DENVER — Nominations for the 2018 Colorado Small Business Person of the Year are due in a few weeks, and to drive home that point Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Wednesday will visit the owner of an empanada store who won the award this year.
Lorena Cantarovici, an Argentina native who came to Denver with only $300 in her pocket, began making empanadas in her garage for friends and family and now operates three stores in the metro area. In May she was named Colorado Small Businesswoman of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Last month she announced her company had obtained up to $3.5 million in funding from the Colorado Impact Fund.
The secretary will tour the Maria Empanda store on 8000 E. Belleview Ave. in Greenwood Village from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"Everything I've read about Lorena and Maria Empanada makes me excited to try their empanadas," Williams said. "Because the Colorado Secretary of State's office is where businesses are born, seeing an entrepreneur and business recognized is a great source of pride and admiration."
More than 660,000 businesses are registered with the Colorado Secretary of State's office. The office has received numerous awards for its innovative online model that makes it easy to conduct business, while at the same time garnering praise for charging some of the lowest registration fees in the nation.
The Small Business Administration is seeking nominations for a variety of local awards, including Exporter of the Year and Subcontractor of the Year. Information can be found in the Awards Guidelines. Mail or hand-deliver applications to the SBA Colorado District Office, 721 19th St., Suite 426, Denver, CO 80205, by 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018.
The awards will be announced next May.