Congratulations are in order for Cellect LLC and its owner, Scott Smith, who will be recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration with the 2008 Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery. Cellect, a maker of specialty foam products for such items as baseball helmets and auto windshields in St. Johnsville, N.Y., was forced to evacuate its plant on June 28 when the Mohawk River overflowed its banks. Fifteen feet of water rose inside the 200,000-square-foot factory, destroying equipment, supplies and inventory. According to SBA's news release announcing the prize:
Although Cellect sustained an estimated $10 million in damages and lost revenue, Smiths priority was to take care of his employees first. He organized a meeting with the New York State Department of Labor, quickly securing unemployment assistance for his 100 employees. The care, concern and innovation that Smith displayed in getting his employees back to work in the aftermath of the devastating flood and his tireless devotion to the rebuilding and subsequent expansion of this St. Johnsville business has earned him the 2008 Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery. The award will be presented during the U.S. Small Business Administrations (SBA) National Small Business Week 2008, to be held in Washington, D.C. and New York City April 21-25. The Phoenix Award is an acknowledgment of an individuals heroic effort and recognition of contributions to the physical and economic recovery of their communities, said SBA Administrator Steve Preston. Mr. Smith displayed tremendous courage and resourcefulness in the aftermath of the disaster, and he exemplifies the spirit one must have to rebuild after a tragedy like this.Kudos to Smith and his team at Cellect.