Chamber Celebrates Region’s Small BusinessesChamber Connection — By Somers L. Martin on December 20, 2013 at 8:00 am
The Columbus Region is fortunate to be home to scores of small businesses. These businesses, as we all know, are the wheel upon which the economy turns. Why? Small businesses do the majority of the hiring and generate the kind of revenue that moves the economy forward.
What you may not know is that 85 percent of the Columbus Chamber’s membership is comprised of small businesses. To help us address these members’ needs, we look to our Small Business Council. The Council is comprised of 24 small business owners that provide input, feedback and advice to the Chamber. They are visible in the region and have provided testimony before the legislature on issues such as municipal tax uniformity that recently passed the House. They also meet annually with Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman to discuss the successes of and challenges for small businesses. The members participate on City Council’s Small Business Roundtable to ensure the voices of small businesses are heard and considered as the City and other governmental entities look to minimize the burden on small businesses.
The Council also helps the Chamber raise up the best-of-the-best Columbus Region small businesses through the Small Business Awards. For more than 25 years, Small Business Award recipients have demonstrated initiative, growth, innovation and excellence. In 2014, we will recognize six finalists in two categories — the Small Business Award of Excellence and the Small Business Leader Award. Our finalists represent what is excellent about our region. They are:
Small Business Leader Award
Merry P. Korn, Pearl Interactive Network. Pearl Interactive Network is a social enterprise that connects job seekers, including disabled veterans, veterans, caregivers, military spouses, people with disabilities and people living in geographically challenged areas with employers.
Jennifer Lewis, Nurtur the Salon. Nurtur the Salon inspires and educates their guests about beauty, fashion, wellness and nature.
Caroline Worley, Worley Law LLC. Caroline Worley is a small business attorney whose business specializes in business, commercial real estate and employment law.
Small Business Award of Excellence
Tom Harris, HMB. HMB offers business solutions for its clients through dependable IT support, cloud computing, business intelligence and software application development and integration.
Elizabeth Blount McCormick, Uniglobe Travel Designers . Uniglobe Travel Designers provides expertise, guidance and personal service designed to help clients save time and money. Their number one objective is to exceed client expectations by finding the best value to meet their travel needs.
Neil Mortine, Fahlgren Mortine. Fahlgren Mortine is an award-winning, integrated marketing and communications agency committed to helping brands reach their full potential.
The finalists will be recognized at Chamber’s Annual Meeting on February 5, 2014 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center’s Battelle Grand ballroom. Tickets to the event are available through Jan. 1 for $75 each or $750 for a table of 10 (Chamber members) and $95 each or $950 for a table of 10 (non-members). After Jan. 1, all tickets will be $100 each or $1,000 for a table of 10. Register here.
Somers L. Martin is the director of business development services for the Columbus Chamber. Somers works on behalf of small, women- and minority-owned businesses to ensure they have the resources and support they need to grow. Through Columbus Chamber programs such as the Small Business Council and Diversity Bridge, she links businesses to various resources and information, and assists them with problem solving. Somers has been with the Chamber since 2007.
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