Small Businesses Honored for Contributions to Nebraska Economy

Six Nebraska businesses were selected by the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) ( receive the 2017 Annual Business of the Year awards. The awards were officially presented during a luncheon March 23 at the Nebraska capitol in Lincoln attended by senators from the winners’ unicameral districts.

Sen. Paul Schumacher from District 22 presented Lewis Schelkopf, plant manager, Truss Craft, NBDC’s Champion of Small Business award, an honor given out annually since 1983 to small business owners who have triumphed in the field of business and are empowering entrepreneurs who stand up for other small business owners. Jeff Taake, vice president manufacturing and commercial sales, Mead Lumber, was also named on the award.

Mead Lumber and its component manufacturing facility Truss Craft have committed to encouraging waste reduction and energy savings, not only in their own facilities but in other area businesses. The company supports organizations including Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross and United Way by supplying materials, money, and manpower for their programs.

The following businesses also accepted awards at the luncheon: Innovation Business of the Year: Sanguine Diagnostics and Therapeutics, Omaha; Government Contractor of the Year: Cash-Wa Distributing Co., Kearney; Sustainability Business of the Year: West Point Design, West Point; Manufacturing Business of the Year: Exmark Manufacturing, Beatrice; Export Business of the Year: American Premium Foods, Omaha.

NBDC is a cooperative program of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. NBDC partners with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College to provide consulting and business support services from offices in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, Grand Island, North Platte, McCook, Wayne, Scottsbluff, Norfolk, and Chadron.

Stories on award winners can be read online at: