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San Diego
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Small-Biz Owners Get A Bit of Recognition

It should come as no surprise that small businesses make up the vast majority of all companies in San Diego.

Within San Diego’s city limits alone there are more than 60,000 small businesses, according to the city’s Office of Small Business.

Defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration as entities that do not dominate an industry or maintain a national presence, small firms and their ownership confront daily challenges, from providing health care to raising capital.

Recognizing the ongoing issues faced by small-business owners, the SBA has honored local small-business owners and advocates with its annual awards.

Avram Ninyo, the SBA’s 2005 Small Business Person of the Year, is president and principal engineer of Ninyo & Moore, a geotechnical and environmental sciences consultants. Ninyo has grown his business from four employees in 1986 to more than 260 today.

Since then, Ninyo has fought through several recessions, leading his company to achieve revenues now estimated at $30 million.

Honorees include Betty Hall, a veterinarian and owner of Canyon Creek Animal Hospital, a Carlsbad-based full-service veterinary clinic and animal hospital. The facility was named Women-Owned Small Business of the Year. David and Ruby Konstantin’s K-CO Construction Inc. is the 2005 Family Owned Small Business of the Year.

Harold and Tina Lewis’ JRL, LLC, which owns and operates 10 McDonald’s franchises in San Diego, was named the 2005 Minority Owned Small Business of the Year.

Also: Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year, Robert Mulz, the chairman of San Diego Elite Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Network; Delores Braswell, who was honored for advocating women in business; Lois Sudmeier, the senior vice president of the San Diego chapter of SCORE, a small-business assistance organization; Minority Small Business Champion of the Year, Carmen Amigon, the leadership development manager with Community Housing Works; Home-Based Business Champion of the Year, Paul Hollenbach, the president of Hollenbach & Associates; Financial Services Champion of the Year, William Martinez, owner of Winston Real Estate; Small Business Lender of the Year, Kurt Chilcott, CDC Small Business Finance Corp. and Rick Benito, Bank of America.

The awards will be presented at the annual small-business awards luncheon May 19 at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, 333 W. Harbor Drive.

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Franchising Summit:

The American Association of Franchisees and Dealers, a San Diego-based national nonprofit trade association representing the rights and interests of franchisees and independent dealers, is holding its annual summit April 27-30 at the Red Lion Hanalei Hotel, 2270 Hotel Circle N.

The summit will include representatives from 60 franchise groups and will provide discussion of building superior franchiser and franchisee relations.

For information, go to

Send small-business news to Lisa Kovach via fax at (858) 571-3628 or e-mail at Call her at (858) 277-6359, Ext. 3107.


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