Celebrating Small Business

May 12, 2017

The Chamber of Commerce hosts the Business Awards to recognize the role local small businesses, individuals and organizations have in our local economy. This year, we recognize 21 small businesses, non-profits and entrepreneurs for their job well done. These were nominated by their customers and members of the public, completed detailed applications, which were reviewed and narrowed down by anonymous regional peers and a panel from our Chamber.

DSC04002An entrepreneur is defined as a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. All these nominees are under 40 years of age. The nominees for Young Entrepreneur of the Year are….

  • Niky Vanhatten from eNVy Salon
  • Jean & Steven Ellison from The Music Box
  • Jay Grubbs, from RA-LIN and Associates, Inc.

This year’s Young Entrepreneur of the year says “You can’t expect others to do what you aren’t willing to do,” expecting annual training of herself and her staff to ensure all are educated and up-to-date on trends, techniques, tools and styles. The 2017 Young Entrepreneur of the Year is Niky Vanhatten from eNVy Salon.

DSC04004Calhoun County has been known as an extremely giving community. We have many opportunities give back to our communities through our non-profits. The Nominees for Non-Profit of the Year are….

  • The Right Place for Housing & Support, Inc. 
  • RMC Foundation
  • United Way of East Central Alabama

Since 1954, this organization has provided a comprehensive network of programs and initiatives to address the most pressing health and human service needs in Calhoun, Cleburne and Randolph counties. Our 2017 Non-Profit of the Year is the United Way of East Central Alabama.

DSC04007Now comes the time to recognize our 2017 Emerging Small Business of the Year. An emerging business is defined as a business in existence for less than 5 years. These businesses are just beginning to make their mark. The nominees for Emerging Small Businesses of the Year are….

  • Daybreak Media LLC
  • Hometown Parent Magazine
  • Infinity Massage Studio for Women
  • Posche Salon
  • Taste of Eden

After the success of the Alabama College and Career Guide in 2015, the Dan Freeman Project began publishing Hometown Parent, which became their fastest growing publication, free for readers in print and online.  Our 2017 Emerging Small Business of the Year is Hometown Parent Magazine.

Our Sustaining Small Business Award recognizes a business that has been in existence for more than 5 years. These businesses are the ones who have re-invented themselves, from time to time. This year’s nominees for Sustaining Small Business of the Year are…

  • DSC04011Autumn Cove
  • Calhoun Insurance
  • Cobb Automotive
  • Downing and Sons
  • Brittain Associates
  • Moore Printing Co.
  • Ted’s Abbey Carpet & Floor
  • Wise Environmental
  • Xtreme Autospa
  • Young Oil, Inc.

This year’s winner is exceptionally active in the Chamber, sponsor blood drives, food drives and area non-profits, and serve on server committees and boards throughout the community. For the past 30 Years, this business has grown from managing 30 homes to now more than 650 units. Our 2017 Sustaining Small Business of the Year is J. Brittain Associates.

DSC04013This year had many great sustaining small businesses celebrating longevity in our communities. The Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a business, which has set the precedence for our area small businesses. In January 1941, M.V. Young, his wife Ruth, and children Millard, Louis and Martha moved to Piedmont. There, he started a private brand service station and farm fuel supply business. In 1946, they expanded to Jacksonville, and by 1949, another outlet opened in Piedmont and Centre. Over the years, this business continued to grow, adding locations in Oxford, Anniston, Weaver and beyond.  Young Oil/Grub Mart is still a family owned and operated business providing valuable support to our communities, and we are honored to present tonight’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Young Oil, Inc.

DSC04014New, this year, we wanted to recognize a business for their tremendous contribution to the Chamber and for inspiring others through their commitment, motivation, vision and demonstration of great customer care. Our 2017 Business of Excellence Judge’s Special Recognition Award is presented to Ted’s Abbey Carpet & Floor.

DSC04016The Larry K. Sylvester Small Business Advocate Award recognizes an individual or group that provides assistance and support to small businesses.  Since its beginning in 1981, the Jacksonville State University Small Business Development Center has contributed to the economic vitality of Alabama by helping generate sales and jobs for Alabama businesses. The SBDC is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration and a resource entrepreneurs can turn to for assistance, providing workshops, services and counseling. The 2017 Larry K. Sylvester Small Business Advocate Award goes to the JSU Small Business Development Center.


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