Brownsville businessman takes top honor as SBA announces Valley winners

The SBA Small Business Awards are part of National Small Business Week, which takes place this year April 28-May 4. (Courtesy: U.S. Small Business Administration/Facebook)
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Nicolas V. Soto Jr., owner of NVS Corporation Services Inc., headquartered in Brownsville, has been named Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration Lower Rio Grande Valley District.

The district office announced the winners from across the Valley in eight national award categories on Friday.

Soto launched his company in 2001, specializing in facility maintenance services (primarily janitorial services), maintaining operational mechanical systems and ensuring sanitized buildings and well manicured grounds.

NVS since then has expanded into nearly every state and American Samoa, with five offices in Texas and Indiana and a continuously expanding workforce driven by the company’s growth, contract acquisition and diversification of services, according to SBA.

The company is a graduate of SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program, a federal training program for experienced small business owners who are socially and economically disadvantaged. NVS was honored as 8(a) Graduate of the Year by SBA in 2019. Soto also graduated from SBA’s Emerging Leaders program and received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan and SBA 504 Loan.

Soto was nominated for Small Business Person of the Year by Daniela Sosa, Brownsville Development Fund of Texas.

The SBA Small Business Awards are part of National Small Business Week, which takes place this year April 28-May 4, and will recognize small business owners “who demonstrate staying power and substantiated history as an established business with at least three years of business operation,” according to SBA.

“Winners must show growth in net worth and business expansion, increase in jobs and sales, (innovation) of products and services, response to adversity, and contribution to community-oriented projects,” SBA said.

The district’s other 2024 Small Business Week winners are:

>> Family-Owned Small Business of the Year, Bill Bunton Auto Supply & Machine in Mercedes, owner Brian Robert Bunton of Mercedes, nominated by Mercedes Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Melissa Ramirez;

>> Home-Based Business of the Year, Heavenly Clean LLC, owner Rosa E. Estrada of McAllen, nominated by LiftFund Market Director Marlene Rodriguez;

>> Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year, Trimad Consultants LLC, owner Richard Salazar of Alamo, nominated by Trimad Consultants office manager Trisha Salazar;

>> Rural-Owned Small Business of the Year, In Style Beauty Salon, owner Petra Garza of Rio Grande City, nominated by Starr County Industrial Foundation Vice President Trisha Salazar;

>> Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year, J&N Solutions LLC (doing business as Armored Painting), owners Nelson Ramiro Martinez and Jose Robledo of Alamo, nominated by UTRGV Veteran Business Outreach Center business advisor Marcus Villagran;

>> Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year, Kids at Play Learning Center LLC, owner Linda Iris Buitron of Pharr, nominated by Marlene Rodriguez of LiftFund; and

>> Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Julian Jimenez of McAllen, owner of Meet Texas, nominated by UTRGV Innovation and Commercialization Center program coordinator Persephonie Martinez.

SBA Regional Administrator Mindy Brissey said Small Business Week is an opportunity to highlight the “dedication and creativity of business owners and entrepreneurs,” adding that “small businesses play a vital role in creating thriving communities and boosting economic growth.”

SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman said the 2024 winners “exemplify excellence, innovation and commitment, and the SBA is proud to showcase their incredible achievements and impact on their communities and our economy.”

Angela Burton, director of the SBA Lower Rio Grande Valley District, congratulated all of this year’s winners, adding, “National Small Business Week holds a special place in heart.”

“I’m always thrilled to witness the excitement and pride in nominees when they receive the award news,” she said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to honor model entrepreneurs whose ventures enrich the growth and prosperity of our district.”

She also praised nominators for following through with the nomination process.

The 2024 winners will be recognized by the Rio Grande Valley Partnership at a ceremony on May 2, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Brownsville Events Center, 1 Event Center Blvd.

For information about the ceremony and registering, contact Fernanda Sanchez at (956) 968-3141 or [email protected].