Charles “Skip” King, owner of King’s ACE Hardware, Billings, has been named Montana SBA Small Business Person of the year for 2018.  This annual award from the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes the hard work, challenges, innovation, and community investment that is required of America’s most successful small business men and women.

“I congratulate Skip King, and all the other awardees, for being named Montana’s Small Business Week winners, said Wayne Gardella, SBA’s Montana District Director.  “Montana has a long and rich history of entrepreneurship and innovation and we are proud to honor these small businesses with these awards.”

Other award winners from Billings include:

* Millennial Entrepreneur of the Year, Chad Green, Lasting Legacy Assisted Living, LLC, Billings;

* Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year, Kris Carpenter, Sanctuary Spa and Salon, Joy of Living, Black Dog Coffee, Billings;

* Small Business Champion of the Year, Lisa Harmon, Billings;

King will be honored, along with several other Montana small business owners and supporters of small business enterprise, at this year’s Small Business Week Awards Celebration, May 3, at Camelot Ranch, Billings. 

Other outstanding small business owners, including:

*Small Business Exporter of the Year, Thomas Nitopi and Giuseppe Caltabiano, NxGen International, Inc., Whitefish;

* 8(a) Graduate of the Year, Anthony Amadeo, S&K Aerospace, LLC, St. Ignatius;

* Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year, Thad and Heidi Reiste, Electric City Coffee Bar & Bistro, LLC, Great Falls;

Top SBA lenders in Montana will also be recognized:

* Glacier Bancorp, Inc., the leading SBA 7(a) lender in Montana for number of loans, with 50 loans totaling  $7,144,900;

* First Interstate Bank, the leading dollar volume SBA 7(a) lender in Montana  with  25 loans totaling  $16,735,519;

* Big Sky Finance, of Billings, the leading Certified Development Company approving 13 504 loans totaling $8,935,000;

* Yellowstone Bank, the Emerging Lender of the Year for increasing their 7(a) production to 23 loans totaling $8,291,600.


* King is invited to join 53 other small business owners from across the country in Washington, D.C., for a ceremony there, and the announcement of the National Small Business Person of the Year.


This year’s event is being coordinated with the Billings Small Business Development Center at Big Sky Economic Development.  The public is invited to attend the awards celebration, Thursday, May 3. 

Anyone interested in attending can register by contacting Dena Johnson at the Billings Small Business Development Center, 406-254-6014.

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year the dates are April 29 - May 5, with national events planned in Washington, D.C.; and a bus road show starting in Jacksonville, Fla. and continuing on to South Carolina and North Carolina.  At each stop SBA Administrator Linda McMahon will meet with small business owners, visit small businesses and hold roundtable discussions.