SBA Names the 2022 Small Business Person of the Year

small business person of the year awarded

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the winner of this year’s Small Business Person of the Year to round off an encouraging National Small Business Week.

Small Business Person of the Year Awarded to Cap National Small Business Week

The week has been themed ‘Building a Better America Through Entrepreneurship’ which aimed to acknowledge small businesses around the country for their resilience, ingenuity and creativity during the recent tough times. The special week also aimed to recognize SBA partners for their involvement in entrepreneurial development, including for the likes of disaster recovery and government contracting.

Small Business Plays ‘Integral Role’ in Economic Recovery

Many businesses like the winner of the latest Small Business Person of the Year award have played an integral role in powering economic the nation’s comeback, which has always been historically strong in the past.

These modern times bring new obstacles and challenges to navigate, with the global pandemic causing supply chain disruptions amongst many other problems.

Administrator Guzman Announces Winner

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said: “Our National Small Business Week honorees reflect the strength of our nation’s entrepreneurial spirit, a spirit of community, grit, and ingenuity. This week we shine a spotlight on the impact they make on our neighborhoods, Main Streets, innovation hubs and manufacturing centers. And I’m honored to recognize West Virginia’s Jill Rae Scarbro as the 2022 Small Business Person of the Year.

“Jill has dedicated herself to providing vital therapy services to improve lives and bring joy to children with special needs. Her small business is a valuable reminder of how much we rely on these brave entrepreneurs to give us the products and services we depend on every day. In the face of adversity during the pandemic, Jill worked with the SBA to get critical relief, pivot her business, retain her workers and find new ways to provide needed services to her customers. My great appreciation and congratulations to Jill and all our 2022 NSBW honorees for their true innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurial achievements which helped our economy and communities recover.”

Small Business Person of the Year

Jill Rae Scarbro is the CEO of Bright Futures Learning Services in Winfield, WV. The company began in 2007 by helping one child in the kitchen of Scarbro’s grandmother. Scarbro then recognized the need for ABA services in West Virginia and began expanding her practice to help more children throughout the state. In 2016, Bright Futures Learning Services moved into a new 7,300 square-foot home thanks to the help of an SBA 504 loan.

Scarbro says she has benefited from other SBA programs and services as well as the 504 Loan, including SCORE, SBDC Counseling, Emerging Leaders Program, SBA District Office training and counseling, COVID-19 EIDL, PPP, and Debt Relief funding.

In 2021, the company opened a second location in Hurricane, WV, and now has 36 employees helping to educate and advocate for children with special needs. The award was given to Scarbro in light of her ability to use SBA’s assistance to retain all of these employees and pay creditors throughout the pandemic.

Image: brightfuturesaba

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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".