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Sanderson Stewart, a land development business out of Billings, was given a national award on Thursday for America’s best small business. CEO Michael Sanderson of Sanderson Stewart was recognized and congratulated in Washington D.C. and named the number one small business in America at the America’s Small Business Summit by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

"It started last fall by getting nominated by our local chamber of commerce—we were nominated by the Billings chamber," Sanderson said. "After that, we had to go through quite the extensive application process—information about our business and how we do businesses. The selection committee narrowed that down to 100 blue ribbon winners across the country and we were recognized as a blue ribbon winner back in February. From there, they narrowed it down to seven regional finalists."

Out of that group, Sanderson said the chamber picked his firm at the best in the nation.

The DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award is judged based on various criteria including staff training and motivation, community involvement, customer service and businesses strategies and goals.

"They're looking at business practices in the area of business planning and strategy, employee development—how we develop and take care of our employees; They look at customer service as well as community involvement—what we do in our communities, and a host of other things," Sanderson said. "It's really kind of a comprehensive look at our business practices. They're trying to pick firms not just in our industry, but it's across all small businesses."

Represenative Steve Daines was also in Washington D.C. to congratulate Sanderson on his national award.

"Congratulations to everyone at Sanderson Stewart on being named the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business of the Year,” Daines said. “Small businesses like this one drive innovation and job-creation across Montana and the country. We are proud you call Montana your home."