Photo by Donald A. Promnitz. David Salter has been named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2020 Small Business Person of the year for the San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast region.

published on September 22, 2020 - 10:07 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

David Salter, owner of Chowchilla-based Salter’s Distributing, has been named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2020 Small Business Person of the year for the San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast region.

Salter, a Modesto native, will be recognized during SBA’s National Small Business Week and will be a featured speaker for a virtual SBA event Wednesday.

Salter’s Distributing began in 1990 when teenage father David Salter sold his 1970 Chevelle to buy a used delivery van and his first $200 in merchandise. The business celebrated its 30th anniversary in May.

The business distributes toys, stationery, gloves, sunglasses, mops, brooms and thousands of other items to more than 1,800 grocery, convenience, and hardware stores across the San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast. Salter’s Distributing currently employs 55 full-time staff members and operates in 50,000 square feet of warehouse space on 10 acres in Chowchilla that opened in 2017.

“For more than 3 decades, David Salter has used help from the U.S. Small Business Administration including the Small Business Development Center and an SBA Disaster Loan to get going, keep growing, and create jobs,” said Fresno District Director Dawn Golik. “Salter’s Distributing is an inspiring example of how the SBA’s programs help good companies become great, and give them the resources to make it through challenging economic times.”

In 2014, Salter’s Distributing was significantly impacted by a historic California drought. It devastated the San Joaquin Valley farming industry, affecting the many small rural grocery stores that make up the company’s customer base. As a result, Salter’s Distributing applied for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan, which provided working capital to stabilize their operations until the region recovered from drought.

In addition to running his business, David Salter gives back to the community, serving on numerous boards in Madera County, and volunteering with organizations that assist other rural youth affected by unplanned teenage pregnancy.

Among his other accolades, Salter was the 2014 winner of the Rising Star Award given by the Institute for Family Business at Fresno State.

Salter will be a featured speaker in a special SBA hosted event, “Small Business Resiliency and Ingenuity in California: How SBA Small Business Winners Face Challenge, Pivot, and Innovate.” It takes place Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 11a.m. The event will feature SBA small business winners sharing stories of what they’ve learned about longevity and success.


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