Several small businesses in Etowah County recently were recognized for their efforts by The Chamber of Gadsden & Etowah County at its fourth annual Small Business of the Year awards luncheon in mid-October.
Kicking off the recognitions were the milestone awards, which included the Kiwanis Club of Gadsden for its more than 100 years in the community; Crestwood Memorial Cemetery for its 75 years of operation; Brown Oil Co. for its more than 50 years and The Messenger Newspaper for serving the community more than 25 years.
Life Insurance Co. of Alabama was recognized with the Community Improvement Award for its office renovations.
GadRock, a fitness and training center in Gadsden, took home the Emerging Business of the Year award, while Body Maxx Fitness 4 Life, a personal training facility, won the Minority and/or Women Owned Business of the Year.
JSC Appliance Repair was the winner of the Small Business of the Year with 10 or fewer employees, while Copperleaf Properties, a real estate company, won the Small Business of the Year with 11 to 50 employees. Winning the Small Business of the Year with 51 to 100 employees category was Amedysis Hospice Care.
The Non-Profit of the Year was the Gadsden Public Library, and The Factory, an event venue, took home the Voter’s Choice Award.
“Small business is the backbone to every strong economy,” said Heather Brothers New, president of the chamber. “Every dollar spent with a small business stays in the local economy, and statistics show those dollars turn over as many as seven times. Our community has vibrant small businesses, and it is our honor to celebrate them.”
Almost half of the Alabama’s workforce is employed by small businesses, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.