ECDI, WBC and Clients Win Big at 2020 SBA National Small Business Week Awards

September 23, 2020
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COLUMBUS – The Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI), Women’s Business Center of Central Ohio (WBC) and ECDI clients won regional awards during the 2020 Small Business Administration’s (SBA) National Small Business Week.

ECDI was named Micro Lender of the Year for Central and Southern Ohio and the Women’s Business Center of Central Ohio won Women’s Business Center of the Year Award.


ECDI loan client John Rush, Founder and CEO of CleanTurn and Third Way Café, won Small Business Person of the Year for Central and Southern Ohio. ECDI loan client and Food Fort member Lisa Gutierrez, owner of Dos Hermanos, won Minority-Owned Small Business Person of the Year for Central and Southern Ohio.

“Since ECDI’s founding in Columbus in 2004, our partnership with SBA has grown to include the entire state of Ohio, serving entrepreneurs with offices in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron and Toledo,” says Inna Kinney of ECDI. “We have worked hand in hand with SBA to provide resources, including access to capital, training and incubation services, to more than 17,000 individuals. It’s an honor to be chosen as a microlender of the year. I’m also thrilled to see SBA recognize the hard work and success of two ECDI clients.”

National Small Business Week was initially scheduled for May but had to be postponed to Sept. 22-24 due to the pandemic. The event honors small businesses, many of which are veteran, women and minority-owned, for their achievements and dedication to their communities. “This year’s National Small Business Week celebration is different than any previous year because of the unique circumstances our small businesses have faced due to the pandemic,” SBA Columbus District Director Everett Woodel said. “Ohio’s more than 960,000 small businesses were challenged to pivot from normal operations to crisis mode, with many businesses changing their services to meet their customers’ needs while keeping their businesses afloat. This year more than ever, we thank Ohio’s small business owners for their determination, we celebrate their hard work, and we stand with them through these trying times. Together, we will rebuild our communities.”

Since 2004, in partnership with SBA, ECDI has assisted more than 17,000 individuals, disbursed more than $63.7 million in capital, and created or retained over 9,000 jobs through its lending programs and three SBA Women’s Business Centers serving Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Today, ECDI is one of the largest SBA microloan intermediaries in the U.S.

Ohio small business owners should visit to learn about support and resources we provide, including entrepreneur education, mentoring and access to capital.




ECDI is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to assuring underserved and underbanked entrepreneurs – regardless of where they came from, where they live, their gender or their race – have access to funding and a range of business incubation services they need to succeed. Based in Columbus, with offices in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron and Toledo, we are a one-stop resource center, serving small businesses in all of Ohio’s 88 counties. As a leading SBA microloan intermediary, a certified Community Development Corporation, and Treasury-designated Community Development Financial Institution, we are proud to have assisted more than 17,000 individuals, disbursed over $63.7 million through more than 2,800 loans, and created and retained more than 9,000 jobs since 2004. Learn more: