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U.S. Small Business Administration Alaska District Selects 2012 Alaskan Small Business Person of the Year

Anchorage Alaska:  The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is pleased to announce that Rene Haag, owner of Blaines Art Supply, will be honored as one of the nation’s top state small business winners in Washington D.C. May 20-25, 2012 for the National Small Business Week Awards.

In 1986 Rene Haag took a management position with Blaines Art Supply. Twelve years later, Rene, with a combination of seller financing and a loan from the SBA, bought the art supply and picture framing business. Blaines Art Supply continued to operate out of the same location in the mural-painted building, a landmark in Spenard.  Further growth was not possible due to the limitations of the building. The landlord’s decision to sell the building and Rene’s opportunity to buy a lot around the corner resulted in a new chapter for Blaines Art Supply.

With an SBA 504 loan from Evergreen Business Capital and partnering with Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, the financing solution solidified. The newly constructed, larger building allowed for more inventory to be carried and for the framing department to have a prominent presence on the shop floor with an impressive display of frame and matting choices. An elevator to the second floor provides access to greater space for classes and art parties.

Blaines Art Supply offers free meeting space to area businesses and non-profit groups. A recently added coffee bar on the first floor is becoming a popular gathering place. Blaines Art Supply continues to grow as a business and to support artists, schools and fundraising events.

Assistant Associate Administrator Calvin Goings said “Small businesses like Blaines Art Supply have tremendous impacts on their communities.  We are pleased to recognize Rene Haag as the 2012 SBA Alaska Small Business Person of the Year.”   

Rene Haag will be honored by the SBA at the National Small Business Week ceremonies in Washington D.C. May 20-25, 2012.  Haag will also be recognized at the Alaska District’s Small Business Week award luncheon on April 18th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Anchorage.

The SBA selects a Small Business Person of the Year for each of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.  Winners are selected based on their staying power, growth in number of employees, increase in sales and/or unit volume, financial strength, innovation, response to adversity, and community contributions.  For more information about Small Business Week, go to:  http://www.nationalsmallbusinessweek.com/

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