The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) works hard to help provide resources to small businesses throughout the country. The organization has also been known to award certificates of excellence to some of the best small businesses that have made an impact in their community. The New York branch of the organization has officially recognized four upstate New York businesses in Onondaga County as deserving of these Small Business Excellence Awards.
The winning businesses? Farmer Street Pantry in the city of Syracuse; Finger Lakes Photography, Inc. in Skaneateles; Justin’s Canine Campus in Liverpool; and Caz Community Fitness in Cazenovia.
These businesses have to be nominated and recommended by lenders and/or resource partners to be up for this prize. The rigorous selection process looks at various aspects of the small business’s success. Not only does the SBA look at the longevity of the business, but they also consider the company’s demonstrated innovation, if they have met or surpassed sales growth goals, and have grown in terms of employment. Since Medicaid numbers actually decreased from 2017 to 2018, the ability to provide for their employees is an important factor.
On top of that, the SBA also looks at the company’s contributions to the local community and if they have overcome adversity to thrive in this day and age.
“There’s no question that our local businesses on Main Street are what fuel and provide the critical backbone of our local, regional, and national economies,” explains Bernard J. Paprocki, the district director for SBA Upstate New York. “Small business owners are deeply connected to their communities, employ local residents, and contribute to the vibrancy and innovation of our nation.”
Farmer Street Pantry is owned by Lynne Della Pelle Pascale. According to its site, the company produces fruit products, including maple syrup and cider. While 14% of homeowners plan to remodel their kitchen, Pascale took it a step further by opening her own pantry full of locally-sourced ingredients from New York State. The store also offers a range of delicious recipes on their site. If you’re not willing to travel to Syracuse, their canned fruits are sold throughout the state.
Finger Lake Photography specializes in commercial photography and fine art, according to their website. After all, photography is a key aspect in marketing and one that many businesses should take advantage of. As many as 61% of marketers claim to put importance on SEO, but clicks to a company’s website will also hinge on beautiful images from professional photographers. Finger Lakes Photography, owned by John F. McCarthy, features prints from around the Finger Lakes, Ireland, and Skaneateles.
Justin’s Canine Campus offers grooming, daycare services, and training for dogs of all kinds. Their site features a range of cute dog photos along with customer reviews. With such glowing praise, it makes sense as to why this company was chosen for this prestigious award.
Cazenovia Community Fitness is a gym in the beautiful city of Cazenovia. They reopened their doors on August 24 after being closed down because of COVID-19 restrictions. The gym is normally open for 24 hours and features a range of classes for all skill levels.
The U.S. SBA has been honoring small businesses for the past 50 years. When you want to celebrate local entrepreneurs, nominate your favorite shops and visit the winners to show your support.