National leader addresses business owners during Women in Business Luncheon

Author: BHSU Communications/Wednesday, June 1, 2016/Categories: 2016

Betsy Markey, Regional Administrator with the U.S. Small Business Association, addressed more than 300 people in Spearfish recently during the 7th Annual Celebrating Women in Business Luncheon presented by the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity.

Left to right, Una Lee Howe of Working Cowboy Saddlery accepts the 2016 Minority Owned Small Business of the Year Award presented by Betsy Markey, Regional Administrator with the U.S. Small Business Association.

Left to right, Dawn Claymore of Midwest Marketing accepts the 2016 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year Award from Betsy Markey, Regional Administrator with the U.S. Small Business Association.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Regional Administrator and former congressperson Betsy Markey addressed a crowd of more than 300 people attending the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity's (SD CEO) 7th Annual Celebrating Women in Business Luncheon held in Spearfish recently.

In addition to her comments, Markey presented two prestigious SBA awards:
  • 2016 Minority Owned Small Business of the Year to Una Lee Howe, Working Cowboy Saddlery, Dupree, SD
  • 2016 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year  to Dawn Claymore, Midwest Marketing, Rapid City, SD
Markey has over 30 years of experience as a Member of Congress, a senior federal government executive, and as co-founder and CFO of a high-tech company and a small retail store. She encouraged those present to make the most of the 7th Annual Luncheon.

"It wasn't that long ago women needed to have a man cosign on a loan. Today a support network exists for women-owned businesses like never before," said Markey. "It is my honor and privilege to participate in the 7th Annual Celebrating Women in Business Luncheon. This is a great opportunity for you to network and reconnect."

As Region VIII Administrator for the SBA, Markey shared with those present the impact of the SBA on the state of South Dakota. During the last decade, she said the SBA has processed over 2,400 loans and approved more than $684 million dollars in loans. Markey said the help of the SBA has created and sustained 21,500 jobs in South Dakota and contributed more than one billion dollars in economic impact across the state.

"At the Small Business Administration we help with access to capital and work with our lending partners to make those critical first loans to small business owners," said Markey.

She also said resource partners such as SD CEO assist the SBA by counseling small businesses, working on business plans, and ensuring disadvantage and women-owned businesses have the best possible opportunities to receive government contracts.
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