Greenville, S.C., Oct. 13, 2020
Today, CommunityWorks and the Greenville Chamber hosted a virtual awards show celebrating Upstate small businesses. This year marks the fifth annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Small Business Awards, but the first virtual celebration. Joe Erwin, President of Erwin Creates and Chairman and Lead Owner of Greenville Triumph SC, gave the keynote address and news personality, Curtis Wilson, was the emcee. The event was sponsored by over 20 companies, and six local businesses received awards.
The awards, except for My Favorite Upstate Small Business, were selected by an expert panel from a list of nominations. My Favorite Upstate Small Business was selected via social media as a people’s choice award. The awards given and award winners are as follows:
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Creative Builders, honors young business owners who combine their sense of community, today’s technology and innovative business models to create some of Greenville’s most unique small businesses. The 2020 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award was presented to Ashley Moore, Owner of Fringe Color Studio.
The Minority-Owned Business of the Year, sponsored by NHE, Inc., honors those who have a commitment to building communities as well as their businesses and strive to serve as leaders and visionaries to create change. The Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year Award was presented to Cassy Electric, LLC, and accepted by Chief Operating Officer, Ebony Sullivan.
The Eugenia Duke Woman-Owned Business of the Year, sponsored by Duke Brands, was presented to Novus Advisors, LLC, accepted by Principal, Jennifer Belshe. The award is named for Eugenia Duke, founder of Duke’s Mayonnaise and Duke Foods, and is presented to small businesses owners who embody the legacy of female entrepreneurship that Eugenia exemplified.
The Entrepreneurial Success Award, sponsored by Forum Benefits, recognizes the power of small business to use innovation to create jobs and expand their business model. This year’s winner is Think Up Consulting, founded by Ron Doney.
The Small Business Champion Award, sponsored by Greenville Technical College, is given to a business that fulfills a commitment to serve small businesses and entrepreneurs through innovative services and support. This year’s winner is Village Launch, accepted by Network and Outreach Coordinator, Jeanette Brewster.
The My Favorite Upstate Small Business, sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas, is a people’s choice award that gives neighbors a chance to demonstrate their support of their favorite small business by voting for a business they believe should be recognized. This year’s award recipient is BRIGHT+CO, accepted by Founder and CEO Jennifer Sutton.
Excellence in Entrepreneurship Small Business Awards would not be possible without the help of generous sponsors. Each sponsor contributed to support small businesses throughout the Upstate and make the event a success. The sponsors for this year's event are as follows:
Presenting sponsors: BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and TD Bank
Keynote address sponsor: Wells Fargo
Gold sponsors: Creative Builders Incorporated, Duke Brands, Forum Benefits, Greenville Technical College, NHE, and Piedmont Natural Gas
Silver sponsors: Cowart Awards, GSA Business Report, Hawk Law, ICAP, Pinnacle Financial Partners, QBS, South State Bank, and United Community Bank
Bronze sponsors: CFO Services on Demand, Clemson Center for Corporate Learning, Colliers International, Greenville Area Development Corporation, and US&S Inc.
CommunityWorks was established in 2008 as a local housing trust fund through a partnership between the City of Greenville, United Way of Greenville County and Greenville County Redevelopment Authority. CommunityWorks’ mission is to build a brighter future for underserved families and communities through financial education, lending, and investing. In 2011 CommunityWorks was certified by U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) which operates a community loan fund that supports community economic development.
Since its inception, CW has generated over $269 million in local economic impact and has served 5,502 families, provided over $4.6 million loans to startups and existing small businesses, and deployed over $7 million in affordable housing and community loans that have created or preserved over 891 affordable housing units.
About the Greenville Chamber
The Greenville Chamber, now in its 132nd year of operation, is the largest business organization in Upstate South Carolina with over 1900 Investors supporting the vision of a globally competitive Upstate economy where businesses succeed and people prosper. For information, visit greenvillechamber.org.