On Wednesday morning, Sept. 26, a crowd of residents, workers, politicians, friends and fellow businesspeople gathered on bales of hay to commemorate Kent’s Reber Ranch as the winner of the King County Executive’s Rural Small Business of the Year.

On hand for the event was Kent Chamber CEO Andrea Keikkala, Chamber President Steve Haft, Mayor Dana Ralph, and Sen. Joe Fain.

While King County is known for the being the home to some world-leading businesses, more than 95 percent of them are small businesses.

“Our region has a proud tradition of producing and supporting innovators and entrepreneurs,” Executive Dow Constantine said. “Their work has given our region a major competitive edge, and it’s up to us to ensure that the next generation of thinkers and doers enjoys the same advantages.”

Hundreds of nominations were narrowed down to 28 finalists in seven categories, representing 24 of the 39 cities in King County as well as unincorporated areas. Judges from several chambers of commerce around the region selected the winners using criteria like customer service, community involvement, and business model innovation.

Kent’s Sidetrack Distillery was a finalist, and in addition to Reber Ranch, other winners included:

  • Small Business of the Year: Tomboy X, Seattle
  • Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: Concord Engineering, Seattle
  • Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Triangle Associates, Seattle
  • Exporting Small Business of the Year: Pier2 Marketing, Seattle
  • Green/Sustainable Small Business of the Year: Green Cleaning Seattle – Otium-Maid Services, Seattle
  • Workforce Development Small Business of the Year: Cognission Corporation/Sponge School, Kirkland

To be eligible for the Executive’s Small Business Awards, nominees must be located in King County, have been in business for at least three years, and have 50 employees or less.

Hosted by the Kent Chamber of Commerce, the ceremony was broadcast live on our Facebook page (please “LIKE” us here to be alerted of future live videos).

Scott Schaefer

Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...