WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Years of hard work and dedication are paying off for Kristina Pence-Dunow.
Her business, Hometown Trolley, based in Crandon, Wis., is now in its 24th year and has grown to 52 employees. They manufacture and sell trolleys on wheels.
Small Business Administrator – Linda McMahon – honored her Monday with the Small Business Person of the Year award for Wisconsin.
“This is so honoring to be included and recognized," said Pence-Dunow.
The SBA is an agency she’s worked closely with to help grow.
“In 2005, I went through a pricing war with a competitor that we were fortunate enough to buy this past year. I secured my first SBA loan to term out some debt and help us get stable," explained Pence-Dunow.
McMahon says small businesses are the engine of our economy.
“Small business is in a great place right now. There’s optimism in the country that there hasn’t been in a long time. We’re seeing more start-ups. Entrepreneurs are willing to take more risks as a result of this administration," said McMahon.
Like the president, McMahon is an entrepreneur herself.
“I know what it takes. I know the sweat equity it takes. I know the opportunities that need to present themselves," she said.
It’s not just McMahon these entrepreneurs can learn from. They’re giving advice to one another and sharing their love for what they do.
“[Small businesses are] a family. The employees are tight-knit. [You feel] the pride of everyone as a group getting the product out," said Pence-Dunow.
The awards are part of National Small Business Week, which continues through May 6.