Angela Dowd-Burton, executive director, Philadelphia Office of Economic Opportunity has been named the 2012 Minority Small Business Champion of the Year for Eastern Pennsylvania by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“I’m appreciative of the recognition, and it’s a milestone,” Dowd-Burton said of the recognition by the SBA.
“There is an acknowledgement that we are changing the landscape for small business and that’s what’s really most appreciative — the acknowledgement that there’s impact,” said Dowd-Burton.
“This award acknowledges that we are doing the right things.”
Dowd-Burton joined 11 other awardees in being recognized by the SBA on June 7 during its annual Day at the Ballpark event.
“As a local commemoration of the presidentially-designated National Small Business Week, this event is an opportunity to recognize the achievements of small business and its advocates in Eastern Pennsylvania,” said Dave Dickson, district director, SBA.
“Every year the award winners honored at this event have truly distinguished themselves and represent the very best that the eastern Pennsylvania small business community has to offer.”
Dowd-Burton was nominated for the SBA award by Phyllis Smith, founder of the Professional Women’s Business Network, based in Feasterville, Pa.
SBA Philadelphia District small business awards are awarded to a nominee in one of Eastern Pennsylvania’s 40 eastern counties. The following Philadelphia-based entities also received SBA awards: Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year, Karen H. Boyd Rohde, owner, Bredenbeck’s Bakery and Ice Cream; Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year: John DeBella, Radio Host102.9 WMGK-FM; and Women’s Business Center of Excellence, Women’s Business Development Center.
Under Dowd-Burton’s direction, OEO restructured to better help minority, women and disabled-owned enterprises obtain city contract work.
During that time, the numbers of those businesses registering with OEO have increased by 50 percent contracts awarded to disadvantaged businesses increased from $217 million in 2010 to $237 million in 2011 to represent 25 percent of contracts awarded. Contracts with small business participation also increased from 297 in 2010 to 517 in 2011.
The OEO recently released its 2011 disparity study which notes that the utilization of M/W/DSBEs continue to increase. For the second year in a row M/W/DSBE utilization increased by two and a half percentage points, from 20.8 percent in fiscal year 2010 to 23.3 percent in fiscal year 2011, or $181 million of the $779 million in contracts.
“I think that it speaks to the gap that we are trying to close and thus far that we’ve moved the rock,” Dowd-Burton says of the disparity report.
The report found that the percentage of contracts primed by M/W/DSBEs increased. M/W/DSBEs primed 15 percent of city contracts in fiscal year 2011 — up from 12.9 percent in fiscal year 2010. The average contract size of contracts primed by M/W/DSBEs grew from $240,000 to $350,000, signifying a 45 percent increase.