Small business, big impact: Duluth business earns award for economic contribution

Small business, big impact: Duluth business earns award for economic contribution
Published: Oct. 12, 2023 at 5:06 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - Back in 1989, a father and son duo started a small upholstery business in Duluth.

“I had a full-time job out of college and I said ‘Yeah, I can,’ I’ll come down and work for him until like two or three and then work from three to 11 at night mostly so I could pay my student loans,” said SCS Interiors President Mike Hudyma.

Hudyma said it all started with himself, his dad, and two sewing machines.

It is a family-owned business of two generations.

In the beginning, they were making a few booths for restaurants.

More than 30 years later, SCS Interiors is sewing the upholstery for airplane seats. They produce up to four airplanes worth of seats per day.

Throughout the past few years, as businesses have struggled with workforce shortages, Hudyma said prioritizing employee care has helped them retain their staff and succeed.

“We’ve all started to compete for the same employee,” said Hudyma. “We’re trying to approach employees from both the monetary package and also that you know that our environment is a clean, fun environment to work in, and it’s been very successful.”

That business model is what landed them an Entrepreneur Fund’s Distinction Award for their contribution to the region’s economy.

“There is a real passion for community and there’s a real passion for giving back,” said Shawn Wellnitz, CEO of Entrepreneur Funds, the business giving the award to SCS Interiors. “There’s a real passion for making sure employees are well taken care of. And I think that’s something really unique to this region and something that we need to celebrate with small business owners.”

Hudyma recognizes these small wins for small businesses, in return, create a big impact for the region.

“We’ve been very fortunate to make something last for you know, almost 30 years now of this expansion and growth and new machinery and new people,” said Hudyma.

The Distinction Awards Ceremony will be on October 25 in Duluth.

Among the award recipients are Arctic Compressor in Superior and Syvantis Technologies in Baxter, Minnesota.

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