Miranda Creative’s Maria Miranda Named Small Business Person of the Year

Small Business

Maria Miranda, founder and chief creative officer of Miranda Creative, has been named as Connecticut’s 2024 Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Miranda launched the agency 35 years ago offering creative and comprehensive marketing services.

The Norwich-based company partners with clients in all industries and sizes to help them strategically improve their brand identity. 

“An SBA Small Business Person of the Year demonstrates resilience, employee growth, innovation, ability to overcome challenges, and dedication to community,” said SBA Connecticut District director Catherine Marx. 

“These qualities have been rooted in Miranda Creative since its inception.”

Community Partner

The SBA noted the agency’s efforts to be diverse and inclusive, and its passion for authentic client and community relationships.

“As an innovator and job creator, Maria’s creativity propelled the American Dream for herself, her team, and her small business clients,” Marx said.

Miranda Creative's Maria Miranda
Maria Miranda speaking at CBIA’s 2023 When Women Lead conference.

The agency provides pro-bono hours to nonprofits to help them with fundraising, job retention, and operations.

They also support the community by purchasing pallets of pet food for local food pantries. 

‘Meaningful and Humbling’

Miranda called the award “meaningful and humbling.”

“Being a successful entrepreneur does not happen in a vacuum,” said Miranda. 

“Being a successful entrepreneur does not happen in a vacuum.”

Maria Miranda

“There is also a supportive community of colleagues, clients, and passionate advocates, like the CBIA and the SBA, who will be with you every step of the way.”

The award is also something of a full-circle moment—Miranda was recognized as Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the SBA Connecticut District when she was 25. 

“As I celebrate 35 years of running a thriving organization—and if you do the math, a milestone year of my own—I can share that without a doubt, I feel just as supported by the SBA as an ‘older’ entrepreneur as I did as a young entrepreneur,” she said.

Award Winners

Miranda is among a group of Connecticut Small Business Week Award Winners, representing different categories and industries across the state. 

Other awardees include:

  • Exporter of the Year: Anthony DeFeo, DeFeo Manufacturing Inc. (dba Xcalliber)
  • Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year: Tyson Francis Belanger, Shady Oaks Assisted Living LLC 
  • Minority Owned Small Business of the Year: Ting Luo, The Green TeaHouse
  • Manufacturer of the Year: Neviana Zhgaba and Ardian Llomi, Aquila’s Nest Vineyard
  • Microenterprise Business of the Year: Christopher DeMartine, Programmatic B2B, LLC
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Scott Allen and Brigid Sullivan, Water-Flo, Inc. 
  • Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: Eric Lopez, Arrowhead Leadership Consulting, LLC 
  • Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Dr. Dori Gatter, West Hartford Holistic Counseling
  • Women’s Business Center of the Year: Women’s Business Development Council/Southwestern Women’s Business Center 

The award winners will be honored during the National Small Business Week SBA Awards & Resource Expo May 2 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.

The event is a collaboration between CBIA and the SBA Connecticut District Office.

“Small businesses are the heart and soul of our economy, representing more than 99% of all businesses in the state and employing over 730,800 workers,” said CBIA president and CEO DiPentima.


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