October 19, 2023


Washington, D.C. – Out of a record-breaking field of 15,000+ applicants hailing from every state in the nation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today named Elderly Instruments, a music store in Lansing, Michigan, as America’s Top Small Business for 2023.  

After narrowing the field down to the top 70 small businesses, and then naming seven finalists earlier this month, Elderly Instruments won the Chamber’s America’s Top Small Business award for its ability to embrace change, adapt to new challenges, and constantly innovate while remaining true to the company’s 50-year legacy and heritage. 

"America's innovators and risk takers are the backbone of our communities and our economy," said U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne P. Clark. "As we celebrate Elderly Instruments—a beacon of excellence in the music retail world and beloved in Old Town Lansing—we celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of small businesses across America. Their growth and continued success are built on a commitment to innovation, customer satisfaction, and investing in their employees." 

Elderly Instruments, a member of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, was announced as the winner at an awards dinner and gala on October 19 at the U.S. Chamber’s historic headquarters building in Washington, D.C. Elderly Instruments second-generation CEO Lillian Werbin was presented with the grand prize check for $25,000.  

Established in 1972, Elderly Instruments buys, sells, trades, consigns and repairs fretted instruments and accessories. The store's passion for assisting musicians at every stage—and sharing the history and cultural heritage behind the instruments they are selling—has remained constant even amid a recent transition to the second generation of ownership.  

The store played a vital role in the revitalization of Old Town Lansing when they expanded their brick-and-mortar footprint, breathing new life into the district. They sponsor and participate in numerous community music festivals, camps, and concerts that add to the vibrancy of Old Town Lansing and increase tourism to the state’s capital.   

Elderly Instruments has over 40 employees and recently implemented new, employee-driven core values to serve as the cornerstone of the company’s culture.  

After evaluating thousands of applications, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce selected America’s top 70 small businesses last month—10 standout small businesses in each of the nation’s seven regions. In early October, one business from each region was selected as a finalist to be in the running for America’s Top Small Business.  

In addition to Elderly Instruments, the finalists were: 

Learn more about this year’s finalists here

This year’s top small businesses and finalists were invited to Washington, D.C. for the awards ceremony and America's Top Small Business Summit: Ready. Set. Scale.where they were recognized and celebrated. All will receive a one-year paid membership to the U.S. Chamber and the seven finalists are featured on the CO— website, a platform that provides practical information and tips to 20,000 business owners daily and over 6 million individuals annually. 

During the summit, attendees gained invaluable insights from the tactical success secrets shared by America’s Top Small Business finalists and enjoyed exclusive access to executives from industry giants such as Google, Walmart and Meta that ardently champion and promote small businesses.  

Enova International and its small business lending platform OnDeck presented the America’s Top Small Business Award to Elderly Instruments and hosted a fireside chat during the summit exploring the challenges small businesses face when seeking capital with Cory Kampfer, Enova’s Co-President of Small Business Lending. 

“We’re honored to collaborate with the U.S. Chamber to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of small businesses,” said Kampfer. “Enova and our OnDeck small business lending platform remain steadfast in our commitment to empowering and championing the growth of small businesses, which are so critical to powering America and helping our economy thrive. We congratulate Elderly Instruments — along with all of this year’s finalists — on this recognition.” 

 Find a recap of America’s Top Small Business Summit: Ready. Set. Scale. here.  

How the U.S. Chamber Supports Small Business  

America’s Top Small Business, formerly known as the Dream Big Awards, is part of the U.S. Chamber’s longstanding commitment to supporting and advocating for small businesses. We work every day to give small businesses a big voice in Washington, connecting entrepreneurs and federal officials and advocating for policies that help them grow, rather than holding them back. Our Small Business Council is made up of 100 small business owners from across the country that steer our work in fighting for policies that keep Main Street businesses thriving and regularly visit Capitol Hill. The Chamber’s Board of Directors consists of small business, corporate, and nonprofit leaders from all sectors and sizes of business, and from all regions of the country. 

Since 2017, we have partnered with MetLife to survey small businesses on a quarterly basis for the Small Business Index, which provides valuable insights on current challenges and opportunities for small business that inform our advocacy in Congress. The Chamber's Prompt Pay Pledge advocates for faster payments to support small business suppliers. Through our small business platform CO—, which helps almost 20,000 businesses every day and had more than 6 million site visits last year alone, we are equipping small businesses with the tools and insights they need to ensure their own resilience in the face of any challenge.    

Learn more about the U.S. Chamber's small business work here.