Successful entrepreneurs recognized at IA’s Excellence in Small Business Awards

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Invest Atlanta recognized thirteen local businesses for their role in strengthening Atlanta’s small business sector at the agency’s first small business awards luncheon. The award ceremony was held October 26 at The Commerce Club in Atlanta.

All but one of the honorees have used Invest Atlanta loans to grow and sustain their businesses successfully over time.

The Spotted Trotter took home Entrepreneur of the Year honors. Co-owner Megan Ouzts credited Invest Atlanta for being “part of our financial team and, quite frankly, part of our family.”

Foster and Associates, a/k/a Atlanta Headshots, received the Excellence in Longevity Award. The company’s been in business 45 years, thanks in part to a loan from Invest Atlanta’s predecessor agency that allowed them to expand to their present size.

The Expansion Excellence Award went to Naan Stop Experience, an Indian food restaurant that with Invest Atlanta’s help recently added a successful second location. “We now have two locations, thanks to Invest Atlanta believing in us,” co-owner Samir Idnani said. “It’s been fantastic to have the confidence and support from Invest Atlanta so that we could build our dream and grow Naan Stop.”

The recipients of the Community Favorite Awards, which go to local retail- or service-based businesses, were Alfajr Trading Company, Inc. (District 4), Preston CPA (District 6), and SW Experience LLC (District 11).

Other small businesses honorees included:

  • Security Investment Group, Franchise Excellence award
  • Rainey Manufacturing Company, Manufacturing Excellence award
  • Atlanta Westview Holdings, LLC, Excellence in Commercial Development award
  • The Epsten Group, Excellence in Innovation award
  • McArthur’s Apothecary, LLC, Startup Excellence award
  • Rolling Out Magazine, Media Excellence award

Thought not a small business, the GSU Small Business Development Center received the Partnership Excellence Award in recognition of the technical services they have provided to several of Invest Atlanta’s existing and prospective clients.

From 2001 to 2016, Invest Atlanta has invested more than $10 million into more than 150 businesses, and leveraged $41 million in total project costs to help those businesses grow.