Selecting BNC’s Small Businesses of the Year winners is an exciting annual task that culminated this year with these companies:
- Core Technology Molding, a Greensboro plastic-injection molding company.
- Firsthand Foods, a Durham distributor for local farmers and meat processors.
- Speckled Paw Coffee, a collection of coffee shops in four small N.C. towns.
- Seaview Crab, a Wilmington distributor of seafood at retail markets and restaurants.
The quartet was chosen from more than 75 applicants. The judges were Byron Hicks, who is state director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center; Anna Lynch, CEO of Raleigh-based Lynch Mykins Structural Engineers and one of the Small Businesses of the Year winners in 2021; and Business North Carolina Publisher Ben Kinney.
The judges considered creativity, community impact, persistence and other factors in making the selection. The businesses had to be in operation for at least five years.
“Every year, I am amazed at the quality of our winners,” Hicks says. “They are a true testament to what makes our state’s economy so awesome. Hard work, dedication and the ability to adapt to changes and challenges are what make these businesses special.”
It’s the 27th year that Business North Carolina has published the Small Businesses of the Year award, which is sponsored this year by Duke Energy. The goal is to honor smaller enterprises that form an often overlooked core of the state’s economy.
The state had about 155,000 companies with between two and 19 employees in 2021, along with about 21,200 with 20 to 499 workers, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. There were also about 790,000 sole proprietorships.
Read about each of the businesses here: