New York Small Business Development Center Announces National Award

May 5, 2016

Albany – The New York Small Business Development Center (SBDC) today announced that one of its clients, Majestic Vending and Services, Inc. of Staten Island, is the winner of the National Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery is given to the business owner whose efforts and contributions have enabled their business to recover successfully and thrive following a disaster. Businesses that suffered a physical disaster loss and received an SBA disaster loan during fiscal years 2014 or 2015 were eligible for nomination. During this period, there were 163 federally-declared disasters throughout the nation.

Majestic Vending and Services is co-owned by Maryann and Stephen Piazza. From its beginnings as a simple gumball machine at a construction site, the company has grown to serve the entire NYC area with vending, coffee and bottled water delivery for offices, and safety gear.

Majestic was victim to significant wind damage suffered during Hurricane Sandy. Losses surpassed $75,000 in damages. The Piazzas received SBDC assistance to apply for an SBA Disaster Loan, which they received for expenses not covered by insurance and grants.

Despite the hardships experienced by Majestic, the Piazzas have been able to continue their business and even expand and diversify. In 2014, Majestic was chosen by the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee Business Connect as an Official Participant to prepare and distribute several products and services for the Super Bowl.

"We are extremely proud that our client was recognized from the thousands of small businesses eligible to be the National Phoenix award winner by SBA," said NY SBDC State Director James King. "Following a natural disaster such as Hurricane Sandy, it’s often impossible for small businesses to recover and rare to see them emerge as stronger businesses. This recognition displays the commitment and dedication so many small business owners across New York State and the entire storm track have to succeed, even under the most adverse circumstances. Our SBDC staff is committed to help businesses in need under any conditions, but especially following a disaster. When a community begins the process of rebuilding, the local small businesses are often at the forefront of recovery, and we appreciate the trust they place in the SBDC to turn to us during these times."

For more than 50 years, SBA has recognized the outstanding achievements of America’s small businesses for their contributions in their local communities, and to our nation’s economy.

About the New York Small Business Development Center
The NY SBDC, administered by the State University of New York (SUNY), has 24 regional service centers located throughout the New York State on SUNY, City University of New York (CUNY) and private university campuses. Since inception in 1984, the SBDC has provided small business advisement services to more than 374,000 New Yorkers. The SBDC also provides training and business research to existing business owners and entrepreneurs. SBDC clients have invested more than $6 billion in NY, impacting more than 165,000 jobs.

The SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New York, local communities, and host campuses. As a result of this leveraged support, the SBDC staff provides confidential one-on-one business advisement services at no direct cost to the citizens and entrepreneurs of New York. For more information about the SBDC, visit

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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Holly Liapis
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