Kemmons Wilson, founder of the Holiday Inn chain of hotels, often bragged that he only worked half days while his original Memphis, Tennessee roadside lodge was getting off the ground. The best part, he used to say, was that he could pick which half of the day he wanted to work – the first 12 hours or the second 12.
So it is with most of the small businesses and their owners who drive our local, state and national economy. Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation celebrating National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.
As part of National Small Business Week, May 1-7, 2016, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.
To give these unsung local economic heroes the recognition they rarely receive but so greatly deserve, the Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce celebrated its second Small Business Week Celebration to coincide with National Small Business Week.
According to Chamber Board chair Scott Sturgill, owner of local small business Durable Safety Products, “the Chamber is pleased to have the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, improve the local economy and increase America’s global competitiveness.”
The Sanford Chamber celebration included an awards and recognition breakfast at Heathrow Country Club where the Chamber honored small businesses in several categories. From the 181 businesses nominated for recognition honorees included Home-Based Business of the Year—Emmy Zumwalt, Mary Kay Cosmetics; Entrepreneur of the Year—Michelle Simoneaux, The Colonial Room Restaurant; Family-Owned Business of the Year—Harry Ellis, NEXT HORIZON; Not-For Profit Business of the Year (Large)—Kid’s House of Seminole, Ernest Hamilton and Not-For Profit Business of the Year (Small)Pet Rescue By Judy, Judy Sarullo.
The Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Awards (Large) was presented to Christopher Stubbs of Link Staffing Services and Small Business of the Year Awards (Small) Paul Dunkman of Dunkman Painting and Wallcovering, LLC .
An independent and anonymous judging panel led by the Chamber’s Small Business Development Committee chairperson Rhonda Smith of Your Quickbooks Coach based on information provided from each business. Judges included Amy Kirkland of the Seminole State College Small Business Development Center, Jim Carlson of Mainstreet Community Bank of Florida and Frank Muni, Professional Business Coach.
Guest speaker for the breakfast was Crystal Scribner, owner of Look Local, the Chamber’s 2015 Small Business of the Year honoree. Ms. Scribner spoke on her experiences as a small business owner and talked about some of the lessons she has learned. She told the attendees that they needed to continuously be aware of providing excellent customer service for the retention of business.
Sponsors for the event included the Better Business Bureau of Central Florida, Inc, Heathrow Country Club, Your Quickbooks Coach-Rhonda Smith, The Meehle Law Firm, Convergent Partners, Sunniland Corporation, True Choice Telecom and Caraway Gardner Associates, CPA.
The Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce is an association of businesses and community supporters working to create and maintain an environment where business and community prosper.