WV wins Small Business Person of the Year Award

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The 2022 West Virginia Small Business Week Awards was held at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center in Fairmont on Friday.

Jill Scarbro-McLaury, CEO of Bright Futures Learning Services in Winfield, won the National Small Business Person of the Year Award and is the first West Virginian to ever win the award.

“This award validates that taking care of people is always the right thing to do,” said Jill Scarbro-McLaury. “Bright Futures exists to serve marginalized children and their families. By serving them, we help keep more young West Virginians home and we provide jobs for the best kinds of humans, the helping kind. ”

She will be invited to the White House and get honored nationally with SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman.

Hundreds of small businesses across the country will be celebrated, recognized and awarded for impacts within their communities, as this whole week is National Small Business Week.

The five small businesses recognized with SBA W.Va. awards were:

  • Family-Owned Small Business of the Year – Kimberly Mack with Cyclops Industries, Inc.
  • Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year- Julie Zuercher with Sparkle Janitorial Products LLC.
  • Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year- Elizabeth Riffle with Riffle Farms LLC.
  • Exporter of the Year – WV & Mid-Atlantic Region – Kenneth Thompson with Mustang Sampling / Valtronics Solutions, Inc.
  • Small Business Person of the Year – WV & National Award winner – Jill Scarbro with Bright Futures Learning Services.

Three lenders were awarded for giving out loans:

  • West Virginia Microlender of the Year – First Microloan of West Virginia with 14 loans totaling $ 426,416.
  • West Virginia Lender of the Year – Clear Mountain Bank with 31 loans totaling $ 8,062,500.
  • West Virginia Lender of the Year – Huntington National Bank with 73 loans totaling $ 17,787,100.

“We’re excited about honoring all these winners not only the small business person of the year, but veteran owned business, woman-owned business, minority-owned business, and those types of businesses,” said John Fleming, SBA Mid- Atlantic Regional Administrator. “We are very proud to see when any small business has success especially when they are recognized nationally.”

Scarbro-McLaury opened Bright Futures Learning Services in 2007 to provide an Applied Behavior Analysis program for families who are in need. The ABA program was found to be an effective treatment of autism, but it was almost non-existent before Bright Futures opened.

Bright Futures Learning Services is now a million-dollar company with 25 employees that started with one-woman. Not only does Bright Futures improve the lives of children, this small business currently serves as a training facility for young professionals.

Small businesses currently employ more than half of the country’s workforce and produce two out of every three jobs each year.

Ever since 1963, the SBA used National Small Business Week to honor and recognize the contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

For more information about starting a small business in West Virginia, visit wvsbdc.com.

If you want more information on how to start a business with SBA, click here.

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