Meet the 2018 Missouri Small Business Person of the Year

St. Louis District Office  - May 2018

u s small business administration

Washington Missouri Dentist Honored by SBA Administrator

Missouri Small Business Person of the Year

Within a month of graduating with honors from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry, Dr. Melissa Smith accepted a position as a managing dentist with Washington Square Dentistry in Washington, Missouri. Three years later in 2007, she became its owner and rebranded the business as Washington Smiles Complete Health Dentistry. This year, during a National Small Business Week ceremony in Washington, D.C., Dr. Smith stood next to SBA Administrator Linda McMahon to be recognized as SBA's top small business in the state of Missouri for 2018.

At the time of purchase, Dr. Smith and her six employees worked out of a 2,200 square foot facility and generated a comfortable annual revenue. In her first year of ownership, revenue increased by 44 percent. With guidance from SBA’s SCORE and an SBA 504 Loan, she grew the business to 31 employees who provide service from three locations and  boosted the revenue to a level ten times what it was when she first bought the business.  

Over the last eight years, Dr. Smith has enjoyed a level of success that makes it possible for her to give back to the community in a powerful way. Over a 10-day period she traveled to Honduras to provide free dental care to hundreds of Hondurans who lived in mountain regions and lacked access to dental care. She performed approximately 250 tooth extractions under extremely arduous conditions. Back home in Missouri, she continues to provide  “Free Dental Days” for low income members of the community and others in need.  People have driven from as far away as Iowa to receive free care from Washington Smiles.  To date she’s donated more than ten percent of her revenue in free dental services to those less fortunate and has made an impact on Washington, Missouri that contributes to the city’s health as well as its wealth. Dr. Melissa Smith is SBA's 2018 Missouri Small Business Person of the Year!

Call SBA St. Louis 314-539-6600