Bhupender ‘Bruce’ Patel wins Mississippi’s ‘Small Business Person of the Year’ award

Will vie to become national winner at SBA meet in May.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: The Small Business Administration (SBA) has named Bhupender ‘Bruce’ Patel, the head of a hospitality firm in Tupelo, Mississippi, as the state’s Small Business Person of the Year.

Bruce Patel (courtesy of his LinkedIn page)
Bruce Patel (courtesy of his LinkedIn page)

The SBA is a US federal agency whose job it is “to maintain and strengthen the nation’s economy by enabling the establishment and viability of small businesses and by assisting in the economic recovery of communities after disasters.” Their annual “Small Business Person of the Year” award is given to one entrepreneur in each state and territory – including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the District of Columbia – every year, with a single “National Small Business Person of the Year” chosen from the pool of 53 at a ceremony in May.

Patel is the CEO and Principal of Fusion Hospitality, a hotel management company that “positions hotels in local markets while also creating product differentiation to gain a significant competitive advantage.” The company’s website says that it has been responsible for over $150 million in development over the last few years, and is committed to establishing long-term hotel properties throughout the region.

The company began as a single hotel establishment in 2010, and has since grown into one of the largest hospitality management firms in the eastern US.

“We are proud that Bruce Patel is the SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year for 2014,” says Janita R. Stewart, the SBA’s district director for Mississippi, in a statement. “Nominated to SBA by Three Rivers Local Development Company, Inc., the selection as our state winner was based in part on Fusion Hospitality’s staying power, growth in number of employees, increase in sales and/or unit volume, current and past financial reports, innovations of product or service, and response to adversity and contributions to aid the community.

The SBA will announce the national award winner during the National Small Business Week ceremonies, which are set to take place on May 15th and 16th.

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