Last week I attended New York Enterprise Report's 2009 Small Business Awards dinner. The event is held each year to celebrate New York area businesses that have achieved excellence in various categories. The dinner, an elegant affair, was hosted by the lovely J.J. Ramberg, the host of MSNBC's Your Business and a business owner in her own right.

Several notable members of the New York area business community were present, including Inc.'s own Norm Brodsky and his wife, Elaine; the well-respected business correspondent, Jim Blasingame; and representatives of The United States Hispanic Advocacy Association (USHAA).

The evening was delightful, the company, sublime. Rob Levin, the publisher and editor of NY Enterprise Report put on a great program.

It was such a thrill to be with so many accomplished entrepreneurs and small business advocates. I particularly enjoyed getting to learn about Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO), a New York area not-for-profit small business incubator that's been doing great work for 43 years, from their executive director, Amini Kajunju.

One stand out award recipient for the evening was Nadine Cino, the CEO of Tyga Box, No. 4597 on the Inc. 5000. Tyga-Box was recognized for creating an ecologically sound approach to, of all things, boxes. They won the "green" award last night and Nadine was radiant in her exuberance for being recognized by her entrepreneurial peers.

It was a delightful occasion and verifiable proof that the heartbeat of small business beats strongly in the Greater New York area.