Small businesses are a critical part of the economy. Last week, the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce (DSCC) appreciated this fact, honoring the state's best in its annual "Superstars in Business" event. The awards are given out by the Small Business Alliance, an affiliate of the chamber of commerce. Such companies are an overwhelming majority of the organization, composing 80 percent of the DSCC.
Hundreds of nominations are sent in every year, but winners are only selected in four categories: Under 25 employees, 25-59 employees, 60-150 employees and Nonprofit. Kelly Wetzel, who manages the Alliance, explained to Delaware Online that winning is about more than just what the ledger says.
"We look for people that have a great story to tell," said Wetzel. "We don't just look for people that say, 'We made this much money.' "
One of the most compelling stories came from the victor in the under-25 employee category. Donna O'Dell Hoke, who runs Unique Impressions in Newark, persevered in the face of destruction. In January, her business, which provides customized printing and embroidery services for apparel and other products, was threatened when a machine caught on fire and caused widespread damage.
Instead of giving up, Donna and her employees rose to the occasion.
The whole company worked hard to fill outstanding orders, and after a few months full of tense moments, managed to right the ship. Last Wednesday, that dedication was formally recognized, as Donna received a "Superstar in Business" award for her ability to persevere through tough times.
The other Delaware corporations that took home accolades were Community Bank Delaware, Trellist Marketing and Techonlogy and the Sunday Breakfast Mission. Each, in its own way, illustrates the unique value that a small business can add to a community. Aspiring entrepreneurs who are interested in setting up shop in Delaware should contact a local provider of incorporation services.