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  • 2021 Small Business of the Year

    Pima County Small Business Commission announces award winners focusing on workforce development, supportive workplace and community engagement in 2021.

    The Pima County Small Business Commission has announced the winners of the 2021 Small Business of the Year Awards. The Commission presents the awards each year, judging nominees on criteria such as company culture, positive impact on Pima County and community involvement. 

    In 2021, the Small Business of the Year Awards will recognize small businesses and non-profit organizations that had a positive impact during the pandemic through workforce development, maintaining a supportive workplace and fostering community engagement. Pima County will honor three small businesses or nonprofits that have demonstrated outstanding qualities in these areas and each successful awardee will receive $500 and a certificate. Presentation of the 2021 Small Business Awards will be made at a Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting in 2022.

    2021 Winners

    The three 2021 winners, based on a vote of the Small Business Commission, are:

    • Make Way for Books, a non-profit located in Tucson focused on children’s literacy and reading-related support programs that has served more than 30,000 children and families throughout Pima County. Commissioners commended the business’s priority of providing literacy programming for underserved and economically disadvantaged children.
    • Marcus Engineering, LLC, an innovative contract developer of medical devices, aerospace products and mining technology located in Tucson. The Commission praised the company’s perseverance during the pandemic and recognized the innovative talent recruitment, retention and support programs for the firm’s employees. 
    • Why Not Travel Store, LLC, a family-owned retail store located in the community of Why in rural Pima County. The Commission noted the store’s dedication to COVID-19 mitigation and the substantial community engagement that included support for the local volunteer fire department and an animal rescue organization across the border in Mexico.

    Past Winners

    • 2020: Coffee Times (business); Homewatch CareGivers of Southern Arizona (nonprofit); Treasures 4 Teachers of Tucson (nonprofit)
    • 2019: Rural Award - Westgate Garden Design; Urban Award – Cabling Solutions Group; Non-profit Award – (No award presented at the Commission’s discretion.)
    • 2017/2018 (combined): Rural Award – Miura Contracting; Urban Award – Kool Air Manufacturing; Non-profit Award: Pima Community College Small Business Development Center
    • 2016: Rural Award - Vistoso Automotive; Urban Award - Plum Windows & Doors, Inc.
    • 2015: Rural Award - Bling by Design; Urban Award - Aztera
    • 2014: Rural Award - Golden Goose Thrift Store in Catalina; Urban Award - The Planning Center
    • 2013: Rural Award - Ajo Transportation; Urban award - Casa de los Niño’s Thrift store
    • 2012: Joint Technical Education District
    • 2011: Gasoline Alley, an automobile repair and restoration business in Green Valley

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    Economic Development

    Heath S. Vescovi-Chiordi, 

    Patrick Cavanaugh,
    Deputy Director

    Kelle Maslyn,
    Assistant Director

    (520) 724-8450
    201 N. Stone Ave., 2nd Floor
    Tucson, AZ 85701

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