MADISON (WKOW) — Local chef and restaurant owner Dave Heide was honored Wednesday with the US Small Business Association’s Person of the Year award.
“Entrepreneurs like Dave Heide work hard and consistently every day to meet the needs of their customers, their employees and their communities,” said Eric Ness, Wisconsin district manager at the SBA.
He said Heide’s perseverance, business management and community service represent the best of small business in the country and in Wisconsin.
Heide co-owns Liliana’s in Fitchburg and runs the nonprofit Little John’s, which turns excess food into chef-prepared meals for 7,000 food-insecure people every week.
He is also a member of the boards of Madison Originals, SOAR, Latino Chamber of Commerce and YWCA, and he is a member of the 100 Men of Dane County.
He said the motivation behind his work comes down to doing the right thing for his family, clients and the community.
“I would push everyone to say that it doesn’t take Chief Dave, and it doesn’t take a congressman, it doesn’t take a mayor,” Heide said Wednesday. “Someone just has to come out and do their best to do what they can. That’s what I try to do every day.”
According to a press release, the SBA’s Economic Disaster Loan, Paycheck Protection Program and Restaurant Revitalization Fund dollars helped Liliana survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heide said programs like this give him and his businesses a bright future.
27 News recently reported that Heide is in the process of closing Liliana’s and transitioning to a two-restaurant business.
Heide will be part of a panel on May 6 that will feature other SBA award winners. They will discuss their business experience. It starts at 9 a.m. and is the final online event of the Lieutenant Governor’s Small Business Development Conference.