By JASON GREENBERG
Three local small businesses were recognized during National Small Business Week at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 18th Annual Small Business Excellence Awards luncheon in Albany on Monday, May 2nd. Small businesses are selected for the Excellence Awards based on their company’s longevity, innovation, sales growth, increased employment, ability to overcome adversity or community contributions.
The 504 Company honored Saratoga Health & Wellness, LLC based in Saratoga Springs with a 2016 Small Business Excellence Award. Saratoga Health and Wellness is a new kind of gym, utilizing college degreed exercise and nutrition professionals to provide science based programs to enhance health and improve performance. Michael Lapolla and his business partner, Nicholas Galuardi, are committed to an atmosphere that is friendly, non-intimidating and supportive. It is the only professional, medically-minded fitness facility in Saratoga Springs. Mike and Nick are both graduates of Ithaca College with degrees in clinical exercise science. They had previously worked together for a large local cardiology group for nearly 10 years prior to venturing out on their own.
The Adirondack Trust Company honored Cartwheels Gymnastics Center, LLC based in Clifton Park with a 2016 Small Business Excellence Award. In 2012, owners Jason Dammer and Dana Marion-Dammer opened Cartwheels Gymnastics Center with the main belief of, “Doing good things for kids.” Using the basic principles of gymnastics and movement, Cartwheels strives to enhance the learning, personal growth and self-confidence of each child. Cartwheels offers programs for children of all ages and levels, including preschool programs and competitive teams. Dana has over 20 years of gymnastics experience, earning state and regional titles as a competitive gymnast and coach, while Jason is a US Navy Veteran with a Business Management degree from the University of Hawaii.
Trustco Bank honored Re-Bath of Albany based in Clifton Park with a 2016 Small Business Excellence Award. Frank Rafalik has been the owner and operator of Re-Bath of Albany since 2006. The company specializes in offering home owners a unique alternative to traditional bathroom remodeling. Instead of having their home torn up for weeks, Re-Bath is capable of remodeling an entire bathroom in as little as two days, and offers one-day shower installation and tub replacement. In 2015 Frank established Doors in a Day – using the Re-Bath business model to quickly fit and install residential and light industrial doors with a proprietary process using the existing door jam.
“The 18th Annual Small Business Excellence Awards luncheon gives us the opportunity to celebrate our business community leaders for their small business successes,” said Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA Syracuse district director. “Entrepreneurs find success not by avoiding failure but by dreaming the impossible and taking chances. From Main Street stores to cyber merchants and all the companies in between, small businesses keep our economy innovative and vibrant.”
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