Small Business Administration award winners named


The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Delaware District Office will honor Delaware’s outstanding small business owners and champions at the Delaware Small Business Week awards dinner on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, at the Waterfall Banquet and Conference Center in Claymont.

Frank and Donna Masley of Masley Enterprises, Wilmington,  will be honored as SBA’s Delaware Small Business Persons of the Year. Masley Enterprises manufactures a full line of specialty gloves for the military and commercial sectors. Established in 2000, Masley has annual sales of $2.9 million and employs 40 people at its facility in Wilmington’s Germay Industrial Park. They were nominated by George Mills of Wilmington Trust.

“We are honored to be recognized as one of the top 50 small businesses in the country,” said Frank and Donna Masley, CEO and president respectively, of Masley Enterprises. “Our success would not have been possible without our support of each other and the support we receive from our family, friends and the wonderful work team at Masley Enterprises, Inc.”

“First and foremost we want to thank the SBA and Wilmington Trust for the financial support they have provided the business over the years.”

In 2009, the Masleys received a $1.6 million SBA 7(a) guaranteed loan under the American and Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) from Wilmington Trust to support a major Army contract supplying gloves for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The contract and financing positioned Masley Enterprises to rebound from the economic downturn and expand its operations.

One of the main reasons for the Masleys’ success is their willingness to access every available small business resource. In addition to the SBA financing, they also received counseling and training from the Small Business Development Center, the Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership. They also received a grant from the Delaware Economic Development Office under its Blue Collar Training Fund to support its workforce development needs.

Frank Masley is a three-time Olympian in the sport of luge and the American flag bearer for the 1984 Sarajevo Olympic Games.

“Commitment, dedication and perseverance were key values that Frank Masley learned from his Olympic career,” said Jayne Armstrong, district director of the SBA’s Delaware District Office. “They continue to serve him well as this outstanding husband and wife team achieve the ultimate American dream: small business success.”

Each year the President of the United States declares a week in May as National Small Business Week. This year’s celebration will take place May 23-25 in Washington, D.C. The Masleys and other winners from the other 49 states and Guam, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia will compete for the title of National Small Business Person of the Year during the Washington event.

In addition, SBA’s 68 district offices throughout the country host local events similar to Delaware’s June 8th celebration to recognize their state and local award winners. All of the other honorees compete with winners from the Mid-Atlantic region for SBA’s regional awards and those winners then compete for the national awards in their respective categories.

In addition to their recognition at the state level, three of Delaware’s honorees are being recognized by the SBA at the regional level. Entrepreneurial Success Award winners Robert Pancake and Steven Wheat owners of High 5, LLC, doing business as Buffalo Wild Wings, were selected from winners from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. They operate six restaurants in Delaware and Maryland.

Minority Small Business Champion Vincent White, owner of Provest Realty Associates in Wilmington also was selected for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Award. In addition to his realty business, White is a leading advocate of minority business interests in Delaware and the founder of the Minority Business and Entrepreneurship Council.

For more information on the award winners or the SBA’s Small Business Week Dinner, contact the SBA at (302) 573-6294.

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