2020 Utah Small Business Persons of the Year

jen joseph watsonJoseph and Jen Watson, K9 Sport Sack, Orem

Joseph and Jen Watson of K9 Sport Sack in Orem have been selected as the 2020 Small Business Week Utah Small Business Persons of the Year. The couple will represent Utah in the national competition during Small Business Week, Sept. 22-24, and will participate in the virtual national ceremony on Sept. 22, as well as the Utah recognition virtual ceremony on Sept. 24.

Since launching their business in 2015, the Watsons have made a global impact on the pet industry, shifting the way people incorporate pets into their modern lives. They originally designed a front-facing dog backpack for their then-puppy Daisy, whom they rescued from a dumpster. The resulting design morphed into a light-weight carrier that has grown in popularity internationally. The carrier allows people to carry their pets on public transportation and enjoy everyday activities regardless of the pet’s age or ability. 

K-9 Sport Sack has grown exponentially each year since its inception and throughout, the Watsons have stayed true to their “no dog left behind” mission. The company has supported numerous animal rescue organizations as well as homeless and disabled pets, while using social media and their considerable online following to support those efforts.

Most recently the Watsons have worked with the SBA to secure funding through the Paycheck Protection Program to help keep their employees paid and working through the coronavirus pandemic. They also applied for SBA loans through the 7(a) Loan Program.

2020 Utah District and Region VIII Exporter of the Year

natalie kaddasNatalie Kaddas, Kaddas Enterprises Inc., Salt Lake City

Kaddas Enterprises of Salt Lake City has been selected the 2020 SBA Small Business Week Utah Exporter of the Year as well as the Region VIII Exporter of the Year. Natalie Kaddas is the company's president and CEO.

Since 1966, Kaddas Enterprises has been a leader in thermoform plastic manufacturing. The company utilizes high-quality materials and innovative design to develop products and solutions for a wide variety of industries, including medical, transportation and utilities. Kaddas also manufactures polymer parts for the aviation industry. Kaddas has been providing full-service engineering from consultation and drafting through prototype creation and final production, while maintaining its dedication to sustainable business practices for the past 50 years.

“We wanted to grow, but we needed more space and also wanted to start exporting,” said Kaddas. So, the company applied and secured a $1 million SBA 504 loan to buy a bigger facility and also applied for and received STEP grants from 2015 to 2019 to help make show its products at international trade shows where the company could network and find clients.  

“Our partners in specific regions have helped us to understand cultural differences and negotiate any importing, shipping or payment problems,” Kaddas said. “This has been extremely helpful.  We have also developed a network of support in the areas we have travelled to during trade missions. In addition, we rely on the expertise of the SBA, U.S. Commercial Services, World Trade Center Utah and other world trade associations to help navigate any challenges that arise,” Kaddas said.

2020 Utah SBA District Office Award

gabe reidGabe Reid, PureEnviro Management LLC, Spanish Fork

PureEnviro Management LLC, owned by Gabe Reid, is the winner of the 2020 SBA National Small Business Week Utah District Office Award. PureEnviro is a construction management and environmental services company based in Spanish Fork.

PureEnviro Management is a Small Business Administration certified 8(a) company with a second office in American Samoa. The company has completed projects for the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Forest Service, among others.

Reid founded the business in 2017 as a small environmental consulting business. Since then the business has grown by 300 percent and has added general construction to its services. 

PureEnviro also uses its influence and technologies as a vehicle to do good for others. “We live by the core value that great businesses are built on relationships, not projects. We consider our clients family and are always pushing for innovation to provide the best for solution for them,” Reid said. Reid also founded the nonprofit organization A Widow’s Wish to help provide something special to someone who has lost a loved one. The foundation accepts anonymous nominations to help widows with their needs.

Reid, known as “Uncle Gabe” to many, also played football at the highest levels, starting out young and then attending and playing for Brigham Young University. He signed with the Chicago Bears, where he played tight end for four years and played in a Super Bowl.

2020 SBA Utah Region 8(a) Graduate of the Year

saphanie loudStephanie Loud, Mountain West Precast, Brigham City

Mountain West Precast of Brigham City has been selected as the 2020 Small Business Administration Utah Region 8(a) Graduate of the Year. The company, owned by Stephanie Loud, provides concrete products and services to both civil and government restoration projects. The company repairs and replaces concrete installations such as failing pavement, hillsides, shorelines and bridges.

Loud started the busines in 2002 with a partner. With her background in marketing, she came in initially to help market the new company. In 2005, Loud became the sole owner of the business. As a woman-owned business in a man-dominated industry — the only one in Utah and one of only a few in the country — Loud said Mountain West had a difficult time initially getting contractors to take them seriously. “It was a slow process,” she said.

Loud’s knowledge of the precast industry evolved after she joined the National Precast Concrete Association. She networked through the NPCA, got involved with precast plant owners around the country and their mentorship has helped her succeed.

Loud completed the Small Business Administration Emerging Leaders Program, which she said proved to be very insightful. She found it so helpful that she is currently back in college again and will complete her MBA at BYU. According to Loud, the skills and concepts taught in the Emerging Leaders program were so valuable, she knew she wanted to pursue a deeper understanding of business education. She credits her MBA totally to the Emerging Leaders Program.

Utah Small Business Development Center of the Year

sbdc jpgSalt Lake Small Business Development Center

The Utah Small Business Development Centers have training, tools and access to consultants to help business owners succeed in starting, growing and transitioning their businesses. For more information about the free services provided, visit https://utahsbdc.org/, where you can register for services online.

Utah and Region VIII Women’s Business Center of the Year

wbc utahWomen's Business Center of Utah

The mission of the Women’s Business Center of Utah is to help Utah women build confidence, create opportunities and experience success in business ownership.

For more information about the free services provided, visit https://wbcutah.org/ or email info@wbcutah.org.

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