The allure of recognizing the contributions small businesses make on the Region's economy has lost no luster with the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center. 

The organization's 26th annual Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards event, also known as E-Day, drew more than 200 people on Wednesday to Avalon Manor in Hobart. 

"It's our opportunity to celebrate the contributions small businesses make," said Lorri Feldt, Northwest ISBDC regional director. "(Small business owners) all have a common passion to deliver their products and services and to invest and grow their businesses in the Region."

Feldt said investment by small businesses ultimately results in job creation which is "greatly valued in the Region."   

Each award winner was showcased in a short video, which featured their business, a brief history and the work they do. 

The 2017 E-Day winners include:

• Small Business Person of the Year: Pete Korellis, Korellis Roofing, Hammond

• Entrepreneurial Success: Donna Hubinger, Hubinger Landscaping, Crown Point 

• Emerging Business of the Year: Rich and Leslie Monroe, Monroe’s Crossing, New Carlisle

• Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Seth Spencer, SERA Solutions, Michigan City

• Family-Owned Business of the Year: Leep family, Pleasant View Dairy, Highland

• Women-Owned Business of the Year: Justine King, Bilingual Speech Solutions, Crown Point

• Small Business Exporter of the Year: Scott Yaeger, FAST International, LaPorte

• Small Business Advocate of the Year: Erica Dombey, Regional Development Company, Valparaiso

• Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert Coolman, Coolman Communities, Valparaiso

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Business Editor

Business Editor of The Times of Northwest Indiana