COLUMBIA -- The South Carolina Small Business Development Centers, the state’s premier provider of business assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners, announced that four of its clients were recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration-South Carolina District Office for outstanding achievement in advancing the needs of the small business community.
The awards were presented in a ceremony honoring National Small Business Week held May 1 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
The SBA named Karen Jenkins of KRJ Consulting the 2019 State Female Small Business Person of the Year, Boyd and Nichole Johnson of Boyd Cycling South Carolina State Exporter of the Year, Srikanth Kodeboyina of Blue Eye Soft Corp the State and Southeast Regional 2019 Minority Small Business Person of the Year and Hemalata Patel of Courtesy Management the 2019 State and Southeast Regional Rural Small Business Owner of the Year.
"The development and growth of small businesses in South Carolina are essential to the state's overall economy," said SC SBDC State Director Michele Abraham. "The SC SBDC is committed to providing support and opportunities to companies like KRJ Consulting, Boyd Cycling, Blue Eye Soft and Courtesy Management to help them succeed."
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The Rural Small Business Owner award recognizes recipients for their operational excellence as a rural small business owner, their efforts to increase the awareness of the contributions of rural small businesses to economic vitality and create a better business environment.
“I am most honored and grateful to receive the Rural Small Business Person of the Year Award. Winning the award only strengthens our small business’ resolve to continue to grow, to continue to seek out new opportunities, to continue to innovate, and to continue to build systems that benefit our employees, our broader community, and our most important group of people--our guests,” said Hemalata Patel, owner of Courtesy Management. “I want to single out one particular person for special recognition, Jimmy Johnson, SC State University region director of the S.C. SBDC. Many thanks to Jimmy for submitting my nomination.”
Orangeburg-based Courtesy Management is an award-winning hotel and property management company that is redefining the concept of excellence in hospitality. Over the past three decades, Courtesy Management has built and managed over 25 hotels by partnering with industry leading brands such as IHG, Hilton, CHOICE Hotels, Best Western, Marriott, and Wyndham Hotels Group. Since 1997, the company has developed and invested in premier assets in small to mid-sized communities, implemented effective business strategies and operating procedures, managed market leading properties, all while focusing on sustainable construction and operations. Today, the company not only builds and manages their own award-winning hotels but is growing into a successful third-party management company for franchise owners and investors that seek to partner with a trusted ally and team of hospitality industry professionals committed to taking ‘a hands-on approach’ in their assets and maximizing and delivering positive financial results.
Earlier this year, Patel was also named Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year.