In a busy week of recognition and celebration for small businesses across the nation, Kerry Boyle and Jonathan Fleming, two of the providers at Integrative Acupuncture of Montpelier, Vermont, embarked on an unforgettable journey to Washington D.C. during the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Person of the Year event, held as part of 2024’s National Small Business Week from April 28th to May 4th.

The highlight of the event? Kerry Boyle’s well-deserved recognition as Vermont’s Small Business Person of the Year, a prestigious award presented by none other than SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman. This honor not only acknowledged Kerry’s outstanding leadership but also underscored the dedication and passion she has poured into the business.

At the event, each state’s small business person of the year was spotlighted, showcasing the remarkable achievements and contributions of entrepreneurs nationwide. For Kerry and Jonathan, it was a moment of pride to stand among fellow small business owners, united in their commitment to innovation and community impact.

Yet, their journey to D.C. was more than just receiving an award—it was a whirlwind of unforgettable experiences. As guests of Senator Gillibrand of New York, they had the privilege of exploring iconic landmarks like the Capitol and the White House. From the majestic halls of Congress to the historic rooms of the Executive Mansion, Kerry and Jonathan were immersed in the rich tapestry of American history and governance.

But what truly set their visit apart was the opportunity to demonstrate their craft. As acupuncturists, Kerry and Jonathan had the chance to showcase the power of acupressure firsthand, even offering a session to Senator Gillibrand herself, a staunch supporter of alternative medicine. It was a moment of connection and advocacy, highlighting the importance of holistic healing in today’s healthcare landscape.

Kerry also seized the chance to advocate for the integration of acupuncture into Medicare, speaking with Senator Bernie Sanders’s office about the pressing need for legislative support. With bills like Senator Judy Chu’s Acupuncture for Seniors Act gaining traction, Kerry’s advocacy underscores the crucial role small businesses play in shaping policy and driving change.

Indeed, small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy, fueling innovation, creating jobs, and fostering vibrant communities. From Main Street to Wall Street, their impact resonates far and wide, embodying the spirit of entrepreneurship and resilience.

Winning the Small Business Person of the Year award is not just an accolade for Kerry—it’s a testament to the strength and ingenuity of small businesses everywhere. As they return home to Montpelier, Kerry and Jonathan carry with them a deep sense of gratitude for this recognition and a renewed commitment to serving their community with passion and excellence.

In the end, Integrative Acupuncture’s journey to Washington D.C. is a reminder that small businesses are not just drivers of the economy—we are beacons of hope, healing, and possibility, lighting the way towards a brighter future for us all.