBA and the Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants, the awards ceremony will be the featured event in Rhode Island during National Small Business Week (April 30 – May 6, 2023).

 

“Over the past two years, America has had a record-breaking 10.5 million people apply to start businesses nationally and 332,000 across New England. I’m thrilled to recognize the strong, resilient, and innovative small business award winners leading the way from across Rhode Island,” said Mike Vlacich, SBA New England Regional Administrator. “Small businesses like these are the reason we are emerging from the pandemic stronger.  I congratulate them on their achievements and their role in creating jobs and powering our nation’s historic economic comeback. “

 

“I congratulate all our winners and commend them for all the hard work they do as small business owners in keeping our economy going.  This is without a doubt one of the strongest groups of winners we have ever had in Rhode Island,” said SBA District Director Mark S. Hayward.  “I applaud our two regional winners, Wright’s Dairy Farm and The Backyard Food Company, for beating out some tough competition in their categories from the other New England states.  I am also elated that Craig will be representing the Ocean State for the national awards ceremony in Washington DC later this spring,” he added.

 

Here is the complete list of outstanding Rhode Island small business owners and advocates to be honored:

 

Rhode Island Small Business Person of the Year

Craig Pickell, President & CEO

Bullard Abrasives, Inc.

Lincoln

 

Rhode Island and New England Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Ellen Puccetti, Jennifer Ann Roberts & Elizabeth Dulude, Co-Owners
Wright’s Dairy Farm, Inc.
North Smithfield


Rhode Island and New England Small Business Manufacturer of the Year
Loubnen Sukkar, CEO

The Backyard Food Company
Warwick


Rhode Island Small Business Exporter of the Year
Ellis Waldman, President & CEO

Walco Electric Company
Providence


Rhode Island Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year
Tony Phouaykoumpha, Owner
Latte Love Coffee House
Cranston


Rhode Island Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year
Christopher Mishoe, Owner/Brewer
Bravo Brewing Company
Pascoag


Rhode Island Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year
Debbie Martitz, Owner

Hope Cleaners
East Providence


Rhode Island Microenterprise of the Year
Miriam A. Ross, Partner/ Owner

Miriam Ross & Associates, LLC
Providence

 

Rhode Island Homebased Small Business of the Year
Gloria Chacón, President & Owner
Green View Tree Service, LLC
Johnston


Rhode Island Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Vincent Pezzullo, Owner & President
My Cousin Vinny's Rentals, LLC
Johnston


Rhode Island Financial Services Champion of the Year
Jon Richmond
VP, Banking & Commercial Lender Officer

BankNewport

Rhode Island Joseph G.E. Knight Award For Entrepreneurial Excellence
Dr. Kristina McAteer, MD, FACEP, Owner

Oceanside Medical – Aesthetics, LLC
Warwick


Rhode Island District Director Award
Melody Weeks, Executive Vice President

Rhode Island Commerce Corporation

 

For more information about the award winners or the “Salute to Small Business” Awards Luncheon, contact Matthew Spoehr at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (401) 528-4574.

 

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