Eighty people gathered at the Dorchester Center for the Arts on Monday, December 8 for the 2014 Annual Dorchester County Small Business Awards.  Dorchester County Economic Development Director Keasha Haythe welcomed the guests and recognized the Dorchester County Council and awards committee for their commitment to small businesses.

Haythe added, “A yearly spotlight on our local businesses for their outstanding accomplishments in innovation, job creation, and vital contributions continues Economic Development’s commitment to acknowledge and celebrate business achievements – helping to recognize Dorchester County businesses from small to large, new to legacy, nonprofit, and most innovative concept.”

Delegate Addie Eckardt addressed the guests and thanked the business owners for their hard work and dedication to the community.  She also provided Maryland General Assembly Citations for all the award winners.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot’s Chief of Staff Len N. Foxwell also spoke at the event giving Dorchester County a gleaming review after having visited downtown Cambridge earlier in the day for their annual Shop Maryland for the Holidays tour to urge residents to shop locally over the holiday season.  He praised Haythe for the hard work she has done promoting the county.

Following an invocation from Cambridge Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Cesar Gonzalez, guests enjoyed a buffet provided by The High Spot.  Serving as the Master of Ceremonies, Pat Wielgosz recognized every nominated business individually.

Committee member Mickey Love presented the evening’s first award (1-25 Employees) to winner Delco Packaging Products, Inc. President David Deluca accepted the award and thanked his staff for supporting him.

Presenting the next award, committee member Valerie Brown explained this business started with one truck and has grown large enough to be part of the 26-50 Employees category.  Brown presented East Coast Underground President Cheryl Hughes with the award.

Committee member Nancy Shockley presented the New Business: 5 Years or Less Award to Bliss Jewelry & Gifts.  Owner April Dean Goodman accepted the award while a standing ovation greeted her.

Committee member Steve Disharoon presented the Legacy: 20+ Years Award to Henry Funeral Home, a firm founded more than 20 years ago.  Janelle Henry Buck accepted the award and thanked the committee for thinking of them since they are many times overlooked as an industry.

Committee member Kathy Clark Coursey took time to relate the many contributions of the Nonprofit Award winner Dorchester Center for the Arts.  Executive Director Mickey Love accepted the award and thanked the board, volunteers, and community for their support.

The evening’s last award (Most Innovative Business Concept) was presented by committee member Tracy Tyler to the winner RAR Brewing.  Co-owners Chris Brohawn and JT Merryweather accepted the award.

The evening ended as small business owner and Dorchester County Council President Ricky Travers delivered final remarks and prompted all to “remember the reason for the season.”