National Small Business Week

Alaska District Office - Sept. 19, 2020

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u s small business administration

About National Small Business Week

For more than 50 years, the U.S. Small Business Administration has celebrated National Small Business Week (NSBW), which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. This year is one unlike the half-century that has come before.

We are facing unique challenges together. However, American small businesses continue to play a central role in building a strong country, prepared for any obstacles in the future.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create nearly two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. As part of NSBW, the SBA takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others who support entrepreneurship from all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and U.S. territories. Additionally, this year’s NSBW will recognize the small businesses who have navigated the coronavirus pandemic while supporting their employees and communities. There will be a number of presenters providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover towards a stronger economy.

Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st-century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

National Small Business Week Virtual Conference 2020

Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation 

Attend this free, online conference to meet our 2020 small business winners from across the country, learn new business strategies, meet other business owners, and talk with industry experts!

Reserve your spot

National Small Business Week 2020  winners

Alaska's Small Business Person of the Year 


Christy NaMee Eriksen is a multidisciplinary poet, teaching artist, and organizer whose work is grounded in social justice and community engagement. Christy has received awards for both art and activism, is a co-founder of Woosh Kinaadeiyí (a community-based org empowering voices) and World in Progress (an arts-based racial justice training), and leads poetry workshops for all ages. She owns a post office rooted in connection called Kindred Post, located in the heart of downtown Juneau. She is passionate about the power of art to tell our stories, bring people together, and activate positive social change.

SBA Pacific Northwest Region SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award  


The entire Kenai Peninsula is served by the Soldotna SBDC.  This past year, the entire community was affected by devastating wildfires that hit at the peak of tourist season. The wildfires closed highways and forced many local businesses to temporarily shut their doors.  Soldotna SBDC Director Cliff Cochran was instrumental in economic recovery for small businesses on the peninsula.

“It is such a pleasure to recognize the Soldotna SBDC and Cliff Cochran as our state and regional winner of the SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award,” Alaska District Director Steve Brown said. “Coming from an entrepreneurial family, Cliff understands the threats and obstacles that face businesses each day. He draws on his experience to provide the type of quality counseling and training to community businesses that has put him in the winner circle.”


8(a) Graduate of the Year

Sharon Elizabeth Athas Cote', Owner of SBH Services Inc

As a woman owned general contracting company in a predominately male dominated industry, Sharon has faced numerous obstacles in business.  She attributes her success to be the "Nordstrom" of general contractors.  Sharon is the founder of the EVA Foundation - a non-profit that supports survivors of domestic violence in the State of Alaska. 

Congratulations to Our SBA 2020 Local  Small Business Award Winners

ron perry

SBA Champion of the Year

Ron Perry President of National 8a Association.

"For years he has provided strong leadership not only nationally with the 8(a) Association, but with hundreds of Alaskan businesses.  He has guided these companies, many of them socially and economically disadvantaged, through the complex and competitive government marketplace. His assistance and expertise has resulted in billions of dollars awarded for private, local, state, and federal contracts.  Increasing the state’s contractor base means more competition and better value for our military, our other government agencies and the American Taxpayer" said Carolyn Pratt, Alaska PTAC |UAA Business Enterprise Institute. 

rod young

Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year 

Rod Young, Owner of Think Office, LLC 

Think Office is a veteran-owned and operated business furniture dealership, based in Anchorage, serving all of Alaska.  Think Office is actively involved in the community, participating in projects and local events such as Alaska Barefoot Mile, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Building Healthy Kids Toy Drive, Anchorage Wine & Food Festival, Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, American Society of Interior Designers, and American Cancer Society.  Rod participated in SBA Emerging Leaders Program and attributes his business model success to what he learned in this program. 

shannon integrity

Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year 

Shannon Oelkers, Owner of Integrity Environmental, LLC 

As a new mother, Integrity’s founder was unable to secure a position flexible enough to accommodate both her career interests and her young children’s schedule. In 2010 she started Integrity to pursue her career part time while still preserving time to focus on her young family. Shannon is actively involved with STEM based after-school activities within the Anchorage School.  Shannon was a graduate of SBA Emerging Leaders.  Shannon participated in SBA Emerging Leaders Program and uses the business tools she learned to strengthen and grow her business. 

SBA Learning Center. Free online business courses

September Workshops

  • Tuesday, Sept. 22 | 10 - 11 a.m. EN ESPAÑOL
    ¿Está pensando en comenzar su propio negocio? (Taller #1 ) presented by SBA and SBDC.  Register
  • Thursday, Sept. 24 | 9 - 11 a.m. 
    Starting a Business presented by SBDC. Register  
  • Thursday, Sept. 24 | 12 - 2 p.m. 
    Business Development presented by SBA.  Register


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