FAIRMONT — A Wood County company was among four celebrated by the Small Business Administration as 2023 Small Business Week Award winners in a ceremony May 3 at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center in Fairmont.
Doug Kreinik of Kreinik Mfg Co Inc. in Parkersburg was named the Small Business Exporter of the Year. He was nominated by Marsa Myers, of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center.
The 2023 West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year Award went to Anthony and Heather Wheeler of Paris Signs in Huntington. They were nominated by Doug Harper of the Development Center.
The Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year Award was presented to Angie Cowger of Custard Stand Chili/The Custard Stand in Webster Springs. Crystal Dempsey from the Hip Communications nominated the company.
Anne Perella of A&J Sewing Studio in Morgantown is the Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year. She was nominated by Sharon Stratton & Frank Goldsborough of the Development Center.
“We are so proud of these four award winners and honored to be a part in recognizing their hard work and dedication. Small businesses are an integral part of West Virginia’s economy and make up approximately half of all the companies and jobs in the state,” Steve Johnson, state director of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, said. “The Small Business Awards is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the impact of these great businesses and celebrate their success.”
The ceremony was sponsored by the Development Center and the Small Business Administration West Virginia District Office.
“I may be a little biased, but I think the Mountain State has the best small businesses in the nation,” Karen Friel, West Virginia District director of the Small Business Administration, said.
The four West Virginia small businesses that were recognized this year for Small Business Week have been through one of the toughest eras with a national pandemic, she said.
“And they came out stronger and better than ever,” Friel said. “We try not to use the word ‘pivot,’ but that is exactly what they did and I look forward to seeing their future success.”