WASHINGTON – Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, announced the 2022 Small Business Persons of the Year winners from each of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The winners will be formally recognized on May 5 during the National Small Business Week (NSBW) Virtual Summit’s Awards Ceremony, May 2-5. This year’s NSBW theme, “Building a Better America Through Entrepreneurship,” highlights the resilience, ingenuity, and creativity of these award winners who, like millions of small businesses, have navigated challenges from the pandemic and contributed to our nation’s economic comeback.

Iowa’s 2022 SBA Small Business Person of the Year is Kimberly Baeth, President and owner of Golden Openings in Urbandale, Iowa.

Kimberly Baeth was working at a chamber of commerce in the late 90s and was getting multiple requests to host and coordinate Grand Openings for new businesses in several communities.  The chamber didn’t provide that service, however, so business owners had nowhere to turn – until Baeth decided to join the chamber and start her own business, Golden Openings, in 1997. Starting out with home-made giant scissors made out of wood and razor blades that ingeniously met to cut ribbon,  her scissors were in high demand and rented often.  She went on the be the first to invent and patent giant stainless steel scissors two years later.

Today, Golden Openings offers thousands of ceremonial products and Grand Opening, Ribbon Cutting and Ground Breakings services. They’ve helped tens of thousands of businesses big and small open their doors and make an impact in their communities over the last 25 years. When Baeth first started, it was just her working out of her home, today she has 14 employees, hundreds of contractors, has done business on every continent except Antarctica. She now also has her own office and warehouse space and has had an average annual revenue growth of 28 percent each year since 1997. 

 Like many small businesses, the COVID 19 pandemic significantly impacted Golden Openings. Baeth credits two SBA PPP loans with helping see her business and her employees through and in 2021 the company had its best revenue year ever, with 84 percent growth. “The PPP loan was a lifeline that helped our company endure the disaster and adjust to changing market needs,” Baeth said.

Baeth was nominated for this award by Judy Eyles, Director of the John Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship at Iowa State University.

“I am delighted to recognize our National Small Business Week winners from across the country who have stepped up to build their businesses, create jobs, and power historic recovery over the past year,” Administrator Guzman said. “Entrepreneurs are innovators and creators at their core, delivering the products and services we depend on and making our neighborhoods, towns, and cities more vibrant places to live and work. They give their all to achieve their American dream of business ownership and, by doing so, advance America’s economy and global competitiveness. Our 2022 award winners represent the vibrancy and resiliency of our nation’s 32.5 million small businesses, and I look forward to celebrating these small business giants and the positive impact they have had on lives and livelihoods in communities all across America.” 

National Small Business Week will be observed May 1-7, 2022. It will celebrate our small businesses, provide critical resources and recognize SBA partners for their support in providing startups and small business owners with counseling and advice, skills development, disaster preparedness and recovery, as well as access to capital, government contracting, and market opportunities to start, grow and build resilient businesses. 

About National Small Business Week

For more than 60 years, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.