The 2022 SBA awardees consisted of 14 small business owners, advocates, and champions across 10 different categories, including the Rhode Island Small Business Person of the Year, Byron Delmonico, Owner of The Riddle Room. With its corporate headquarters located in North Scituate, and locations in East Greenwich and Warwick, The Riddle Room provides participants with a variety of brain teasing puzzles to solve in order to escape. Starting with little more than an idea, Byron was able to utilize the assistance of the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (RISBDC) hosted by the University of Rhode Island to take that idea and build a very successful business with multiple locations. Taking advantage of the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Byron was able to continue to pay his employees during the pandemic and weather the storm during times when businesses were closed. Thanks to his hard work and dedication to his business, Byron has been able to navigate all that COVID has thrown at his business and has thrived as restrictions have been lifted.
Two of the Rhode Island winners are also New England regional award winners: Juli and Scott Chapin of CakeSafe, LLC were named the New England Small Business Manufacturer of the Year, and Mary Ann Shallcross Smith of Dr. Day Care Learning Center was named the New England Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year.
District Director Hayward also presented his District Director Award to both the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center and SCORE Rhode Island for their tremendous efforts throughout the entirety of the pandemic. It is safe to say that, without the expert assistance of these two SBA resource partners, hundreds of businesses would no longer be in operation today.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and that saying perfectly describes each of today’s award winners,” said Mark S. Hayward, SBA RI District Director. “In some way, shape, or form, these small business owners saw opportunity in the pandemic, sought available help, pivoted their businesses, helped their communities, and came out the other side stronger. The financial services advocate and the SBA resource partners were beyond tireless and gracious in supporting small businesses during a time of fear and uncertainty for so many of them, and we are truly grateful for their vital work and pleased to recognize them for it,” he continued.
The Rhode Island District Office of the SBA will begin accepting nomination for the 2023 Small Business Awards later this year. For more information, contact Katie Charron at email@example.com or 401-528-4585.
A complete list of Rhode Island SBA award winners can be found below.
Rhode Island Small Business Person of the Year
Byron Delmonico, Owner & CEO
The Riddle Room, LLC
Warwick & East Greenwich
Rhode Island and New England Small Business Manufacturer
Scott Chapin, Owner
Julianne Chapin, Owner
Rhode Island and New England Woman-Owned Small Business
Mary Ann Shallcross Smith, President & CEO
Dr. Day Care Learning Center
Rhode Island Financial Services Champion
Rhode Island Microenterprise
Kelley McShane, CEO
Granny Squibb’s Organic Iced Tea
Rhode Island Minority-Owned Small Business
Javier Brown, President
Rhode Island Veteran-Owned Small Business
Mark Torok, Owner
Anchor Physical Therapy
Rhode Island Young Entrepreneur
Alexa Trembly, Owner
Emory Harkins, Owner
Rhode Island Joseph G.E. Knight Award For Entrepreneurial Excellence
Katherine Westcott, CEO
Rhode Island District Director Award
Rhode Island Small Business Development Center
Hosted by the University of Rhode Island
Diane Fournaris, State Director
SCORE Rhode Island
James Mutschler & Jeff Bodenstab, Co-Chairs