GOFFSTOWN— In the culmination of the Small Business Week, winners of the Mayor's Small Business Awards were announced at the second annual breakfast yesterday, including a new category for Queen City Award.
“If you don't succeed at first,” Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas said to the entrepreneurs present, “give it another try, because if you are valiant enough to start it the first time, you will succeed the second time when you put you foot forward and do it agin.”
Awards were given out for small business growth, innovation, and community service, in addition to The Queen City Award, which was given to Indian Head Athletics.
Gail York of Indian Head Athletics said good business is about the fundamentals. “You have to have integrity, you have to believe in what you're doing, you have to treat people fairly.”
Congressman Frank Guinta gave the keynote address at the St. Anselm College event, challenging the widely held notion of a deadlocked Congress.
“In the House of Representatives we have 35 different jobs-related bill that have gone to committee,” Guinta said, “almost every single one of them bipartisan.”
Guinta said he would like to see more New Hampshire companies going public domestically. “We want to restore that here in America. I want to see people in this room listing on an American exchange when you become public.”
Guinta posed the question of what people can do at the federal level to inspire innovation. “I personally believe that the best way to do that is to allow you as a business owner to keep more of your assets, more of your profits, for yourself so you can decide how best to reintroduce those dollars into your own business.”
The Small Business Growth Award went to Ty-Flot, which since 2008 has doubled their yearly sales volume and tripled their work force.
“It means a lot to our employees, it means that we are growing,” said owner Darrell Moreau. Ty-Flot has eight employees, including three owners.
Most of the industrial safety company's business is done with Europe, Moreau said, primarily with nuclear power companies.
The Small Business Community Service Award went to Benton Shoe Co., established 90 years ago in Boston and opened in Manchester in 1992. Susan Baroff, the granddaughter of the company's founder, said four years ago they became the key sponsor of the Annual Fashion Show fundraiser for the non-profit Court Appointed Special Advocates.
“It's grown I would say at least tenfold,” Baroff said. “This year we raised $45,000.”
The Small Business Innovation Award was won by Siege Technologies, a cyber-tech research and development firm. Founder Jason Syversen accepted the award.
“We do information warfare (work) for the Defense Department and the intelligence community, and a combination of offensive/defensive technology,” he said.
Syversen said the company's small size provides an edge over larger companies that have trouble maintaining high-end talent and often deliver the predictable.
“They'll have like one smart guy and a bunch of warm bodies behind them,” he said. “And the small companies have a ton of smart guys.”
Syversen founded the company in 2009 after working for 10 years at BAE. Siege has 13 employees and will be looking to add two positions in coming months.
Guinta invoked Facebook to pep talk struggling entrepreneurs: “Those people who became instant millionaires were not millionaires to start with. They were people who took a chance at working for a company that could have failed, but thankfully succeeded, and will take that capital and create more small businesses.”