Photo: Awards presented at the Chamber’s annual meeting. (Courtesy of the Gadsden/Etowah Chamber of Commerce)
The Gadsden/Etowah Chamber of Commerce held its yearly awards meeting and luncheon on January 20, recognizing several local businesses and individuals for their accomplishments in the community.
The Chamber congratulated winners of the 2022 Etowah Small Business of the Year Awards, which include Awards to Remember with 1-10 employees; Servpro Anniston, Gadsden, Marshall County with 11-50 employees; Sue Holland Realty for Emerging Business; New You Massage for Woman/Minority Owned Business; Family Success Center for Nonprofit; UPS Store, Rainbow City for Community Improvement; Frios Gourmet Pops, Gadsden for Friend of Small Business; King Insurance Group, Rainbow City for People’s Choice and Colvin’s Welding & Plumbing for the 25 Years of Service Milestone Award.
“As a small business owner and entrepreneur myself, I think I can speak for many when I say small business still holds strong,” said Chamber President Christi Robinson. “I’m proud to say that we saw a resurgence to both our program and event attendance since 2021, and we’re on track for another stellar year welcoming over 100 new and returning members. In 2022 we hosted over 40 ribbon cutting events (and) over 35 professional development sessions, as well as providing over 60 networking opportunities.”
Robinson recapped the Chamber’s work last year, including assisting with events like East Alabama Works’ EQWIP Industry Tour Day and World of Work.
The Gadsden/Etowah Chamber distributed $200,000 through COVID-19 recovery grants to local businesses in 2022.
“We administered almost $200,000 worth of grants, none of which were above $2,500, so you can imagine the time, effort and thoughtfulness that went into those grants,” said Outgoing Chair Wilbur “Bubba” Masters.
In individual awards and honors, Lacy Lemons of Think Tank Media was named Ambassador of the Year. Tena King of King’s Olive Oil and the City of Gadsden received the Chairman’s Award. Alabama Power Company was given the Joan Hightower Community Impact Award. Special recognitions were also given to the Chamber’s legal counsel in Knowles & Sullivan, LLC, accepted by Attorney Christie Dasinger Knowles, and to Masters.
Gadsden State Community College President Dr. Kathy Murphy gave the keynote speech on leadership. The meeting also acknowledged the passing of the Board of Directors’ proverbial torch from Masters of River Bank and Trust to Incoming Chair Tony Smith of Alabama Power, who will oversee the Chamber’s projects for 2023.