The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber celebrated the 36th annual "Small Business Awards," putting the spotlight on what many people call the backbone of our local economy.
Hundreds of community members came to the Von Braun Center on Wednesday night to celebrate the hard work our small businesses put in each and every day, especially after such a difficult year.
"It's really been a tough year, so to be able to come out here together, celebrate in person, and be able to recognize those who are still doing a great job out there it's really, really great to do," says Jeff Gronberg, the board chair for the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber.
He says it's important to recognize small businesses for their positive impact on the economy.
"We all know that small businesses kind of drive the economy. All of these big businesses that you see around were once a small business," says Gronberg.
He is not only the board chair for the chamber, but also a former recipient of a small business award.
"I've won an award here and so, it really was a stepping stone to take our company to the next level," explains Gronberg.
The fourteen award recipients have all overcome obstacles in the past year, but kept pushing forward to help our local economy grow.
"Huntsville has been a very resilient community, and I think it's a large credit to all of these people that are out here today as to how they have been able to react to all of the things that have been happening," says Gronberg.
The businesses have shown resilience that Gronberg thinks will help them overcome new obstacles as well.
"As these new things come out, like an Omicron, like supply chain issues, all of those impact small and large businesses. And so what you have to be able to do is plan effectively but also react very effectively," explains Gronberg.
The problems brought on by this past year only made the ceremony more impactful.
"To be able to come out and celebrate that, and be able to still survive as a small business now and be recognized for it, it's going to be just tremendous to see," says Gronberg.
More than 850 businesses were nominated for the 14 different awards, and about 130 were finalists.
The full list of winners include:
- Young Professional of the Year: Quinton Young, Huntsville Housing Authority
- Nonprofit of the Year: Kids to Love Foundation
- Professional Services Business of the Year: Redstone Title Services
- Culinary Business of the Year: Ruchi
- Emerging Business of the Year: Bold Agency
- Government Contracting – Professional Services Business of the Year: Aetos Systems, Inc.
- Government Contracting – Technology Business of the Year: PPT Solutions, Inc.
- Service Business of the Year: Laughlin Service Funeral Home
- Retailer of the Year: Bishop’s Flowers
- Local “Creative” of the Year: Southern Reclaimed Salvage Barn
- Technology Business of the Year: nou Systems, Inc.
- Medical Practice of the Year: Limbaugh Orthodontics
- Woman-Owned Business of the Year: Kids to Love Foundation
- Russell G. Brown Executive Leadership Award: Jamie Miller, Mission Multiplier