Small business owners recognized at GSCCC luncheon

PELHAM – The Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce hosted its Small Businesses of the Year community luncheon where awards were given to multiple Shelby County business owners.

The event was held on Wednesday, May 24, at the Pelham Civic Complex. The event celebrated the impact that small businesses have on our communities.

Fifty small business owners were nominated to receive one of five awards. Business owners submitted packets containing information about their businesses and a panel of judges reviewed the packets and selected winners.

The businesses were evaluated based on the following criteria: staying power, growth in number of employees, increase in sales or unit volume, response to adversity and evidence of contribution to aid community-oriented projects.

Five awards were up for grabs: business with one to five employees and open one year or more; business with six to 10 employees and open one year or more; business with 11-20 employees and open one year or more; business with 21 or more employees and open one year or more; and new business with less than 25 employees and open less than one year.

Party Art was the winner in the one to five employee category; in the six to 10 employee category there was a tie between the UPS Store Caldwell Mill and Rux Carter Insurance Agency; 280 Animal Medical Center won in the 11-20 employee category; McDowell Security won for the 21+ employee category; and Brittani Morris – State Farm won for the business open less than one year with less than 25 employees.

Dr. Jay Crisman, owner of 280 Animal Medical Center, said winning in his category is a humbling experience.

“There are a lot of terrific veterinarians in Shelby County, so to me this win is more for our profession than it is just for me,” Crisman said.

Crisman said he runs his business based on two principles: providing big city quality with small town hospitality and care and caring for people through their pets. He said his business is built on hospitality and compassion.

Crisman said his practice averages about 50 new families each month and treats several thousand animals on a yearly basis.

“We consider ourselves pet pediatricians,” he said. “Pets contribute so much to people’s overall health and happiness – they’re really a part of the family.”

The luncheon also featured keynote speaker Ricky Brooks, the CEO of Express Oil and Tire Engineers.

He offered some advice to the business owners about how to ensure growth within their businesses.

“First you have to know what you want,” he said. “Every day you have to strive to realize the company’s mission.”

Brooks said owners also have to be thoughtful when it comes to the best interest of their employees and customers in order to create a win-win-win culture within their business.

Lastly, Brooks said business owners should develop processes and procedures by which to run their business and set goals to strive toward.

See more photos at