SBA announces Colorado Small Business Week Winners Colorado Home to Two National Award Winners 


DENVER – National Small Business Week is a presidential proclamation dating back to 1963;  during the week of April 29 through May 3rd, SBA offices across the nation will be honoring small businesses by organizing events and award ceremonies to recognize the impact small businesses have on our nation’s economy and our local communities. This year, Colorado was selected as a National Roadshow stop for SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman, who will be visiting the Centennial State on May 2nd, meeting with businesses, elected officials, and stakeholders, and participating in Colorado’s NSBW award ceremony as the keynote speaker. Colorado is home to winners in two national award categories, including Small Business Development Center  Excellence and Innovation and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence – Service  Category.  

“During National Small Business Week, cities and counties across Colorado will celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and the positive impact small business has on helping communities thrive and grow,” said Frances Padilla, SBA’s Colorado District Director. “Colorado has a rich history of small business creation and innovation, and our winners are representative of the  supportive business climate that exists in this state.” 

Colorado Small Business Person(s) of the Year

Christine and Alan Herron 


Achieve Sports Center 

22675 E Aurora Pkwy 

Aurora, CO 80016

(720) 330-2200 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Colorado District Office announces Christine and Alan Herron, co-founders of Achieve Sports Center, as this year’s Colorado Small Business  Person(s) of the Year. Achieve Sports Center, located in Aurora, CO, has been providing a safe and welcoming environment for youth sports and activities since 2013. Utilizing SBA lending resources, the Herrons were able to secure a commercial space to offer athletic programming to their local community. Despite the hardships during Covid-19, Achieve Sports Center was able to keep its entire staff on the payroll; since 2020, the company has grown into its new space, growing from a staff of 32 to 123. Following their motto of Dream-Believe-Achieve, Christine and Alan are recognized as leaders in youth sports training and as assets to their community.  

State, Regional, and National Winner – SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award

Aurora-South Metro SBDC hosted by the City of Aurora 

Represented by Marcia McGilley, Executive Director 

15151 E Alameda Pkwy #2300 

Aurora, CO 80012 

(303) 326-8686 

Colorado also celebrates the Aurora-South Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC),  hosted by the City of Aurora, as a national winner of the SBDC Excellence and Innovation  Award. This award was created to recognize excellence in providing value to small businesses  from diverse backgrounds by advancing programming delivery and management through  innovation., Marcia McGilley, Executive Director, and her team have created dynamic programming and events throughout the south metro area, helping entrepreneurs and business owners turn their business ambitions into realities.  

National Winner – Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence – Services:  

Lauren Terry 

Federal Small Business Liaison Officer & Program Manager 


6312 South Fiddlers Green Circle 

Suite 30N 

Greenwood Village, CO 80111 

(720) 286-5318

Jacobs Engineering was selected to receive the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence:  Services category, for their utilization of diverse small businesses to participate in subcontracts awarded by Jacobs. In a recent Defense Contract Management Agency audit, Jacobs Federal was rated as “Exceptional,” receiving the highest rating, which only 2% of prime contractors hold.  Jacobs continues to expand its use of small businesses and expanding service through their federal Small Business Program.  

Colorado Lender Awards

  • 2024 7(a) Lender of the Year (Large) – The Huntington National Bank 2024 7(a) Lender of the Year (Small) – Midwest Regional Bank 
  • 2024 504 CDC of the Year (Large) – B:Side Capital, Denver, CO 
  • 2024 504 CDC of the Year (Small) – Preferred Lending Partners, Denver, CO 2024 Rural Lender of the Year – First Southwest Bank, Southwestern CO 2024 Community Lender of the Year – Colorado Enterprise Fund, Denver, CO 

Colorado Local Awards

  • 2024 Colorado District Director’s Diamond Award – Front Range Community College – Larimer SBDC and Poudre River Public Library District, represented by Hope Hartman,  Larimer SBDC Director & Molly Thompson, Harmony Library Manager, Fort Collins, CO  80526 
  • 2024 Colorado Small Business “Wall of Fame” Inductee – Lippett, Inc dba Senor Ric’s  Mexican Restaurant, Jeffery Eaton (majority owner), Aurora CO 
  • 2024 Amy McDowell Service to Small Business Award presented annually by Colorado  SBDC Network – Mr. Jesse Esparza, Consultant 

ABOUT THE U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION The U.S. Small Business  Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the  SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive 

network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

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