By 1812Blockhouse

The presentation may have been different this year, but the message was the same: Richland County is home to many successful, creative, and resilient small businesses.

Many of these were honored on Wednesday morning during Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development’s Small Business Awards Presentation.

Chamber President and CEO Jodie Perry took Facebook Live attendees through a look at this year’s semi-finalists, and then announced this year’s award winners.

Before doing so, Perry reflected on the fact that she grew up in a family business. “I realize just what an incredible experience it was,” she said, sharing that there were many lessons learned.

She also discussed the difficulties that arose with the COVID-19 pandemic this year and the resulting hurdles for area employers. “Our small businesses have really stepped up and shown great leadership” in the midst of these challenges, she added.

The Small Business Awards were begun 23 years ago, and in that time 63 local businesses have been recognized. This year, 92 nominations were received, and 38 semi-finalists were chosen. From those, six finalists were selected.

This year, the Community Spirit Awards were added to single out those companies who responded in positive ways to the pandemic. This winners were Studio 19 and YNOT Cycling and Fitness, both of which had representatives on hand to accept the awards.

The other special award was the Small Non Profit of the Year Award, this year given to the Richland County Foundation. On hand to accept was Foundation President Brady Groves.

A video profile was shared for the three finalists for the 14 Employees and Under Small Business of the Year Award were each given a video profile, those being DRM Productions, ELZY Milling and Trade, and Studio 19. The Award went to DRM Productions, which Perry described as a “cornerstone of community support throughout the whole county.”

Finalists in the 15 Employees and Over Small Business of the Year category were Dearman Moving and Storage, Debt Recovery Solutions, and Schmidt Security Pro. The Award went to Debt Recovery Solutions, which is “actively involved in our community,” Perry concluded.

Photo: Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development

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