Local winners named in American Small Business Championship

Two Sioux Falls businesses have been named winners in the American Small Business Championship hosted by SCORE.

The Fruit Club, a fresh-fruit delivery business based in Sioux Falls and founded by Irina Kleinsasser, has grown to serve customers in almost 300 communities in 14 states.

Virtual Office Advantage, owned by Tiffny Hagan, provides micro businesses across the nation the administrative, technical and project management support needed to start and grow their business.

Unglued, a handmade store based in North Dakota that has a Sioux Falls location, also was one of the winners.

The winning businesses were part of a group of 102 entrepreneurs nationwide who were chosen based on describing the most unique aspect of their small business that has contributed to their success, their positive impact on the community and their plans to use the prizes to grow their business. Nominations that garnered at least 100 votes were presented to a judging panel of small-business experts.

The winners each received a $1,000 gift card from sponsor Sam’s Club, a free trip to a training and networking event, and mentoring and publicity from SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer expert business mentors.

“We’re thrilled and honored by this recognition from SCORE and Sam’s Club,” Fruit Club founder Irina Kleinsasser said. “Thank you to our loyal customers for helping spread the word about our delicious fruit and for supporting us online in the American Small Business Championship.”

The winners also are eligible to win one of three $25,000 grand prizes. A judging panel of small-business experts will select the Grand Champions this summer. Selection is based on how effectively the winners use the Sam’s Club gift card and the SCORE regional training events to grow business revenue, as well as how effectively they promote the championship in the media and on social media.

Local winners named in American Small Business Championship

Two Sioux Falls businesses and one in North Dakota with a shop in Sioux Falls have been named winners in the American Small Business Championship hosted by SCORE.

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