More than 70 California small business owners were honored by their respective elected representative in Sacramento today as part of California Small Business Day 2012. This year, 18 of the standout businesses were restaurants, recognized for their entrepreneurial spirit, as well as contributions to their communities.
California small businesses account for nearly 90 percent of net new job creation in California, while accounting for 75 percent of the gross state product, according to the California Small Business Association.
“Small businesses drive the economic engine of California, and I welcome the opportunity to recognize hardworking business owners like Mike Morton Jr. and the Morton family who invest and grow their businesses in the state,” said Assemblyman Martin Garrick (R-Carlsbad) in a statement. Garrick recognized Michael Morton Jr. at the event, naming the Brigantine Family of Restaurants the Small Business of the Year for the 74th Assembly District.
CRA Board of Directors member Tony Palermo, owner of Tony P’s Dockside Grill in Marina del Ray, was recognized by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrence).
“Tony P’s is the success it is largely because Dan and Tony work hard and never forget their larger responsibility to support their community,” Lieu said. “I commend them for their exemplary commitment to helping meet local needs by donating to hundreds of nonprofit organizations and schools through their ‘Dockside Dollars’ fundraising program.”
Last year, the restaurant passed along $320,000 in donations to local groups from its program where 25 percent of a customers’ bill can be earmarked for local schools.
Other CRA members honored with Small Business of the Year awards include Uncle Harry’s NY Bagelry and Coffeehouse in Fresno, as well as Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs, a Los Angeles institution celebrating 70 years in business.