By Mary Elizabeth Dial, Staff Correspondent
The Chamber of Gadsden and Etowah County presented the Etowah Small Business of the Year Awards on Thursday, Oct. 6 in the historic Pitman Theater. Attendees were treated to a luncheon before the award winners were announced. Chamber president Heather New acted as master of ceremonies and Steve Hildebrandt presented awards to winners.
The winners are as follows:
The Bronze Business of the Year Award, given to a business that has operated in the area for 25 years or more, went to B&B Pawn and Jewelry.
The Silver Business of the Year Award, for being in business for 50 years or more, was given to Cothran’s Bakery.
The Gold Business of the Year Award, for 100 years of business, went to Pippin Cleaners.
The Centennial Business of the Year Award went not to a business, but to the Gadsden Rotary Club for over 100 years of activity in Gadsden.
The New Business of the Year, for a business three years old or newer, was Little Bridge Marina just outside Rainbow City. Other nominees were Candles by Stevie, Copperleaf Properties LLC, First Steps Early Learning Center and Rococo Floral Studio.
The Woman/Minority-Owned Business of the Year was the Willow Tree, which has locations in Gadsden, Jacksonville, Center, and Boaz. Anderson’s Shoes & Boots, Impact CPA LLC, Personnel Staffing and Remona’s LaDiva Boutique were also nominated.
The Non-Profit of the Year was Gadsden-Etowah Habitat for Humanity. Also nominated were CharACTers Entertainment and RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program).
The Small Business of the Year with 1 – 25 Employees was Local Joe’s Trading Post. The architecture firm of B. Craig Lipscomb, Redneck Yacht Club, Knowles & Sullivan and Southside Pet Clinic also received nominations.
The Small Business of the Year with 26 – 50 Employees was the Factory. Other nominees were Popeye’s Fried Chicken, the Southern Bank and Tre Regazzi.
Jean Hall of Observer Office Supply won the 2016 Community Improvement Award, and the Messenger was honored with the Friend of Small Businesses recognition.
In addition to the accolades given on Thursday, area finalists for the Alabama Small Business of the Year Awards were announced. Little bridge Marina was nominated for Emerging Business of the Year. King’s Olive Oil is a finalist in the category of Small Business Employing 1 – 5, The Factory in the category of Small Business Employing 6 – 50, and Exchange Bank of Alabama in the category of Small Business Employing 50 – 100.