For 60 years, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week recognizing the critical contributions of America's entrepreneurs and small-business …
For 60 years, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week recognizing the critical contributions of America's entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
Every day, those small business owners work to grow, create jobs, drive innovation and increase America's global competitiveness.
In recognizing the changing business world of America, the Small Business Administration's National Small Business Week awards honor individuals and businesses that reflect the nation's rich diversity.
On a state level, the Alabama Small Business Administration selected the Alabama Small Business Person of the Year as well as other local-level awards representing Alabama-based businesses such as minority-owned, rural-owned, veteran-owned and woman-owned Small Businesses of the Year.
Daryle Thomas of Thomas Accounting and Tax Services LLC in Selma was selected to represent Alabama as the Small Business Person of the Year and could potentially be deemed by the administrator as the National Winner of SBPOY.
These awards seek to highlight and recognize Alabama businesses that represent Alabama's robust and rich culture, contribute to the local economy by creating jobs and providing innovative goods and services across the nation.
"Congratulations to the Alabama Small Business Week award winners," said William Cummins, state director of the Alabama Small Business Development Center Network. "Truly, the small businesses in Alabama are accomplishing so much in our state and our nation. The Alabama Small Business Development Center and Alabama APEX Accelerator programs are honored to support these businesses in their journey to success."
Two Foley-based woman-owned businesses received local-level awards.
Christina Woerner McInnis of Soilkit by AgriTech Corporation
Christina Woerner McInnis is a fifth-generation farmer from the Woerner Family who has been farming in the area for over 100 years.
In 2019, McInnis founded AgriTech Corp. and created SoilKit to make scientific soil testing easy for homeowners and landscapers. With the use of a smartphone, users can conduct a scientific soil test and SoilKit will geolocate your property, calculate the size of your lawn and maintain an online history of results. Users are provided easy-to-understand results with soil treatment recommendations to keep lawns and gardens healthy.
Initially, when SoilKit first went to market, it was only direct-to-consumers at soilkit.com and online on Amazon. Under McInnis's leadership, AgriTech Corp. landed contracts with eight lawn and garden distributors, one major land grant university, one big-box retailer and dozens of landscape companies in its first year of operation. Like many businesses, ArgiTech had suffered during the pandemic as a young company but was able to secure SBA's paycheck protection program forgivable loans and an Economic Injury Disaster Loan COVID-19 relief.
Sydney Cody of Vanguard Pacific
Sydney Cody served as a Naval officer in the Civil Engineers Corps for nearly six years.
She worked for Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command as the assistant resident officer in charge of construction for military construction projects. She also completed a tour of duty in Djibouti, Africa, where she led approximately 120 Seabees executing various rudimentary construction projects across the continent in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2016, she purchased 51% ownership of Vanguard Pacific and assumed 100% ownership in 2020. Vanguard Pacific is a government construction company with services ranging from green field facilities, renovations of occupied spaces, HVA, roofing, painting, protective coatings and disaster response. It is currently participating in the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program.