AUGUSTA, Maine — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the winner of its annual Veteran-Owned Small Business Award for 2013. Alfred J. “Fred” Lebel, chairman of Maine Heritage Weavers in Lewiston, has been selected to receive this prestigious award for Maine.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and recognizing those who work so hard to achieve success is truly an honor,” said Marilyn Geroux, SBA district director for Maine. “It is a particular privilege to present this award to Mr. Lebel because of his success in creating economic opportunity for our skilled workers and for his service to our country in the U.S. Army.”
After years of experience in the textile business, Lebel started Maine Heritage Weavers in Lewiston in 2002. Maine Heritage Weavers began with two looms purchased from Biddeford Textiles, and employed several former Bates Mill workers. The company now has nearly 30 employees and continues to grow. The company has benefitted from an SBA 504 loan and was nominated for this award by R.P. Field Rider, president of Pine Tree State Certified Development Company (CDC), an SBA designated CDC, and John Turner of J.C. Turner & Associates, Inc.
Lebel and Maine Heritage Weavers will be honored at an SBA celebration luncheon on June 4, at the Spectacular Event Center in Bangor.