LED Honors 2021 Louisiana Small Business Award Winners

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana Economic Development recognized business owners who exemplify Louisiana’s entrepreneurial spirit at the 2021 Louisiana Small Business Awards ceremony hosted by LED Secretary Don Pierson Thursday.

“According to the SBA, small businesses account for 53 percent of Louisiana workers, and 99 percent of Louisiana employers,” Governor John Bel Edwards told attendees of the virtual event. “Every day, we witness their dedication – to their companies, their employees, and their communities. When your business thrives, Louisiana prospers. So it gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the entire state, to join you in honoring companies who have earned special recognition over the past year.”

Pierson noted that LED and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network served 17,534 small businesses and individuals last year, directly resulting in 2,136 new jobs, 2,111 retained jobs and the launch of 134 new businesses representing more than $93 million in capital formation.

“As a former small business owner myself, I understand well the unique challenges and rich rewards of running a small business,” Pierson told attendees. “Louisiana small businesses contribute to a growing economy and are critical in spawning new ideas and solutions to common hurdles. On behalf of all my LED colleagues, thank you for all you do, in your business and in your local community.”

The Small Business Award program recognizes top performers in a broad range of categories. Eighteen business leaders received awards received awards at Thursday’s event. The 2021 honorees are:

LED Small and Emerging Business of the Year
Robert Fruge and Matthew Zaunbrecher
Under Pressure Premier Pressure Washing, LLC

LED Resiliency Award
Dalia R. Matheus
Global Management Enterprise, LLC
Lake Charles

Michael Berthelot
Rockin Mozart Academy, LLC
Port Allen

Virginia Huling and David Maples
Catapult Creative Media Inc.
Baton Rouge

LED Community Impact Award
Michael Gennaro
Metairie Bank

Chanda Foster
Pelican State Credit Union
Baton Rouge

Richard Williams
Essential Federal Credit Union
Baton Rouge

H. Carter Leak IV
Bank of St. Francisville
St. Francisville

Claire Benoit
Rayne Building & Loan Association

Hudson and Veteran Champions
Major General D. Keith Waddell
Department of Military Affairs

Shirley Merrick
Office of Elderly Affairs
Office of Governor John Bel Edwards

Louisiana PTAC Government Contractor of the Year
Jared Seré
SolVet Services, LLC

MEP of Louisiana Small Business Award
Don Fowler
AFCO Industries, Inc.

NFIB Small Business Champion Award
Becky Walker
The Design Studio of Louisiana
Baton Rouge

USDA Rural Development Lender of the Year
Michael Riché
United Community Bank

USDA Rural Development Borrower of the Year
Michael Maenza
Mr. Mudbug, Inc.

View a YouTube recording of the virtual ceremony here.

About LED
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. In 2020, LED attracted 58 new economic development projects representing over 11,600 new jobs, 8,600 retained jobs and more than $12.7 billion in new capital investment. LED’s Small Business Services team, in conjunction with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network, assisted more than 17,500 Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in 2020. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.



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