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Pagers are out Featured

9:38am EDT July 22, 2002

E-mail and cellular phones may be more important business tools than fax machines or pagers, according to a survey conducted earlier this year among state Small Business Persons of the Year award winners for 2000. A full 92 percent of the 53 state award recipients-- which included winners from the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam -- reported using e-mail, and 96 percent said they use modems giving them access to the Internet. Cell phone use was reported by 92 percent of award winners, while 88 percent said they use fax machines and only 55 percent use pagers. Some other interesting stats from the survey, conducted by the U.S. Small Business Administration:

  • The average sales for the winners' companies was $7.6 million.

  • By comparison, average first year sales were $457,000.

  • The average payroll was 150 employees.

  • At start-up, the average payroll for these companies was three employees.

  • 57 percent of the winners ran family-owned or family-operated businesses.

  • 46 percent of the winners were in manufacturing or retail.

  • 35 percent were women-owned businesses.

  • 30 percent were minority-owned businesses.

  • 67 percent received financial or management assistance from the SBA -- although it is not a criterion for nomination.

The SBA presents the Small Business Person of the Year awards each spring. This year's state winner for Ohio was Paula Inniss, president of Ohio Full Court Press. Past winners have included M. Cameron Mitchell, president of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, in 1999 and Ross O. Youngs, president of Univenture Inc., in 1998. After winning the state, Youngs went on to win the national Small Business Person of the Year award in 1998.

Nominations for the SBA Small Business Person of the Year awards are solicited each fall. For nomination information, contact Doug Sweazy at the Columbus district office of the SBA at 469-6860 ext. 276 or e-mail him at douglas.sweazy@sba.gov. SBN Columbus is a co-presenter of the SBA Awards ceremony held at the statehouse each year, which honors the Ohio winners. Nancy Byron (nbyron@sbnnet.com) is editor of SBN Columbus.