Early last week the Small Business Administration announced that a local woman had won Minnesota'a small business person of the year award. Paula Trenda, the owner of Curly Girlz Candy, was announced as the winner ahead of National Small Business week, Sept 21-27.

According to the press release announcement:

“Minnesota’s small business community is over 500,000 strong and Paula Trenda provides an inspiring example of how entrepreneurs here are making a difference locally as they position their products to meet needs on a national scale,” - SBA’s Minnesota District Director Brian McDonald.

Trenda's bio online states that she began "experimenting with holiday candy making with an elderly neighbor" while she was in junior high and her love of candy and other sweet treat making turned into a business of her own in 2014 when she resigned at her former job and opened a store in Medford.

Curly Girlz Candy is based in Owatonna and specializes in sugar-free, handmade, gourmet chocolates featuring local and fair-trade ingredients in many of its products. The company houses a production facility and a small retail location, which sells online, in-store and to local retailers. The SBA highlighted that recently Curly Girlz Candy has begun exporting to Canada.

The award has been a long time coming for Trenda, as National Small Business Week was slated to be help May 3-9, but was postponed until now due to Cornonavirus concerns.

According to the Small Business Administration's website: "more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business. And they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. Some 99.9% of all firms across the nation are small businesses and employ 60 million out of 126.8 million employees across America."