CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) — It has been a challenging few years for restaurant owners. They have had to adapt to an ever-changing pandemic in order to stay afloat. On Monday, one restaurant owner in Cheshire was recognized for his resiliency, hard work and dedication to the community.

Viron Rondo, owner of Viron Rondo Osteria in Cheshire, has been named the Small Business Person of the Year for Connecticut by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

“It’s a great honor. I’m very proud,” Rondo said. “I’m very happy, not only for myself and my family and my staff which has worked very hard through all this time, but especially with the COVID crisis.”

Catherine Marx, SBA’s Connecticut district director, shared what set Rondo apart from the other nominees.

“What we want with our small businesses is we want them to grow successfully and that’s what he did,” Marx said. “But he’s done it with so much more: he’s done it with inspiration, creativity, and at the heart of all that, community and good food.”

Customers News 8 spoke with said they are happy he is being recognized. 

“I can’t think of a harder working guy and a better man to deserve that award,” said Randy Petroniro, a customer at Viron Rondo Osteria.

The winners from each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands will formally be recognized during the National Small Business Week awards ceremony. Rondo will compete with the other top winners for the title of National Small Business Person of the Year. 

To learn more about the other winners, click here.