Sarah Longacre of Blooma and Fred Navarro of George & the Dragon pose with their Southwest Business Association Business Owner of the Year awards. Submitted photo
The Southwest Business Association presented its first annual awards on June 5, recognizing three community entrepreneurs for their success and contributions to the region.
The association, which works with Minneapolis businesses west of Interstate 35W and south of 31st Street, has sought nominations from the community for Business Owner of the Year in three categories – general , belonging to minorities and belonging to women. All applicants were expected to have been in business for at least three years, demonstrate growth, succeed in the face of adversity, and be involved in community service.
Minority Business Owner of the Year: Fred Navarro of George & the Dragon at 50th & Bryant. âThe Navarros demonstrate great leadership with knowledgeable, friendly, punctual, long-term staff, and smart, accessible food choices that continue to attract customers,â SWBA wrote in its announcement. “Their success anchors the 50th and Bryant’s corner and makes it a busy corner for their neighboring businesses.”
Businesswoman of the Year: Naomi Strom of Lake Harriet Florist at 50th & Penn. âNaomi regularly supports local educational and religious organizations through in-kind donations for their events and activities,â SWBA wrote. “Anyone who knows Naomi can tell you that a big part of Lake Harriet Florist’s success is her strong ability to quickly build meaningful relationships with a wide range of personalities in our community and beyond.”
Company manager of the year: Sarah Longacre of Blooma at the 53rd & Lyndale. âHer passion for helping mothers doesn’t end with interactions at Blooma,â SWBA wrote of Longacre. âSarah uses her skills and business success to regularly support organizations with similar missions in her country and around the world. “