Spa Mizan owner Ginger Louviere took home the Small and Emerging Business of the Year honor, and StormGuard of LA owners James and Katrina Nowosielski were named Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year at the 2012 Louisiana Small Business Awards.

Spa Mizan, located at 319 Kaliste Saloom Road, is a full-service salon and spa, and StormGuard, 105 Board Road, specializes in keeping homes safe from hurricanes. In February, Spa Mizan was also named in the Salon Today 200 by Salon Today magazine. Salons were selected for their best business practices from applications submitted by the magazine’s readers.

Louisiana Economic Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration annually recognize small business leaders who make a significant impact and who exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit of Louisiana. The 2012 winners were honored in a private reception Tuesday at the Governor's Mansion.

“This year’s award winners exemplify the vital role served by Louisiana small business leaders and their enterprises,” LED Secretary Stephen Moret said in announcing the honors. “Across many industry sectors, Louisiana’s small businesses supply key goods and services that fuel our economy and have helped Louisiana outperform the South and the U.S. through the recent national recession and the current recovery. We salute these business leaders for the visionary role they play in job creation, innovation and entrepreneurial growth.”

A recent nationwide survey of small business owners established Louisiana as one of the five friendliest states for small business in the U.S., with Louisiana gaining an “A” overall and an “A+” for networking programs, licensing, regulations and zoning. Louisiana also ranked among the top six states for the economic health of its small businesses. conducted the survey in association with the Kauffman Foundation.

“This third-party survey validates the tremendous accomplishments that our state’s small businesses are achieving, and LED will continue to implement programs and provide assistance that assures continued success for Louisiana’s small businesses in the future,” Moret said.

In addition to the individual small business award winners, LED recognized 33 companies for their participation in the state’s Economic Gardening pilot program, an innovative experience that provides existing small businesses with market research tools to accelerate their growth. View all of the 2012 Small Business Award winners here.

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