Get Started: Brewers named Small Business Persons of 2017

By JOYCE M. ROSENBERG Markets Associated Press

SMALL BUSINESS PERSONS OF THE YEAR

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The owners of a Hawaii-based brewery have been named National Small Business Persons of the Year for 2017.

Garrett Marrero and Melanie Oxley, owners of Maui Brewing Co., received the award Monday, the first day of National Small Business Week. The national small business person award is chosen from competition winners in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. The contest is administered by the Small Business Administration, which announced the winners on Twitter.

Maui Brewing was started in 2005, and manufactures several different beers. Based in Kihei, Hawaii, it also operates restaurants in Honolulu and Lahaina.

Coming in second was Debra Dudley, president of Oscarware, a maker of barbecue and grill accessories in Bonnieville, Kentucky. Third was Lars Herman, CEO of Herman Construction Group in Escondido, California. Fourth was Corliss Udoema, CEO of Contract Solutions, a company that provides services including project management, human resources and business growth counseling. It's based in Manassas, Virginia.

Companies are judged on criteria including how much expansion and sales growth they have had, how many jobs they've created, the innovativeness of their products or services, their response to adversity and the contributions they have made to their communities.

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SMALL BUSINESS WEEK ONLINE SEMINARS

As part of National Small Business Week, the SBA and SCORE, the organization that provides free counseling for small companies, are sponsoring a series of educational seminars online. Here's the schedule:

Tuesday, May 2: The outlook for the economy and its impact on small businesses.

Wednesday, May 3: Making a local business a big success; how to expand your company online.

Thursday, May 4: How to write email content; finding hidden opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Learn more about all the seminars and register to attend at www.score.org/live-webinars .

ENTREPRENEURSHIP HELP IN SPANISH

Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs and business owners can get information on topics like finance and accounting and creating business and marketing plans in an online learning program sponsored by the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at the College of New Jersey.

The program, which includes video and presentations in Spanish, is available for free for a limited time. To access the program, visit http://njempresario.com .

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Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joyce-m-rosenberg