McNeil joined 51 other business leaders from across the U.S. for a ceremony recently held in Washington, D.C.
“These small business owners define entrepreneurial spirit and best represent the 30 million small businesses that are the backbone and economic engine of our economy,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said in a statement.
The U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes one small business owner from each state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, each year.
The SBA looked at sales for three consecutive years, 2014-2016, and considered other criteria, including product innovations and community service, in determining the SBA awards for 2018.
“My team and I are humbled to have been nominated for this award, and I am honored to represent the state of South Carolina as their Small Business Person of the Year for 2018,” McNeil said in a news release.
McNeil said Hannah Solar Government Services works on large scale commercial projects —such as rooftop solar panels on seven Target retail locations in South Carolina — and government projects. The company doesn’t install residential solar arrays.
“We do work for all the branches of the military,” McNeil said. “We’ve done work for the FAA, NASA, Centers for Disease Control, the VA and the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice for the federal prison system.”
McNeil served in the U.S. Army for 30 years and said he “loved being a soldier.”
“The military started installing solar systems, so I got intrigued with that,” McNeil said. “I decided once I was going to get out, I wanted to focus on the solar world.”