SEATTLE, WA – October 16, 2014 – King County Executive Dow Constantine celebrated the important contributions of small businesses throughout the county by hosting the fourth annual King County Executive's Small Business Awards on October 15th at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.“King County is the economic engine of our state – and our 70,000 small businesses provide the spark,” said Executive Constantine. “These businesses spur innovation and make our region’s economy resilient.”
Representatives from regional chambers and business organizations selected this year’s top 21 finalists – three in each of seven categories — and ultimately this year’s winners:
- Small Business of the Year: Fremont Brewing Company
- Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: Global Venture
- Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Fryer-Knowles, Inc.
- Exporting Small Business of the Year: Concut, Inc.
- Green/Sustainable Small Business of the Year: Cascadia Consulting Group
- Workforce Development Small Business of the Year: Community Attributes
- Rural Small Business of the Year: Krainick Dairy LLC
To be eligible for the awards, businesses must operate within King County, have 50 or fewer employees, and have been in business for at least three years. More than 40 cities, chambers, and business organizations supported the event by nominating and publicizing the opportunity to their constituents from May through July. This year, the program received 162 nominations in seven award categories — a 59 percent increase over 2013. A list of the 21 finalists is available at: www.kingcounty.gov/smallbusinessawards.
The ceremony, hosted in partnership with presenting sponsors Keeney’s Office Supply, KeyBank, Microsoft Corporation, the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County, and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle – King County, was attended by more than 200 individuals from regional chambers, cities, and small business organizations. KIRO’s Essex Porter emceed.
Sponsors and past winners attending the event reflected on the value of participating and the importance of small business to King County’s economy.
“Winning the 2013 Small Business of the Year award was a tremendous honor, one of the high points of our year,” said Keeney’s Office Supply President Lisa Keeney McCarthy. “We’ve been a small business here since 1947, focused on helping our customers operate efficiently and save money. Our people take enormous pride in making every one of these customers happy and loyal – it’s been a very successful formula for Keeney’s. For King County to recognize our excellence with this award is a wonderful affirmation of the way we do business.”
“Diversity and inclusion are priorities for KeyBank,” added Business Banking Executive Randy Riffle. “And, I’m proud to work for a company listed among Diversity Inc.’s ‘Top 50 Companies for Diversity.’ With that in mind, it’s a special honor to be sponsoring an event that celebrates minority-owned small businesses, their achievements, and the significant contributions they’re making to King County’s economy.”
“We are excited to join the Executive in celebrating the innovation and entrepreneurship of small businesses in King County,” noted Workforce Development Council Chief Executive Officer Marléna Sessions. “Small businesses are critical to growing our economy and expanding the skills of our workforce.”
“Small businesses have been the backbone of our economic recovery, and they are responsible for 60 percent of the net new jobs created since the end of the recession,” said Suzanne Dale Estey, President & CEO of the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County. “The Economic Development Council is proud to be part of this celebration each year to honor the contributions and economic impact of small business throughout King County.”
For more information or to view photos from the event: www.kingcounty.gov/smallbusinessawards