SBA Officials visit Eastern Pennsylvania’s 2022 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Eastern Pennsylvania District Office

 

u s small business administration

SBA Officials visit Eastern Pennsylvania’s 2022 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

2022 National Small Business Week Winner, NSBW

Cedarville Engineering Group presented with award May 24

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Eastern Pennsylvania District Office announces Cedarville Engineering Group, LLC (CEG) in Pottstown is the 2022 Eastern Pennsylvania Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year. April Barkasi, CEG founder and majority partner, will receive the award at a ceremony at the company’s Pottstown location May 24. Media are invited to attend.

WHEN:   May 24 at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE:159 E. High St., Pottstown

CEG is an engineering technology company specializing in design-build solutions in civil engineering, environmental services, surveying, construction management, and aerial services for federal, state, and local managers. Barkasi started the business in 2010 as a sole proprietor and now leads a team of more than 35 professionals in two offices (Pottstown and Pensacola, Florida). The business is a federally certified 8(a)Business and Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and is also DBE/WBE certified.   

Barkasi is a Professional Engineer (P.E.) with primary roles as CEO and Director of Sales and Marketing. In 2017, after a staff member completed SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative the prior year, CEG stepped into the federal contracting arena. With the assistance of their local Procurement Technical Assistance Center, CEG became certified through the SBA 8(a) program in May 2017 and began focusing on acquiring work from the federal government. Barkasi formed two joint ventures and invested in training for existing staff in project management skills while continuing to hire quality professionals. When the pandemic struck, they were able to retain all but one employee with funding from SBA’s COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

It’s a privilege to recognize the achievements of women-owned Pennsylvania small businesses like Cedarville Engineering Group. Financial survival requires perseverance and creativity,” said Steve Dixel, SBA Eastern Pennsylvania District Director. “April faced unique challenges, learned resilience, and forged stronger relationships with clients and partners. Small business owners like April continue to play a central role in building a stronger economy. We are proud the SBA’s federal government contracting programs played a key role in helping them succeed.” 

“The SBA has been a key partner and resource for April and the growth of CEG,” said nominator Curt Hatfield, P.E., C.O.O, Cedarville Engineering Group. “The SBA 8(a) Business Development program has helped us grow service lines and expand our geographic footprint. We achieved our highest annual revenue in 2020 and had had 50% growth above that in 2021.”

Barkasi says applying the appropriate level of engineering effort and resources to accomplish a task exemplifies efficiency and professionalism in the construction industry, and service can be exceptional when emerging technologies are employed in a highly creative fashion. In 2016 Barkasi was the recipient of the Engineering News Record Newsmaker Award for her use of innovative technology for the redevelopment of contaminated public lands. In 2021, she received the Villanova University Professional Achievement award for her contributions to technology and entrepreneurship. In addition to acquiring and renovating the building that serves as CEG’s headquarters in Pottstown, Barkasi has invested both time and money in other transformative economic revitalization projects in Pottstown.

“Any civil engineer can lay a pipe; that’s not a unique skill. But the way we apply technology to improve the client experience and to empower them with knowledge allows us to be different,” said Barkasi. “My love for humanity and capitalism has fueled a passion for redevelopment and workforce development of the economically stressed community and HUBZone that CEG calls home. It is rewarding to be named SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year. I am honored that Curt nominated us and SBA selected our business.”

Barkasi is also president-elect of the Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce; a member of the Board of Directors and Small Business Committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Society of Military Engineers; and serves on the Board of Directors at Seniors and Sprouts, a local organization bringing together senior citizens and youth by using nature and gardening as a conversation starter.

SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year award winner is selected annually from among nominees located across the 40 counties of eastern Pennsylvania.

National Small Business Week recognizes the small business community’s contribution to the American economy. Learn more about National Small Business Week at https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week.

 

For interviews with Cedarville Engineering Group or additional information, contact Sonia Smith at sonia.smith@sba.gov