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Small Business Week - A Time to Celebrate

It’s that time of the year again! National Small Business Week in which we, the small businesses of America, are recognized. According to the SBA, “More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.” That means that you, a small business owner, are the backbone of America.

Participating in the events of National Small Business Week is already an accomplishment in itself. Thousands and thousands of business owners congregate nationwide, and that means if you’re there, then you are feeling and contributing to the incredible energy in the room. And what’s one of the best parts? The ability to network with other extremely talented and hardworking individuals who share the same passion as you do for creating your own future.

Here at The National Association for the Self-Employed, we encourage all of our small business owners to participate in any way possible.

Although we are all winners because we have achieved becoming self-employed, there is one overall national winner at the end of National Small Business Week. This person receives the most prestigious award at the most prestigious Small Business event in the
nation. With that being said, what qualifies for an award of such caliber? Let’s look at last year’s winners of National Small Business Persons of the Year and see what made them stand out among thousands of other small business owners around the country.

As any business owner knows, going from an idea to actually making your first dollar is not an easy task. And going from an idea to making $12- $16 million a year is downright almost unimaginable to some. But that is exactly what Garrett Marrero and his co-
founder Melanie Oxley did.

Garrett told CNBC in an interview in 2017 a little bit about how he decided to start Maui Brewing Company. After graduating from college and working in a cushy finance job in San Francisco, Greg took a vacation to Maui. He immediately fell in love and decided that he wanted to live there in the future. After some thought, he felt he needed to live there now. But how?

During his visit, being an avid craft beer drinker, Garrett wanted to drink a beer that was made on the island. When he was told that there wasn’t anything crafted in Maui, he was both shocked and inspired. Soon after that, Greg and his then girlfriend and partner
decided to move to Maui to start a brewery. Garrett was just a young 26-year-old with huge dreams of a permanent island life and great beer.

Their journey with raising capital was not an easy one. Almost every one of us as a business owner has been met with challenges in the stage of taking our ideas into a reality. Money is always a concern and a necessity. After speaking to bank after bank, Garrett and Melanie were denied over and over again for a loan to open their first store front. Although they felt defeated for a long time, they finally raised some money from their family and successfully took out a loan. In 2005, they opened up Maui Brewing company and began a journey that would change their life forever.

Within a few years, the demand for their craft island style beer was so high that they began to outgrow their pub. They began manufacturing and packing their beer elsewhere. By 2013 and another two facilities later, Maui Brewing Company was making more that $10 million in sales. Not bad for a 26-year-old with what others would call a “crazy” dream. The company now employs 400+ employees, and with their ever-expanding business, expects to employ about 700+ employees by 2019.

It’s absolutely no surprise as to why Garrett and Melanie won Small Business Persons of the Year. They are the epitome of what the American Dream is all about. They started with an idea which led into an action which resulted in never-ending success.

Maui Brewing company has shown an extremely impressive growth curve over the years in both size and sales. The kind that all business owners wish to have. But how does one succeed to this level of success and more? It is definitely a combination of a great
idea, a market that lacks your product, persistence and extremely hard work. As a small business owner, you know that this perfect cocktail is much easier imagined than done.

How Can You Become the Next National Small Business Person of The Year?
Although it is not an easy task, it certainly isn’t an impossible feat. Just like starting your own business, it is attainable! In order to qualify for the prestigious award of being named National Small Business Person of the Year, you must first fill out an application on the Small Business Administration website. Although it is too late for the 2018 awards, you can definitely fill your application out in the Fall.

The application asks for pages of information about your company, including a backstory, yearly growth and sales.

Will You Attend NSBW Events?
Being self-employed is definitely not for everyone. It truly takes a different type of person to take themselves away from the 9-5 mentality, and deep into a 24/7 mindset. Waking up every morning knowing that you are your own boss forces you to become your
own self motivator. National Business week events will surround you with thousands of entrepreneurs who face the same challenges you do.

If you cannot make it to a national event, I highly encourage you to find a local event, or find a live stream online. There is no support and motivation like that of fellow small business owners telling their success stories.

NASE, as you know, supports and attends National Small Business Week. NASE is also a devoted supporter of the SBA loan programs, as well as efforts to provide tax relief and increased lending for small business owners. We take pride in assisting small business
owners like you with any resources available to us.

For more information on NSBW, visit the SBA website for updates. To stay up to speed with the latest information on NASE, visit our website at We are here to help you get started on your entrepreneurial journey or in assisting you with growing your

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