SBA News: Meet Wisconsin's 2022 Small Business Person of the Year

Wisconsin District Office--April 12,  2022

u s small business administration

Wisconsin's 2022 SBA Small Business Person of the Year is Chef Dave Heide of Liliana's Restaurant in Fitchburg

2022 National Small Business Week Winner, NSBW

Chef David Heide, SBA Wisconsin's 2022 Small Business Person of the Year

 Dave Heide is the owner and Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef of Liliana’s Restaurant in Fitchburg, Wis.  Since opening in 2007, Liliana’s  has garnered more than 60 awards and interest from beyond Wisconsin for its New Orleans-style cuisine. Pre-COVID, Chef Dave quadrupled the restaurant’s profits and increased its net worth with 90 employees.  He also provided  tens of thousands of dollars annually in non-profit community help. 

With the onset of COVID-19, the restaurant pivoted to 100% online service with take and bake meals. Dave also collaborated with local chefs and farmers to sell food baskets through his program NOM NOM NOM.  SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan, Paycheck Protection Program, and Restaurant Revitalization Fund dollars helped Liliana’s to survive.  Chef Dave also runs the nonprofit Little John’s which turns excess food into delicious chef-made meals for 7,000 food-insecure people weekly, including at its pay-what-you-can restaurant. He is on the boards of Madison Originals, SOAR, Latino Chamber of Commerce, and the YWCA, and is a member of the 100 Men of Dane County. Congratulations! 

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Dave Heide will join other SBA award winners for a free virtual National Small Business Week panel discussion on May 6.

“Resilient and Persistent: Wisconsin SBA ‘s 2022 National Small Business Week Winners.”  Hear how SBA's winners have navigated the challenges and opportunities of the past two years, and learn how they plan to move forward.  The moderator will be Wisconsin’s SBA District Director Eric Ness. The rest of the panel participants and winners will be announced soon! 

May 6, 9 am


The panel is one of ten virtual discussions taking place for new and existing businesses during the Lieutentant Governor's Small Business Academy May 3-6.  Click on the registration link above for more information!

Upcoming SBA Partner Trainings

local assistance, resource partners, coronavirus, get free virtual counseling, mentoring, and training

Virtual Strong Women, Strong Coffee (WWBIC), Apr 13, 8 am

Get to Know Your Workplace Communication Style (Western WI WBC), Apr 13, 10 am

Search Engine Optimization: Technical Search Engine (WWBIC), Apr 13, 5:30 pm

In person! HR Basics for non-HR Professionals (SBDC), Apr 14, 8:30 am

In person! Hire Badgers: Student Staffing Opportunities for Small Business (SBDC), Madison, Apr 18, 2 pm

The Contracting Academy (WPI), Apr 20, 10 am

Search Engine Optimization: Keyword Search (WWBIC), Apr 20, 5:30 pm

Doing Business with the US Forest Service (WPI), Apr 21, 10 am

Low Income? Level Up! (WWBIC), Apr 21, 6 pm

Guía Paso a Paso Para Obtener un Préstamo de WWBIC, Apr 22, 6 pm

Contabilidad I (WWBIC), Apr 23, 10 am

Cup of Joe (WWBIC), Apr 26, 8 am

Doing Business with the National Park Service (WPI), Apr 26, 10 am

Start, Run, Grow Your Business (WWBIC), Apr 26, 6 pm

Start a Small Business in 8 Steps (Western WI WBC), Apr 28, 6 pm

Contabilidad II (WWBIC), Apr 30, 10 am

Find more webinars and events for your business success on SBA's calendar at

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