Small businesses are the backbone of every community.
This adage is especially true in Minnesota, where small businesses thrive in an environment that is so supportive of new, small companies. Last year CNBC named Minnesota as the 6th best state for businesses.
In particular, family-owned businesses are prevalent in communities throughout the state. Recently, the U.S Small Business Administration chose the Family-Owned Small Business of the Year in Minnesota.
This year’s honor went to Deneen Pottery, the St. Paul-based pottery-maker that has been a staple of the community dating back to 1972. Deneen Pottery was selected for their success as a small business in Minnesota, as well as for their efforts to give back to the community.
“We are truly excited to receive this award. Dating back to the early days when my father, Peter, and mother, Mary, were working out of a two-story garage, we’ve always looked to deliver excellent products with exceptional services, as well as give back to the community that allows us to do good work,” says Niles Deneen, President of Deneen Pottery.
When they are not busy making handmade mugs for their clients, Niles and his team spend some extra-hours improving the community.
This includes spending time volunteering on the Board of the Midway Chamber of Commerce and digging in at the Merriam Station Community Garden. Deneen Pottery also contributes to a number of non-profits like One Heartland, Simpson Shelter, Saint Paul Public Housing Agency, The Firefly Sisterhood, and the Minnesota Breast Cancer Coalition.
“Small businesses are crucial to the economic success of every community, and we are fortunate to be a part of the flourishing business scene of St. Paul,” continues Niles, “But we are much more than a business. It’s our duty to make the community we serve a better place, and we have a fun time doing that in addition to creating our handcrafted mugs.”
It’s hard to argue against the importance of small businesses — and Deneen Pottery is a great illustration of how they can positively impact our communities.