Two Chautauqua County business owners have been recognized as statewide Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2022.
The New York Small Business Development Center made award selections from more than 20,000 clients of the past year. The 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.
In Jamestown, Hot Spot Cafe owner Hector Alverio has been honored with the New York State Minority Entrepreneur of the Year award. Alverio opened the cafe on Valentine’s Day 2020, just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the shut-down, he implemented take out service. The NYSBDC said 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 now expanding into catering events.
In Ashville, Ashville General Store owner Jackie Francis has been honored with the New York State Community Business of the Year award. Francis opened The Ashville General Store in 1991. NYSBDC said it quickly became a place for locals and tourists to visit.
Officials gathered at Ashville General Store Monday morning to recognize the businesses as part of “National Small Business Week.”
Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel presented a proclamation in honor of the week. He said small business is extremely important in Chautauqua County and cited how even during the Pandemic in 2020, there were 346 business certificates issued, with 410 issued in 2021.