U.S. Small Business Administration SBA News Release April 10, 2015
Author : Brittany Sickler
FARGO – Paula Jo Klein, owner of Smartt Interior Construction, LLC in Fargo, has been awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2015 North Dakota Small Business Person of the Year. This annual award recognizes exceptional small business owners who demonstrate the entrepreneurial spirit in starting and growing a successful business. Nominated by The Center for Technology & Business, Klein was selected following a statewide competition. Award recipients from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, will be considered for a National award which will be announced during National Small Business Week, May 4 – 8.
A licensed general contractor and experienced space planner, Klein is filling a niche in the commercial building industry with innovative offerings that include interior elements – walls, doors, millwork, flooring and power solutions – that can be taken apart and repurposed to accommodate new or additional occupants and businesses. Based in Fargo, Smartt Interior Construction serves North Dakota, South Dakota, and Western Minnesota.
Through her hard work, skills and assistance from the Center for Technology and Business in government contracting and certification as a woman-owned business, Klein has grown sales to over $2.1 million in just her third year of business. This has allowed her to add staff and provide economic opportunity to many additional individuals over the course of the company’s projects.
Klein’s vision goes far beyond her own success. She has been active in West Fargo Public School’s STEM program from its inception, and also prioritizes the time to be active with the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties and the Fargo Lions Club.
In celebration of National Small Business Week, the North Dakota District Office and the West Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center will be hosting a business workshop for all types of makers, crafters and artists. The event will be held the evening of May 4 in downtown Fargo at the Loretta Building, an interior construction project that Klein worked on.