WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Small Business Administration recognized entrepreneurs that were being recognized in Washington, DC today as part of President Obama's final State of the Union address. Ronna Rice, CEO of Rice's Lucky Clover Honey, Abdirahman Kahin, owner of Afro Deli, and Mark Davis of WDC Solar will attend the speech tonight.
"Under President Obama, our businesses have added 14.1 million jobs over the past 70 months and small businesses create 2 out of 3 net new private-sector jobs. Small business owners like Ronna, Abdirahman, and Mark reflect the entrepreneurial spirit embedded in America, spurring innovation and job creation, making a mark in communities and propelling the economy," said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. "They are prime examples of how Americans can leverage entrepreneurship and SBA resources to jumpstart and scale up, unlocking opportunities in a 21st century middle-class economy."
Rice's Lucky Clover Honey, LLC is a family-operated, 5th generation, woman-owned business since 1924 based in Greely, Colorado. Rice is a guest of the First Lady's 2016 State of the Union Box. Rice's Lucky Clover Honey received a SBA 504 loan in 2015 to expand their honey manufacturing facilities to allow them to integrate into Walmart's supply chain. They specialize in producing raw American and unfiltered honey. The company has expanded across the U.S. and around the world by exporting to Japan, South Korea, and China. As a result, the company has grown domestically and hired additional employees. Rice's Lucky Clover Honey has export sales per year of about $500,000, and the 15 jobs in the company are supported by those exports.
Abdirahman Kahin owner of Afro Deli, LLC in Minneapolis and St. Paul will attend the State of the Union as a guest of Sen. Al Franken (D-MN). Kahin is a Djiboutian Somali who immigrated to Minneapolis in 1995. With over 10 years of experience in the local Minneapolis restaurant and retail industry, he partnered with African Development Center of Minnesota to jumpstart Afro Deli & Coffee in Minneapolis in 2009. Under Kahin's steadfast management, Afro Deli & Coffee expanded its unique cuisine offerings by opening a second location, Afro Deli & Grill in St. Paul with help from SBA's Microloan Program.
Mark Davis of WDC Solar is a guest of the First Lady. Davis was inspired by President Obama's focus on climate change to do something to protect the planet and help his community. Davis took classes, got certified, and started a small business that trains low-income individuals to install solar panels and prepares community members for local green tech jobs. Since 2012, WDC has installed more than 125 solar systems in D.C. at no cost to homeowners with good credit through tax credits and private funds. One of Mark's proudest moments was working with D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility to start a low-income program that has provided funding to install panels on more than 300 homes. And once the panels are installed, the extra power results in a profit every month – money going back into the community he's working to transform. In 2016 he plans to implement similar programs in New York, Pennsylvania and Georgia.
To learn more about SBA tools and resources, go to www.sba.gov. Follow the more related stories this week on #SOTUSmallBiz on social media.
Release Number: 16-02
SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration