It’s National Small Business Week! Since 1963, when President Kennedy first proclaimed it, we celebrate the great contributions of small businesses during the first week of May.


Small businesses are the backbone of our country. And we know that women-owned businesses are playing a greater and more significant role in our country’s economy with each passing year. The latest data confirms that women-owned businesses generate $1.4 billion in annual revenue and employ 8 million people.

There are some great successes to share…

  • Like Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell from Equator Coffees & Teas who just won the 2016 Small Business of the Year award. Their dream first started in 1995 with them roasting coffee in Brooke’s garage. The business now has 90 employees and 350 wholesale customers. Huge congratulations to these two for their success and this prestigious award.
  • Shout out Angela O’Byrne, President of Perez, APC, too – she was the runner-up. She might have lost 23 of 25 contracts as a result of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but she never lost her determination. Years later, the business has won multi-million dollar & worldwide contracts. Angela dreamed big, and is both an advocate for and inspiration to other women in architecture and construction.
  • And Diane Lewis-Jackson, founder of Action Facilities Management Inc. She founded the business in her basement in 2001, and has successfully grown the company – from two employees to 250 employees in nine states. Today, AFM is a premier government and commercial contractor and Diane won the 8(a) Graduate Firm of the Year award.

These stories are a testament that every business starts small – and with a dream. During this special week, we’ll continue to celebrate the many more amazing women that are out there.