Gov. Kelly congratulates Kansas Small Business Development Center Award winners

Gov. Laura Kelly opened this year’s Kansas Small Business Development Center Award Ceremony at the statehouse.
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 10:30 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Gov. Laura Kelly opened this year’s Kansas Small Business Development Center Award Ceremony at the statehouse, saying “It’s your small businesses that add strength and vibrancy to our communities. You are the pillars to our cities and our towns”.

13′s Melissa Brunner emceed the event.

“This is an event we hold every year. It’s really just for the small businesses. They get honored in both the House and Senate with proclamations and it’s really kind of fun for them to be honored in that way,” says Director of the Small Business Development Center, Greg Jordan.

Seventeen businesses from eight regions received awards. Some local winners included Stumpy’s Smoked Cheese, in Topeka, Aero-Mod Inc., and Coldsteel Sluggers, both in Manhattan, Trox Gallery & Gifts, in Emporia and Allen Meat processing.

“As a small business owner there’s a lot of sacrifices that our family goes through, that our kids walk right alongside us and it’s really cool to be recognized for that, for our hard work and everything that we do to make our business grow,” says owner of Stumpy’s Smoked Cheese, Stacey Cook.

Each region selects an emerging business of the year and existing business of the year winner. This year one exporter of the year award was also given out.

“We exported a lot in the 90′s and then hadn’t exported for a while but needed to get back into that market and the SBDC pointed us in the right direction and made us real smart really quick on exports. We were able to procure a large project in North Africa and working on another one and in fact just yesterday I shipped equipment to three different countries and so we linked up with them and started doing some work and immediately had some great results,” says General Manager at Aero-Mod, Andrew Ryan.

Each winner also got a chance to showcase their business with a display table.

“Just don’t give up. Keep believing in yourself because if that’s your passion and that’s what you want to do it’ll work itself out. Look for your resources. They can help you, have a great staff and create support,” says Karna Lackey, owner of Sew In 2 Quilt.

To see the full list of 2023 SBDC winners click here.