The Northwest Indiana Small Business Development team is celebrating a recent recognition by the Small Business Administration after receiving the SBDC Excellence & Innovation Center Award.

“National Small Business Week is the first week of May. At the SBA, we think every day is Small Business Week,” said SBA Indiana District Director Stacey Poynter at the Financial Literacy Roundtable, which included the award presentation.

The award is given to small business development centers “for providing valuable guidance and assistance to entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds and advancing program delivery and management using innovative programming and methods.”

“Our team is humbled to be honored with this award for our role in assisting small businesses here in our region,” said NW-ISBDC Regional Director Lorri Feldt. “It was wonderful to be handed our award in-person amongst a gathering of entrepreneurs and community partners after years of virtual events.

“The occasion was even more memorable with special guest SBA Regional Administrator Geri Aglipay, who joined our panel to discuss financial resources for region business owners.”

The recent event helped mark Financial Literacy Month at the ArtHouse in Gary and showcased a panel of entrepreneurs at a range of stages who had varied financial pathways to business ownership. Shelice Tolbert of law firm Tolbert & Tolbert, April Glueckert of Calumet Lumber, Joslyn RW Kelly of J’s Breakfast Club and Emily Edwards of Paradise Spreads shared their own personal journeys.

“We want to make sure small business owners focus on what they’re really passionate about and what they know best – their craft. We are here to make sure you manage your cash right,” Aglipay said. “We’re excited to hear what you have to say. It’s with your voice that we know what you need so that we can better meet you where you are at. We’re on this journey together.”

For more information about financial and additional business development resources, contact the NW-ISBDC at 219-644-3513, or visit

Serving seven counties in the region, the Northwest ISBDC offers no-cost assistance for entrepreneurs starting or expanding their businesses. Through one-on-one consulting, the NW-ISBDC helps guide small businesses toward their goals by offering referrals, workshops, training opportunities and other essential business tools. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Small Business Administration, the State of Indiana and other local partners.

For more information, visit