Special Feature

Candyce and Jeff McDowell (center) with McDowell Security are seen here with Shelby Chamber Chair Keith Brown (L) and presenting sponsor, Jay Dennis (R), Regions Bank, as they receive 2017 Small Business of the Year Award.

The Greater Shelby County Chamber recently recognized the positive impact small businesses are having on our community.  “Small businesses play a vital role in building our Shelby County communities and overall economy. We want to celebrate their successes and support them in their endeavors,” explained Chamber President and CEO Kirk Mancer. The Chamber recognized fifty nominated businesses and featured a keynote presentation by Ricky Brooks, CEO of Express Oil and Tire Engineers.  A panel of judges evaluated the companies based on staying power, growth in number of employees, increase in sales and/or unit volume, response to adversity, and evidence of contributions to aid community-oriented projects. The nominated businesses were divided into categories based on size. “The panel had a difficult time in choosing the five recipients, which is a strong indication of the outstanding businesses we have here in Shelby County,” said Payton Thomas, Chamber Mgr. of Business Development and Support. 2017 Small Business of the Year Award Recipients included Party Art (1-5 employees open 1 year or more), Rux Carter Insurance Agency & UPS Store Caldwell Mill Road (tie in 6-10 employee/open one year or more), 280 Animal Medical Center (11-20 employees open one year or more), McDowell Security (21 plus employees open one year or more) and Brittani Morris/State Farm (less than 25 employees and open for less than 1 year).  “Because of my faith I’ve been able work through so many challenges personally and professionally to get to this point,” shared honoree Jeff McDowell, President of McDowell Security in Pelham. “I am blessed and I truly believe that God has given me the strength to work so hard and continue to strive to be the best that I can be for my family, and for my employees. I see my business as giving people an opportunity to have a career and knowing that I’ve done that, is part of a personal purpose driven life.” †

Keith Sides, owner of the UPS at Caldwell Mill (center), receiving 2017 Small Business Award shared, “It was a real honor for our store to be recognized by the Greater Shelby Chamber as a Small Business of the Year recipient.  The award is really a testimony to the skills, hard work, and dedication of our associates who serve our customers each day.”

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