Annual business awards announced

The 2015 Business Excellence: Business Appreciation Awards presented by the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Authority have been announced.

Each year, first-, second- and third-place winners are selected to receive cash grants. This year, Weathervane Graphics received $500 to help the business as it moves to a new location, Joe’s Steakhouse was awarded $750 for some outdoor beautification, and Backroom Brewer received the first-place award of $1,000, which will be used for new kitchen equipment.

Winners are chosen by a committee composed of Chamber of Commerce President Niki Cales, EDA Chairwoman Patricia Hines, EDA Director of Marketing and Business Development Marla Taylor Jones and EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald.

Applicants must be licensed in Front Royal or Warren County and have fewer than 500 employees. “We look for someone who is active in the community; that they are a contributing member of the community and have good business practices,” said McDonald.

Done in conjunction with Business Appreciation Month, the Excellence Awards are now in their fifth year of existence. The program was developed in 2011 as a way to honor and assist the small business community and is sponsored by Rappahannock Electric Cooperative.

Grants are given to help area businesses with upgrades and expenses. Last year, auctioneer Kristie Brown of Bearfoot Enterprises LLC used the money to purchase a microphone and speaker system for her live auctions, Little Rugratz Daycare purchased playground equipment and J’s Gourmet purchased a new stove for the restaurant.

Contact staff writer Hilary Legge at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or

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