ACEDC Entrepreneurs Receive VT Business Awards

Two Addison County businesses were among 5 entrepreneurs who were recently presented with the 2017 Vermont Small Business Awards at a ceremony in Middlebury. Each year Vermont small businesses compete for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) awards in a number of categories. Each business nominated submits a narrative and financial data validating employment growth, financial success, expansion and community involvement. The SBA has been presenting these awards since 1967. This year the SBA handed out awards in five categories, two of which were Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) members.

The top award, Small Business Person of the Year, went to Michael Rainville, founder and owner of Maple Landmark in Middlebury, VT. Maple Landmark manufactures wooden games and toys, and custom work such as plaques and trophies. He started it in 1979 in his parents’ basement and has expanded it several times over the year. Today, he has a workforce of more than 40 in 28,000 square-foot facility. Maple Landmark sells to more than 2,000 retailers throughout the world and performs custom work for more than 200 companies and institutions. Gov. Phil Scott presented the award, praising Rainville’s commitment to his craft, his staff and to Vermont.

Bee's Wrap, a 100 percent woman-owned business, located in Bristol was awarded the Woman-Owned Business of the Year. Founded in 2012 by Sarah Kaeck, the company mixes cotton and bee's wax to make a reusable natural substitute to plastic wrap for food storage. More than 1,000 retailers sell her wraps throughout four continents.

In addition to handing out small business awards, the SBA also recognized ACEDC Partner Robin Miller director of the Vermont Procurement Technical Assistance Center and her staff for assisting Vermont companies obtain federal and state contracts. In the last three years, VT PTAC has helped award more than 2,000 contracts worth more than $300 million throughout the state.