Local Businesses Receive New York State Small Business Entrepreneurship Awards

Hector Alverio, HotSpot Cafe

Article Contributed by
New York Small Business Development Center

The New York Small Business Development Center (NY SBDC) is honored to recognize two businesses in Chautauqua County that will be awarded as statewide Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2022. These businesses have been selected from more than 20,000 clients of the NY SBDC from the past year. They will be recognized at a press conference on May 2, 2022 at 10am at the Ashville General Store as well as during a virtual statewide ceremony in June.

The NY SBDC Entrepreneur of the Year awards are given to business owners whose efforts and contributions have enabled their business to grow and thrive during the past calendar year with the assistance of SBDC Business Advisors, research and services.
This year two Chautauqua County business owners were honored as NY SBDC “Entrepreneurs of the Year”:

NY State Minority Entrepreneur of the Year

As a minority entrepreneur, Hector Alverio opened his restaurant, HotSpot Cafe on Valentine’s Day 2020, just before the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic. During the shut-down he implemented take out service and not only survived, but thrived. Since restrictions have been lifted, his restaurant has become a real “hot spot” for city officials, police officers, and other downtown business owners for breakfast and lunch. He is expanding into catering events and has become a staple in the community.

Jackie Francis, The Ashville General Store

NY State Community Business of the Year

Jackie Francis opened The Ashville General Store in 1991 and it quickly became a place for locals and tourists to come and mingle over food made from scratch. It has been open for 30 years not only due to good business decisions but also by operating with a greater purpose in mind-the idea of community. In fact, tourists from around the country can’t wait to make their first stop at the General Store for homemade lunch when they come to the area.

Each of these business owners have overcome obstacles and contributed to the economic growth of the area as female and minority business owners. Their commitment and perseverance have guided them to success, and both have made a positive impact on the economy at both a local and statewide level.

The SBDC at Jamestown Community College is honored to provide free and confidential guidance to the small business community in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany County. According to SBDC Director, Courtney Curatolo, “These individuals have not only inspired the SBDC team of advisors, but also inspire others interested in starting their own small business in our region. It has been very fulfilling watching each of these individuals grow their businesses and see success in a period of economic uncertainty.”

The NY SBDC, administered by SUNY, has 22 regional service centers located throughout the New York State on SUNY, City University of New York (CUNY) and private university campuses. Since inception in 1984, the SBDC has provided small business advisement services to more than 507,500 New Yorkers. The SBDC also provides training and business research to existing business owners and entrepreneurs. SBDC clients have invested more than $7.3 billion in NY, impacting more than 232,700 jobs.

The SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New York, local communities, and host campuses. As a result of this leveraged support, the SBDC staff provides confidential one-on-one business advisement services at no direct cost to the citizens and entrepreneurs of New York. For more information about the SBDC, visit www.nysbdc.org.