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March 12, 2024

The Good Crust, Tiller & Rye and Belle Cove among businesses honored by SBA

Woman File photo / Jim Neuger Grace Mo-Phillips of Belle Cove LLC was named the Maine Small Business Exporter of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. All winners will be honored at a ceremony in May.

From craft jewelry to seafood exports and frozen pizza dough, the winners of this year’s U.S. Small Business Administration Maine District Office annual awards represent a broad range of industries and geographic regions.

File Photo
The Good Crust founder Heather Kerner was named Maine Small Business Manufacturer of the Year.

The 2024 winners include Matthew Polstein, owner of New England Whitewater in Millinocket, who was named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2024 Small Business Person of the Year Award for Maine, and Grace Mo-Phillips was named the Maine Small Business Exporter of the Year for her seafood-focused business, Belle Cove LLC.

“It's a privilege to contribute to Maine’s thriving and sustainable seafood industry,” she told Mainebiz. "This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Maine seafood harvesters and processors, who consistently deliver world-class products.”

Mo-Phillips, who also helps fellow female entrepreneurs through her work as program director at the CEI Women's Business Center South in Portland, credited the SBA's export-assisting programs and Maine International Trade Center for support she says has been “instrumental in building Belle Cove’s international seafood trade."

All of Maine's SBA award winners (listed below) will be recognized at a May 22 ceremony in Hampden.

“In the past year, Maine’s communities have seen tremendous challenges, both from natural disasters and community tragedies,” said Diane Sturgeon, the SBA's Maine district director. "Amidst these challenges, we’ve seen our small business owners step up and support their fellow Mainers, and with these awards we hope to demonstrate the impact entrepreneurs have on their hometowns and our state.”

2024 SBA Maine District Annual Awards

  • Maine Small Business Person of the Year: Matthew Polstein, New England Whitewater (Millinocket)
  • Maine and New England Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: Niky Dwin Watler Amaris and Martha Leonard, Maiz (Portland)
  • Maine Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: Kendra Chubbuck, Shore Shop Gifts (Isle au Haut)
  • Maine Home-Based Business of the Year: Kirantee Sangsap, Studio Choo11 (Scarborough)
  • Maine Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Sarah Morneault and Lindsey Levesque, Tiller & Rye (Brewer)
  • Maine Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Candace Edgecomb, W.E. Family Farm (Limestone)
  • Maine Micro-Enterprise of the Year: Kate Hall, Graze LLC (Northport)
  • Maine Small Business Manufacturer of the Year: Heather Kerner, the Good Crust (Canaan)
  • Maine Small Business Exporter of the Year: Grace Mo-Phillips, Belle Cove LLC (Portland)

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