At the U.S. Small Business Administration, we have the great privilege to work with many amazing small business owners. Every day I see how small businesses are creating an economy built to last and living the American Dream. I wanted to share these great stories with everyone – so we asked small business owners to share their stories in a short video that demonstrates how their business benefited from the SBA and makes a difference in their local community.
The response to SBA's first video contest was incredible – we received over 100 submissions! It was a difficult process, but SBA selected four winners to participate in the Google + Hangout with me. Thanks to all contest participants for taking the time from your busy schedules to submit these outstanding videos. We look forward to highlighting all the videos on our website in the coming weeks.
Drum roll please…!
The winners of the 2012 National Small Business Week Video Contest:
KissTixx, Orem, Utah
Dallas Robinson and Mike Buonomo started KISSTIXX Lip Balm as a project in college. They created a high quality SPF lip balm that was packaged in two compatible flavors, one for you and one for your special someone. The two flavors would combine on contact creating a new flavor or experience when you kiss. They have flavors like Fire & Ice that heat and cool the lips, Raspberry & Lemonade and Strawberry Daiquiri & Pina Colada. As students they needed the help of the SBA to create product to meet the demand. The SBA stepped up and now KISSTIXX gets inquiries all over the world. They are currently negotiating deals with major retailers stateside and expanding the kissing experience into over 30 countries. They were even able to convince celebrity billionaire Mark Cuban to financially back their company.
Rodgers' Banana Pudding Sauce; Chesapeake, Virginia
Reggie Rodgers is the Managing Director of R.R. Enterprise - better known as Rodgers’ Banana Pudding Sauce, located in Chesapeake, VA. Reggie is a service-disabled veteran, serving 26 years with the Navy. In his first year of business, Reggie and his family worked with their local Small Business Development Center in Chesapeake to learn the nuts and bolts of operating a business. They are now in the process of applying for a Patriot Express Loan, after attending a military community workshop at an SBDC in Hampton, VA.
Rustic Crust; Pittsfield, New Hampshire
Brad Sterl is the CEO and Founder of Rustic Crust, Inc., manufacturer of the Rustic Crust brand of organic/all natural shelf stable pizza crusts that you top and bake at home and the American Flatbread brand of premium frozen pizza, hand-made and baked in a wood fired oven. Brad has always believed in “real food” -- that is using real food to make great food with no chemicals or preservatives. Over the last seven years with the help of the New Markets SBA fund, the company was able to secure additional equity investments and loans to expand the facility, hire staff and grow the business. In addition, the company has grown from inception to nearly $20 million in sales, selling to all 50 states and has grown the staff from 5 to over 70 in the underserved community of Pittsfield, NH.
The Fresh Diet; Miami, Florida
Zalmi Duchman is CEO & the Founder of The Fresh Diet. He began operations on January 1, 2006, with 3 clients in Miami, FL. Today, The Fresh Diet has become the largest US food producer in the fresh cooked, daily delivered category - which is now delivering meal plans to thousands of clients nationwide. The Fresh Diet operates 6 commissaries & employs 225 full time employees and 112 drivers. Zalmi & The Fresh Diet have used 2 SBA 7A loans for acquisitions to help fuel the growth.
To learn more about the contest and to view eligible submissions, visit http://smallbizvid.challenge.gov.