Five local small businesses were honored Thursday by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce during its annual Small Business Expo and Awards Mixer.
The businessess — Support The Enlisted Project, COOLA, Shore Solutions, Cammies & Canines, and America’s Local Lender — were presented with 2018 Small Business Awards in front of an audience of 300 attendees at Building 117 in Liberty Station.
“Small businesses are crucial to our region’s economic engine, creating jobs, fueling innovation and bringing character to our communities,” said Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the chamber. “Through the expo and awards we are building more awareness of our small business community and together we’re helping build a better San Diego.”
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees make up 90 percent of businesses in San Diego county and account for jobs that employ one-half of San Diego’s workforce, according to chamber figures.
“Thank you to everyone for having the courage, the strength and the passion to start a small business,” said Molly Addington, vice president of Wells Fargo, a sponsor of the awards.
Support The Enlisted Project was the winner of the Bill Trumpfheller Social Impact award for companies and nonprofits dedicated to helping others and making a positive impact.
COOLA garnered the Industry Game-Changer award for companies paving the way in creative forward-thinking and innovation.
Shore Solutions won the Up & Comer award for young professionals who are rising to the top of their field, or companies founded and run by young professionals.
Cammies & Canines picked up the Vets Success award for companies owned by veterans or prioritizing the hiring of veterans.
America’s Local Lender was the winner of the Customer Service Star award for companies with exemplary customer service.
All award nominations were evaluated by a panel of judges who reviewed applications based on criteria for each award category, according to the chamber.
“The finalists then pitched their company to the Chamber’s Small Business Roundtable, which scored them based on how well they met the award category criteria,” according to the chamber. “After rating each submission, the small business with the highest score in each category was selected as the winner.”
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