The New York Small Business Development Center (NYSBDC) is honored to recognize two businesses in Chautauqua County that will be awarded as Statewide Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2022.
These businesses have been selected from more than 20,000 clients of the NYSBDC from the past year. They will be recognized at a press conference on May 2 at 10 am at the Ashville General Store as well as during a virtual statewide ceremony in June.
The NYSBDC Entrepreneur of the Year awards are given to business owners whose efforts and contributions have enabled their business to grow and thrive during the past calendar year with the assistance of SBDC business advisers, research and services.
NY State Minority Entrepreneur of the Year
As a minority entrepreneur, Hector Alverio opened his restaurant, HotSpot Cafe on Valentine’s Day 2020, just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the shut down, he implemented takeout service and not only survived, but thrived. Since restrictions have been lifted, his restaurant has become a real “Hot spot” for city officials, police officers and other downtown business owners for breakfast and lunch. He is expanding into catering events and has become a staple in the community.
NY State Community Business of the Year
Jackie Francis opened the Ashville General Store in 1991 and it quickly became a place for locals and tourists to come and mingle over food made from scratch. It has been open for 30 years not only due to good business decisions, but also by operating with a greater purpose in mind-the idea of community. In fact, tourists from around the country can not wait to make their first stop at the General Store for homemade lunch when they come to the area.
Each of these business owners have overcome obstacles and contributed to the economic growth of the area as female and minority business owners. Their commitment and perseverance have guided them to success, and both have made a positive impact on the economy at both a local and statewide level.
The SBDC at Jamestown Community College is honored to provide free and confidential guidance to the small business community in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany County.
According to SBDC Director Courtney Curatolo, “These individuals have not only inspired the SBDC team of advisers, but also inspire others interested in starting their own small business in our region. It has been very fulfilling watching each of these individuals grow their businesses and see success in a period of economic uncertainty. ”
For more information about the SBDC, visit nysbdc.org.