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Small Business Award State National

April 25, 2007

A Grand Forks businessman was named of the nation's top small business owners Tuesday by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Dave McFarlane, President of McFarlane Sheet Metal, was named second runner-up a the National Small Business Person of the Year award ceremony during the SBA's two-day National Small Business Week conference in Washington. McFarlane advanced to the national round of judging after being named North Dakota's winner last month. According to SBA spokesman Dennis Byrne, the award essentially means McFarlane is the country's third -best small business owner. Byrne said winners from each state were reviewed by a SBA panel before the awards ceremony.

McFarlane finished behind Bobbie Jacobs-Ghaffer and Lesa Jacobs, American Indian sisters from North Carolina who have a health care business, and Jay Johnson, president of a grain operation in Illinois. "To hear my name called at the end of the program when we all had accepted our state awards was a complete surprise," McFarlane said. "I didn't even know there were extra awards that were going to be given out."

Byrne said winners are selected on their record of stability, growth in employment and sales, financial condition, innovation, response to adversity and community service.

McFarlane started working at McFarlane Sheet Metal in 1979. He took over the company from his father in 1981.

Edison reports on business. Reach him at (701) 780-1107, (800) 477-6572, ext. 107 or