“We are very, very proud to be such an important part of an amazing community,” said Dr. Elizabeth Upchurch as her company, Beach Pet Hospital, took home the overall title of Hampton Roads Chamber 2017 Small Business of the Year.
Upchurch already knew she had won the Virginia Beach Small Business of the Year award before the May 2 ceremony, but being the overall winner was a welcome surprise. The judges noted the extreme levels of customer service Beach Pet Hospital staff delivers to its customers, both two- and four-legged.
Hampton Roads Chamber President and CEO Bryan Stephens began the event by noting the Chamber’s dedication to small businesses as the “backbone of the economy.”
Chesapeake winner Charlie Hackworth, president of Hackworth/The Graphics Shop, said he already had doors opening for new business with the earlier announcement of the small business award for Chesapeake.
And One Marketing took home the inaugural Top to Watch award that honors emerging businesses via a people’s choice vote. This category is for businesses that have been in business for less than three years but are making big strides in the local small business community. In its first year, the Top to Watch award registered over 7,000 votes, with And One Marketing taking home the win.
“The best decision we made was to join the chamber” said Renée Ainslie-Rodriguez of And One Marketing.
The Small Business of the Year Awards, presented by Southern Bank, honor a small business of the year from every Southside city before the overall winner is chosen by a panel of judges. This year’s other city winners include: CURE Coffeehouse and Brasserie, Norfolk; Brutti’s Catering, Portsmouth; and Music Makes You Happy Entertainment, Suffolk.
Two other award winners were announced previously, Christina Sims of Beach Pet Hospital won the 2017 G & W Leadership Award and Christine Holley of Wasserhund Brewing Company won the Young Entrepreneur Award.
This article was originally published in Inside Business, please read the full article here.