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DBC: Herbert Austin: National Small Business Week starts April 30

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Herbert Austin

April 30 begins a weeklong celebration to honor the pillars of our economy — the American entrepreneur and small business owner. 

Herbert Austin 
Herbert Austin 

The U.S. Small Business Administration is hosting events across the country to recognize the critical contributions of the men and women who dare to dream and create their own tomorrows by starting and growing a small businesses. 

SBA has been celebrating this important group since 1963, when the president of the United States began issuing a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week. 

In Denton County, we celebrate more than 63,000 businesses and the impact they make on the local economy.

On Thursday, May 4, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon will join the local celebration to honor the Dallas-Fort Worth District Small Business Award winners at an event hosted by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. The following 2017 winners will be recognized:

· National Prime Contractor of the Year — QMF Steel, Sherrill Lester, president

· Texas Small Business Person of the Year — Deborah Paris, president of StraCon Services Group LLC

· Regional 8(a) Graduate — Reginalea Kemp, CEO of Kemp and Sons

· Small Business Exporter — Ghassan Massi, owner of Amallis Inc.

· Woman in Business Champion — Royalyn B. Reid, president of Consumer and Market Insights

· Entrepreneurial Success Award — Prabhu M. Patil, CEO of PROLIM Global Corp.

· Young Entrepreneur of the Year — Nichole Kirk, owner of Dear Heart Designs

· Minority Small Business Champion of the Year — Zarin D. Gracey, executive general manager for the city of Dallas

· Financial Services Champion of the Year — Millie J. Garcia, senior loan officer at Accion

· SCORE Chapter of the Year — Dallas SCORE Chapter 22, Terry Toomey, president

· Small Business Development Center of the Year — Northeast SBDC, Tim Wilson, director

In addition to in-person events around the country, National Small Business Week will include a series of free webinars hosted by SBA and corporate partners. On May 2, Visa will present "The U.S. Economic Outlook and its Impact on Small Businesses." On May 3, YP (Yellow Pages) will present "5 Fabulous Habits of Local Business Champions." On May 4, Constant Contact will present "How to Write Your Email Content in 15 Minutes or Less," and on May 5 Chase will present tips on how to "Find the Hidden Money in America." Registration is open at

Some events, including national award ceremonies in Washington, will be streamed live at and

To find out more about local events, follow the SBA South Central Region on Twitter at @SBASouthCentral.

HERBERT AUSTIN serves as the U.S. Small Business Administration's Dallas-Fort Worth District director and oversees the agency's programs and services throughout 72 Texas counties, including Denton, Tarrant and Dallas.