Small businesses to be recognized this week

Small businesses to be recognized this week

Harmony Brewing Co. won last year’s Gerald R. Helmholdt Grand Award for turning a vacant building into a brew pub. Photo by Johnny Quirin

A “Taste of Our Neighborhoods” reception will kick off the 24th annual gala known as the Neighborhood Business Awards.

Sponsored by Neighborhood Ventures and the Neighborhood Business Alliance, the celebration of local small businesses has become the longest-running and largest-honoring event of its type. This year’s event is set for 5 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 7, at Wealthy Street Theater.

“We have the privilege to honor some 85 individuals and businesses in 15 competitive categories for accomplishing excellence over the past 12 months,” said Mark Lewis, Neighborhood Ventures executive director, in a statement.

Mayor George Heartwell again will serve as master of ceremonies, with the first winner expected to be named at 6:30. But before the awards ceremony gets underway, six local restaurants from six different neighborhoods will offer attendees samples of their favorite dishes.

The event is free and open to the public. The theater is located at 1130 Wealthy St. SE.

DTE Energy is a major sponsor.

Harmony Brewing Co. won the prestigious Gerald R. Helmholdt Grand Award last year for turning a vacant building at 1551 Lake Drive SE into its new brew pub. Locus Development won the John H. Logie Business Champion Award for its economic development efforts, and Jenn Schaub of Dwelling Place was honored with the P. Michael Wanroy Volunteer in Business Award for her neighborhood revitalization work.

In all, 15 awards were handed out last year. The same number will be given on Thursday.

“The common denominator of all our nominees this year is the decision they made to put Grand Rapids’ neighborhoods first and foremost in their investment and expansion efforts. While those investments may have been personal, every person in our community is sure to benefit from the commitment of these dedicated individuals who are recognized every year,” said Lewis.

“Their efforts, and those of many other unsung heroes, ensure that our neighborhoods remain a vibrant place to live, shop, work and play.”

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