It’s Small Business Week, and That’s a Big Deal

Julie Runez

May 2, 2022

The National Small Business Week virtual summit is happening May second through May fifth this year. We will be neck deep in preparations for The Robotics Summit & Expo in Boston the following week, so we’re probably going to miss it. We’re not nominated for any awards; we haven’t even dealt directly with the Small Business Administration (SBA) in our entrepreneurial journey. So why should it matter to us?

It matters because our small business wouldn’t function, wouldn’t exist without an extensive network of other small businesses that we rely on to serve our customers. While big business is a pillar, small business is a net. We connect and collaborate to ensure mutual success and to hold our community up in ways that wouldn’t be possible alone.

That inter-reliance has never been more evident than over the past few COVID-riddled years. In the face of temporary shut-downs, limited personal interaction, supply chain debacles, and workforce shortages, Lehnen Industrial was able to thrive, and even grow, because our trusted suppliers and partners made it happen.

Since we’re missing SBA’s official Small Business Week awards ceremony, we’re hosting our own. (Not really, I mean, no buffet or fancy trophies, just our heartfelt, and publicly declared appreciation.)

We chose categories you probably won’t see at SBA’s summit, but they reflect what’s important to us. Here we go…


Peyton Manning Award: Who keeps racking up MVP mentions?

(I would just like it noted that the amount of flack I took for posing this question the way I did in our New England based workplace was unacceptable. Facts are facts. Peyton Manning holds the record for most MVP awards. Deal with it, Brady people.)

Winner:  Dunbroze Precison

Honorable Mention: GSP  Coatings and Quality Fab Inc.

I get it, we’re all New Englanders here. You can call it the Brady Award if you want. The bottom line is, you are excellent across the board.


Swiss Watch Award: Who is always on time?

Winner: K.B. Specialty Machine

Honorable Mention: Dunbroze Precision, GSP Coatings, and Wharton Machine

As you can tell by the list of honorable mentions, there were a lot of strong contenders in this category. We love an accurate lead time almost as much as we love an expedited PO. Keep crushing it, you paragons of Scandinavian precision!


Lee W. Ritchey Award: Whose work is always right the first time?

Winner: Dunbroze Precision

Honorable Mention: Wharton Machine

Here we have an instance where the very simple answer does not reflect the complexity of the decision process. Our trusted pool of small business giants is so solid that FIVE of them were in contention in this category. (Matt, our project manager, circled four on his ballot, which I’m pretty sure is cheating, but we’ll let it slide since there’s no fancy trophy.)


Favorite Uncle Award: Who goes to great lengths to bail you out in a pinch?

Winner: Dunbroze Precision

Honorable Mention: Quality Fab, GSP Coatings

Dunbroze, I’m starting to notice a trend. Good show.


Ernestine Award: Who is the all-time best communicator?

Winner: Dunbroze Precision

Notice the conspicuous lack of an honorable mention? That’s because this was the ONLY unanimous vote on our poll. We never have to wonder if we’re on track or chase down a response with these guys. Brian Smith, don’t forget us when you’re famous.


Old Faithful Award: Who is so reliable, we don’t bother getting another bid when they’re involved?

Winner: Wharton Machine, GSP Coatings, KB Specialty Machine, Dunbroze Precision

Honorable Mention: Merrill’s Metal Shop

Did I mention how many of our small business vendors are rock solid? This list is a litany of trust. Merrill’s landed in the honorable mention slot only because their doors have been closed for several months while they take care of some damage caused by a fire in an adjoined building. We look forward to working with them again soon!


Bob Barker Award: Whose price is right?

Winner: Wharton Machine

Honorable Mention: GSP Coatings and Quality Fab

We’ll see you in the showcase showdown.


Our sincere thanks to everyone who made the list. We look forward to a long future of collaboration and continued excellence. For those who didn’t make the list, remember we focused exclusively on small businesses. If you’re a small business and you didn’t make the list, the competition was stiff. We still appreciate you, and better luck next year. (We don’t know if we’ll be doing this again next year, but it seemed like the right thing to say.)