May 15, 2014
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Cantwell Honors Small Business Award Winner from Granite Falls

Cobalt Enterprises honored by U.S. Senate Small Business Committee Chairwoman during National Small Business Week



WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a Small Business Week ceremony at the Capitol today, U.S Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-WA) congratulated “Small Business Person of the Year” award winners from across the United States, including a precision-machine parts manufacturer from Granite Falls, Washington.


Cobalt Enterprises, Inc., the largest employer in Granite Falls, was honored for its success and involvement in the community. In recent years, Cobalt has utilized Small Business Administration (SBA) financing assistance to build a new facility, and has used SBA export financing to reach new international markets. Cobalt, which employs 70 people, has established a youth mentoring program with Granite Falls School District.


“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, creating two out of every three new jobs in America.” Cantwell said. “I would like to congratulate all the winners of Small Business Person of the Year awards. These entrepreneurs are setting a great example of innovation, job creation and strengthening communities across the United States.”


“I am particularly proud of Fred Schule and Paul Clark of Cobalt Enterprises, Inc. in Granite Falls for being named the SBA’s Small Business Persons of the Year from Washington State,” Cantwell continued.

“With the help of SBA loans and export programs, Fred and Paul were able to expand sales to new international markets and grow Cobalt into a business with 70 employees.  We are very proud of their Pacific Northwest success story.”


A photo of Cantwell and Clark is available here.


As part of National Small Business Week, the Small Business Administration recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners from all 50 states and U.S. territories.  The SBA also honors 13 organizations or individuals for areas of access to capital, counseling, contracting and disaster assistance. The winners gather in Washington, D.C. on May 15-16 for a ceremony at the Small Business Administration where a National Small Business Person of the Year will be named.


The U.S. Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee reception recognized the “Small Business Person of the Year” from the 17 states of Senators who serve on the committee, as well as the 13 national award winners.


In addition to the Small Business Persons of the Year and the National Small Business Week winners, the SBA recognized eight state winners from Washington.  The winners were:

  • Timothy O’Neill of Measurement Technology Northwest in Seattle as the Exporter of the Year;
  • Neil Bergquist of SURF Incubator in Seattle as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year;
  • Mike Gray of Dennis Gray Trucking in Puyallup as the Family Owned Business of the Year;
  • Allen Engberg of Allen-Bradbury Construction LLC in Algona as the 8(a) Graduate of the Year,
  • Rosario Arias de Carroll of Plaza Bank in Seattle as Financial Services Champion,
  • Frank Lemos of LDC Corporation in Woodinville as Minority Small Business Champion;
  • Dave Binz of Tacoma SCORE in Tacoma as Veteran Small Business Champion; and
  • Madhu Singhof MK Singh Law Office in Seattle as the Women in Business Champion.