WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today selected seven regional finalists for the 2013 DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Sam’s Club®. Each will be honored during America’s Small Business Summit, April 29 – May 1, in Washington, D.C., where a national winner will be announced and receive a $10,000 cash prize, courtesy of the U.S. Chamber.
“These small businesses are living examples of the power of free enterprise at work in our economy. Through their hard work and talents, they are enriching their communities, expanding opportunities for others, and fulfilling their own dreams,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “We salute these regional finalists for the vital contributions they make to our economy and our society.”
The DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award honors businesses that excel in the areas of staff training and motivation, community involvement, customer service, and strategy. One finalist from each of the seven regions was selected out of the 100 Blue Ribbon Award winners. The winner will be announced at an awards luncheon on April 30.
“Small businesses remain one of the very best examples of service and leadership through the unique economic opportunities they create,” said Charles Redfield, executive vice president of merchandising for Sam’s Club®. “These award winners are successful because they reflect the values of their customers, and we are proud to honor their commitment to the communities they serve.”
The 2013 finalists, listed by region, are:
- Eastern: Pet$aver Healthy Pet Superstore - Russell Herman founded Pet$aver Healthy Pet Superstore in Rochester, NY in 1993 after a veterinarian-recommended diet cured his dog’s flea problem. He realized most owners, like himself, are unaware of what they are actually feeding their pets and wanted to offer the best pet foods and supplies.
- Great Lakes: Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc. - In 2000, Ted and Lisa Lavender combined constructional and mechanical know-how with insurance experience to open Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc. in Reading, PA. The company offers restoration and reconstruction services for damaged residential and commercial properties.
- Midwest: Superior Service Center - Founded in 1982 in Eagan, MN, Superior Service Center is a full service automotive facility, that offers both mechanical and collision repairs with state-of-art equipment. Superior Service Center works with both vehicle owners and insurance companies to provide the highest quality service and maximum convenience.
- Northwest: Rich Duncan Construction, Inc. - In 2002, Rich Duncan founded Rich Duncan Construction in Salem, OR, with just $5,000. The company specializes in interior and exterior remodeling, renovation, new construction, and tenant improvements for retail and commercial spaces.
- Southeast: Rapoport’s Restaurant Group- Known for its award-winning restaurants and sandwich shop, Rapoport Restaurant Group was founded in Boca Raton, FL, with the opening of Henry’s in 2000. President Burt Rapoport expanded the group to include Deck 84, Bogart’s Bar and Grille, and E&J’s Sandwich Shop, with Burt & Max’s scheduled to open this spring.
- Southwest & South Central: Larsen Dye Associates Architects - Founded in 1995 in Irving, TX by Rick Larsen and Phillip Dye, Larsen Dye Associates Architects is a commercial architecture and interior design firm. The firm specializes in healthcare, religious, industrial, institutional, and commercial architecture and design.
- Western: Praetorian Group - Founded in 1999 in San Francisco, CA, Praetorian Group is a leader in online public safety and security. Praetorian’s twenty-five websites deliver expert content, mobile solutions, and online tools to over 2.5 million public safety professionals each month. The company’s properties provide cutting edge resources and mission critical information allowing public safety professionals to better protect their communities.
To learn more about the summit, visit www.uschambersummit.com.
Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is the nation’s eighth largest retailer and a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products and services to more than 47 million members in clubs across the U.S., as well as in Brazil, China and Mexico. Members save an average of 34 percent over traditional retailers. To learn more about Savings Made Simple®, visit SamsClub.com, and look for Sam’s Club on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and our Mobile and iPad® Apps.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.