Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Sponsored by: TD Bank
April 25, 2022

A look at small business champions

It's no secret that it has been a tough last few years for small businesses, which have dealt with much disruption and uncertainty during the pandemic.

But as the pandemic continues to (hopefully) fade, small business optimism is increasing, although inflation and the labor shortage still pose significant challenges.

Regardless, it’s a good time to shine a spotlight on some successful small businesses that help serve as the lifeblood of our economy.

Each year, in honor of National Small Business Week, the Small Business Administration of Connecticut recognizes a handful of small companies throughout the state. These awards have been handed out every year since 1963, and the President of the United States issues a proclamation highlighting their contributions to signify the important role of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

This year, the Hartford Business Journal is highlighting the winners from 2022. In the pages that follow you can read profiles about some of the recent SBA award winners, what they do, how they’ve grown or dealt with the pandemic.

The special section was done in partnership with the SBA and through the sponsorship of TD Bank.

Greg Bordonaro


Small Business Person of the Year: Viron Rondo Osteria, Cheshire,Viron Rondos

Exporter of the Year: Goodway Technologies, Stamford, Tim Kane

Family-Owned Small Business of the Year: Atticus Bookstore & Cafe, New Haven, Charlie J. Negaro

Financial Champion: ORMS, West Hartford, Derek Ezovski

Manufacturer of the Year: United Sewing & Design, Hartford, Mary Ruth Shields

Microenterprise of the Year: Bare Life, West Hartford, Ali Lazowski

Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: Kiddie Tech University, West Haven, Lisa Chatman

Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: Counter Weight Brewing, Cheshire, William Pastyrnak

Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Untapped Potential, Hartford, Candace Freedenberg

Women’S Business Center of Excellence: Womens Business Development Council South Central, New Haven, Kenyétta Banks