The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has named Randy's Booth Co. the Minnesota 2018 Family-Owned Business of the Year.

Owner Bert Kissoondath will be honored Friday at the annual awards luncheon of the Minnesota office of the SBA.

Bert Kissoondath’s father, Randy, started the company in late 1970’s as builder of custom-made booths. He left a job in banking in 2006 to join Randy, who died in 2009.

Under Bert Kissoondath, the business has expanded from four to 24 employees. And Randy’s used an SBA-guaranteed loan to purchase a larger building in Crystal in 2017.

Kissoondath, through a relationship with MinnCor Industries, employs some ex-criminal offenders who learn upholstery and wood-working. Randy’s also partners with local-training organizations and supports several local charities.

Here are several of the other award winners:

* Small Business Person of the Year; Brenda Nolby, Jam Hops Gymnastics Factory., Ham Lake.

* Minority Small Business Champion, Mary Lundeen, UMD Center for Economic Development.

* Minority-owned Small Business, Sergio Espinoza, E & H Piping, Hanley Falls.

* Veteran owned Small Business, Clint Kruger, Preferred Electric, Minneapolis.

* Veteran Small Business Champion, Dennis Welch, Frandsen Bank & Trust.

* Woman-owned Small Business, Karen Schaar, Roca Climbing and Fitness, Rochester.

* Women’s Business Center of Excellence of the Year; WomenVenture.

Meanwhile, after a flat year of backing 2,056 loans totaling $681 million in fiscal 2017, Nancy Libersky, the Minnesota SBA director, said lending was up in the first quarter of fiscal 2018.

SBA loan guarantees in Minnesota grew by 3.9 percent to $208 million during the first quarter ended Jan. 31, compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

“We are fortunate to have a strong community of banks and credit unions in Minnesota who know first-hand the value SBA programs offer to their clients,” said Nancy J. Libersky, Minnesota SBA District Director. “It wonderful to see the work they do benefit the broader community.”

The top five lenders by number of loans guaranteed are: Wells Fargo Bank, U.S. Bank, Minnesota Business Finance Corp., 21st Century Bank, Sunrise Banks.

More information on the luncheon and SBA programs:

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