AUSTIN—Business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, and guests from numerous other organizations joined together to applaud three outstanding small businesses in Austin for their hard work and contributions to the small business community. The small businesses were presented with Texas Small Business Awards at the inaugural State of Small Business luncheon at the 2014 Getting Connected small business resource event, which featured a Governor’s Small Business Forum.
The Entermedia Group (TEG), a diversity compliance management consultant and software provider, was honored for Excellence in Use of a Microloan. The award honors a local company that has creatively managed the use of a microloan –a loan of $50,000 or less—to create or expand their small business. Lorraine Jordan, President/CEO of TEG, is an advocate for minority-, woman-, LGBT- and veteran-owned businesses in Austin. Before seeking out funding from microfinance, Jordan only had two employees. With the help of a microloan, the TEG team has been awarded several term contracts and now employs 10 diversity and contract specialists.
Austin Sailboat Rentals, LLC was presented with an award for Excellence in Keeping the Character of the Community. This award honors a local company that embraces Austin’s unique culture and gives back to the community it serves while adapting to change. Austin Sailboat Rentals estimates that it has trained more than 1,000 beginner sailors, including 300 children ages 6-15. Austin Sailboat Rentals is committed to providing an environmentally friendly recreation opportunity to Austinites and supports several community service organizations, including AmeriCorps VISTA, Austin Discovery School, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Livestrong Foundation.
D. Martin Homes, LLC was honored for Excellence in Hiring. D. Martin Homes’ Green Solution Systems worked with the American YouthWorks YouthBuild program on a project installing solar panel systems on 5-star energy efficient homes in the East Austin area for low-income, first-time home buyers. Since then, Green Solution Systems has continued to work with YouthBuild and has employed several YouthBuild program participants who had significant barriers to employment. Green Solution Systems shows a continued commitment to work with the YouthBuild program and support its mission to help at-risk youth in the Austin area.
“Companies like the three we honored today are exactly what makes Austin such a great place to live and do business,” said Kevin Johns, Director of the Economic Development Department for the City of Austin. “Small business is vital to the Austin economy and I want to thank the award winners and all the other small businesses in the city that give so much back to the community.”
Local nonprofits nominated small businesses for the Texas Small Business Awards and City of Austin managers in various departments selected the winners.
Getting Connected was held at Palmer Events Center on Sept. 25th. The free event gave entrepreneurs access to classes, panel sessions, one-on-one assistance and face-to-face interactions with representatives from area groups providing guidance on many topics of interest to small business owners, including business planning, funding, networking, accounting and business law.
About the City of Austin Economic Development Department
The Economic Department was created to lead the economic development, redevelopment, small business, music and cultural arts support for the City. Together, the mission of these programs is to create a cultural and economic environment that enhances the vitality of the community in a manner that preserves Austin's character and environment.
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