September 14 — A new Kensington business owner will be featured at the conclusion of the US Small Business Administration’s three-day National Small Business Week virtual summit on Wednesday.
Amy Johnson is the owner of Sweet Tillies, a baklava bakery that is one of several new small businesses that have opened in the downtown area of the city.
Johnson said his company was one of 15 companies across the country chosen to be featured at the summit, which began on Monday. She recorded a video talking about her story and how the SBA has served her. She said it was scheduled to air from 4:25 p.m. Wednesday.
Johnson, a native of New Kensington, and her husband Carl, an Air Force veteran, returned to New Kensington in 2001. She opened Sweet Tillies in December in a Fifth Avenue apartment building owned by Olde Towne Overhaul.
Johnson said she knew an SBA worker who thought her story was a good one for the summit’s resilience theme – she quit her corporate job and opened a start-up during the pandemic in a city trying to revitalize.
“I had no idea of the sheer amount of support and resources available from the SBA and my local district office until I met an SBA employee who introduced me,” Johnson said. . “They offer training and education, online training, loan programs, mentors, and even opportunities to sell your goods or services to the federal government. . “
President Biden signed a proclamation declaring the week of September 12-18 National Small Business Week.
According to the SBA, the summit highlights the resilience of the country’s entrepreneurs and the revival of the small business economy as they recover from the economic crisis caused by the covid pandemic.
Famous participants included Mark Cuban and Jennifer Lopez, originally from Pittsburgh.
To view his video, Johnson said people will need to register on the SBA’s website, sba.gov, for the summit. Registration is free.
Johnson said she was revamping her business plan for Sweet Tillies and asked the SBA for a mentor to help her review and review the plan and help with business development and growth strategies.
“I’ve just started my relationship with the SBA, and it’s great to work with them. There are even more resources out there that I hope I can use,” she said. “I’m grateful to be connected now, as I’m learning as I go with Sweet Tillies, but most of all grateful that when I take on challenges – which I do – I won’t feel like I have to face them. alone and I can easily contact my local SBA office for help and advice. “
Brian C. Rittmeyer is an editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter.