Two Delaware small businesses highlighted after receiving state awards
DELAWARE – On Friday, Delaware’s U.S. Senator Tom Carper visited two small businesses that were recognized by the state this year: Placers and CNU Fit.
Chris Burkhard is the founder and president of Placers, which has two locations including one in Milford. The fourth generation entrepreneur was named Delaware’s 2020 Small Business Person of the Year. “This is a really unique time in business and in history,” says Burkhard. “One of the biggest challenges is the uncertainty of not knowing what’s going to happen.”
Placers specializes in finding people job opportunities and connecting employers with applicants. As unemployment skyrocketed during the pandemic, they decided to offer some of their services for free. “Our clients need more help than ever and the workforce forever needs this assistance. So it’s pretty simple. We’re just in the right spot at the right time,” says Burkhard.
Meanwhile, Evans Armantrading owns CNU Fit which was named Delaware’s 2020 Veteran-Owned Business of the Year. It’s a personalized training studio with one location in Milford and another in Dover. “Seventy percent of our GDP or more comes from small business. It’s people like myself and other small business owners that make our economy move,” says Armantrading.
He says the pandemic has challenged him and his team in countless ways but they’ve remained optimistic while adapting to new challenges. Armantrading says in the future he’d like to see small business owners have a seat at the table when it comes to policy and decision making. “I don’t think the small business owners mindset is being used to build the policies to affect the small business owners so while I was shut down and I couldn’t have any clients Walmart was open,” says Armantrading.
As for what’s next for these two small businesses, both owners say they simply want to continue helping and serving people which they say has been key to their success.
Sen. Tom Carper says he believes the two small businesses he visited on Friday are an inspiration, “I think one of the reasons why businesses like this one our recognized is to be an example to other businesses to encourage folks were thinking of starting a business so I can do that and to learn from their success here.”