By Renato Ghio
Benay Enterprises, located on Main Street in Danbury, is the winner of the 2016 Connecticut Small Business Administration’s award for Best Minority-Owned Small Business.
Benay Enterprises President Dawn Reshen-Doty applied for the award at the urging of Nelson Merchan, a business advisor at the Connecticut Small Business Development Center. She didn’t expect to win; in fact, she forgot she even applied. “It was a nice surprise,” she said. “It’s definitely not just about me, and not just about Benay.” She credits past and current staff, interns, the local business community, Nelson Merchan and the Small Business Development Center, Western Connecticut State University and grant opportunities through the state for contributing to the success of the company.
Dawn has been managing businesses for over 25 years. She joined Benay Enterprises in 1990, becoming president in 2010, upon the retirement of her business partner and father, Neil Reshen, the founder of Benay. Benay provides back-office services like bookkeeping, financial reporting, budgeting, payroll and human resources and benefits administration to companies of all sizes. The idea is that Benay handles the day-to-day, so that clients can focus on growth and the bigger picture. Making the award all the more auspicious is that this year marks the company’s 30th anniversary.
Dawn is also passionate about being a part of downtown Danbury. “It’s really important to remind people that the heart and soul of Danbury is downtown,” she noted. “There are a tremendous amount of resources here, established and start-ups. We not only need to support them, but really utilize them. We should be looking at all the different vendors and companies downtown and supporting them however we can.”
She added that there’s a lot of office space around the Hat City, but they choose to be in the center. “I’m really proud of that. We’re not just here. We’re here by choice.” When looking to the future, Dawn said Benay Enterprises plans to continue being a resource for businesses and remain an integral part of the downtown community.