Buono’s chosen for 54th District Small Business of Year award

Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (center) presents the 2010 Small Business of the Year Award for the 54th District to Frank Buono (left) and Andrew Buono (right) of Buono’s Authentic Pizzeria

Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (center) presents the 2010 Small Business of the Year Award for the 54th District to Frank Buono (left) and Andrew Buono (right) of Buono’s Authentic Pizzeria

Buono’s Authentic Pizzeria was recently recognized as the 2010 Small Business of the Year in the 54th Assembly District. Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D– Long Beach) presented the award during California Small Business Day in Sacramento amidst an audience of legislators, key community leaders, and other statewide honorees.
During the festivities, brothers Frank and Andrew Buono met with government officials and participated in small-business workshops and discussions. 
“Buono’s has been a real community leader in Long Beach and San Pedro,” said Lowenthal. “Not only have they brought their family’s traditions from Italy, but they’ve created some very special traditions here in our communities, like doing their poetry contest for over a decade– it really inspires our local students.” 
The award recognized the restaurant’s longtime partnership with nearly 40 elementary schools, for which Buono’s hosts pizza parties on school campuses, supports numerous school fundraisers, and offers its annual school poetry contest that attracts entries from thousands of 3rd through 5th and 10th graders. Each year the restaurant donates at least 3,000 pizzas and thousands of dollars and volunteer hours to many worthy causes. They also supply gift certificates to schools for use as reading incentives, good attendance, and other student achievements.
Frank Buono, the general manager and owner of the restaurant, has donated numerous hours of his personal time over the years to serve on neighborhood boards, city commissions, and charitable foundations. Currently he is the board president of the California Aquatic Therapy and Wellness  Center. Along with the Wrigley Village Business Association (WVBA), he was instrumental in spearheading a façade improvement program to create a uniformed look for a particular business area and improve the overall look of  business corridors. The City of Long Beach has since used this pilot program as a model for future projects.
Since its opening in 1973, Buono’s has sponsored sports teams and reached out  in times of crisis. During the Los Angeles riots sparked by the Rodney King verdict, Buono’s fed Long Beach firefighters who were battling a burning  Department of Motor Vehicle building. In the wake of the attacks on 9/11, Buono’s donated pizza to the San Pedro fire station to be used at a fundraiser for families who had lost loved ones battling the inferno in New York.

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