Oneida County businesses win SBA Small Business Excellence Awards

Pictured from left are James Conroy, NYBDC, Dr. Pat Laino, Women’s Business Center of New York State, Karen Stockton, Williams Variety Shop, Patricia Badgley, Women’s Business Center of New York State, Donna Rebisz, Women’s Business Center of New York State, and Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA Syracuse District.

Oneida County businesses win SBA Small Business Excellence Awards

Four local small businesses were recognized during National Small Business Week at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 20th annual Small Business Excellence Awards luncheon in Syracuse Wednesday, May 2. Small businesses are selected for the Excellence Awards based on their company’s longevity, innovation, sales growth, increased employment, ability to overcome adversity or community contributions.

Berkshire Bank honored Joel’s Spanish Food based in Utica with a 2018 Small Business Excellence Award. Started by father and son Gerardo and Jeffrey Collado in 2003, Joel’s  Spanish Foods was one of the first Latin restaurants in the Mohawk Valley.

Joel’s Spanish Foods found financial assistance from Berkshire Bank and SBA. The staff at Joel’s is very friendly and always serves you with a smile. The brightly decorated restaurant is very comfortable with a casual, family-friendly atmosphere.

Located in the heart of Utica, customers love the delicious meals and especially the consistency of the dishes they offer. The service, welcoming atmosphere and delicious Latin food keeps customers coming back.

Pictured from left are James Conroy, NYBDC, Kenneth Seeber, Berkshire Bank, Gerardo Collado, Joel’s Spanish Food, Jeffrey Collado, Joel’s Spanish Food, and Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA Syracuse District.

NY SBDC Mohawk Valley honored AX Enterprize based in Yorkville with a 2018 Small Business Excellence Award. From starting as a two-person operation in 2011 with help from the Mohawk Valley SBDC, AX Enterprize has grown to a well-respected firm of several divisions  with 26 employees.

Owners Mary Chruscicki and Patricia Baskinger are recognized as national leaders in cyber and information technology research.

AX personnel are front-runners in the research and development of advanced communications, signal processing, networking and information technology, along with cyber security research and development for the U.S. Armed Forces and commercial clients.

As the lead developer and maintainer of the NY UAS (drone) Test Site in Rome, they work closely with Griffiss International Airport and NUAIR Alliance to support NASA. AX Enterprize is a NYS Certified WBE and ISO 9001:2008 Certified.

Pictured from left are James Conroy, NYBDC, Roxanne Mutchler, NY SBDC Mohawk Valley, Mark Reilly, AX Enterprize, Lorraine Grabowski, AX Enterprize, Scott Ciufo, AX Enterprize, and Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA Syracuse District.

Utica SCORE Chapter 198 honored Mi Casa Restaurant based in Utica with a 2018 Small Business Excellence Award. Humberto and Luisa Martinez started Mi Casa Restaurant two years ago in Utica. Utica SCORE assisted them with marketing and business advice.

Mi Casa’s menu offers a variety of home-made Dominican and French specialty dishes. All of the friendly, professional staff are bilingual (Spanish and English). Customers rave about the variety of menu choices, delicious food, promptness of the service, welcoming atmosphere and unique décor, which is mostly handmade.

A favorite dish at Mi Casa Restaurant is “Pechuga del Valle” which means “Chicken Breast of the Valley.” In addition to fabulous foods, customers can choose homemade Sangria, wine or one of the many beer selections to accompany their meal.

Pictured from left are James Conroy, NYBYDC, Joanna Polanco, Mi Casa Restaurant, Alejandro Guzman, Mi Casa Restaurant, Sonia Martinez, Utica SCORE Chapter 198, Luisa Martinez, Mi Casa Restaurant, Dawn Laguerre, Mi Casa Restaurant, Humberto Martinez, Mi Casa Restaurant, Sam Russo, Utica SCORE Chapter 198, and Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA Syracuse District.

Women’s Business Center of New York State honored Williams Variety Shop based in New York Mills with a 2018 Small Business Excellence Award. Sisters Karen Stockton and Janet Lombard found a need for unique, renovated pieces, furniture and vintage accessories in the New York Mills area. With over 18 years of experience and solid business advice from the  Women’s Business Center of New York State, Karen and Janet purchased a building and started their business dream in 2016.

Williams Variety Shop is a charming shop featuring unusual and one-of- a-kind home decor items. Janet is an avid do-it-yourselfer and loves to take older pieces and make them unique and like-new again. Karen is the person behind the scenes running the business operation. The shop has become so popular that they have a waiting list for renovations.

“The 20th Annual Small Business Excellence Awards luncheon gives us the opportunity to celebrate our business community leaders for their small business successes,” said Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA Syracuse district director. “Small business owners develop deep community connections, provide the critical backbone of our economy, employ local residents, and contribute to the vibrancy and innovation of our nation.”

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