Harpers Ferry’s Knott named ‘Small Business Person of the Year’

By Staff reports

Matthew Paul Knott, president and CEO of River Riders, Inc. and Clarion Inn Harpers Ferry, has been named the 2017 West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the agency announced Friday.

River Riders, an outdoor adventure company based in Harpers Ferry, operates whitewater rafting, tubing, kayaking and other activities on the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. The Clarion Inn Harpers Ferry opened in March 2016 as the first solar-powered hotel in the state.

Leah Heimbach, of the Fairmont-based Healthcare Management Solutions, won the national award for 8(a) Graduate of the Year. Former participants of the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, which offers assistance to small economically disadvantaged businesses, are eligible for the award.

Healthcare Management Solutions provides IT services for companies involved in the health care industry.

SBA’s West Virginia District Director Karen Friel also announced the state award winners for 2017:

n Small Business Exporter of the Year: Justin Seibert, Direct Online Marketing

n Family-Owned Small Business of the Year: Donald Riggenbach, Riggenbach Tile and Carpet

n Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: Chin Orih, Corporate Cleaning Services, LLC

n Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Elizabeth Yeager Cross, Yeager Design & Interiors

n Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: Chad Ranson & John Roberts, Ranson Inspection Services, LLC

n Encore Entrepreneur of the Year: Delaina Kucish, Our Country Corner

n Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Dakota Janowitz, DJ’s Firewood

n Small Business Champion of the Year: Patrick Ford, Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle

n Lender of the Year: Huntington National Bank

n Community Bank of the Year: MVB Bank

n Microlender of the Year: First Microloan of West Virginia

“We have an outstanding group of small business owners that represent our state,” Friel said in a news release. “I look forward to meeting with each of them in the next couple weeks and celebrating their success during National Small Business Week.”

The district office will celebrate the award winners during an invite-only luncheon from 12 to 2 p.m. on May 3 at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center in Fairmont.

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