Following a challenging year for small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, the Christian County Chamber of Commerce recognized several local companies and service organizations at the 2021 Compass Awards on Monday.
Traditionally the annual ceremony to highlight the role of small businesses in the community has been conducted during a large dinner banquet. This year, because of COVID-19 safety restrictions, it was moved to the Alhambra Theatre with a smaller in-person audience and a live video available on the chamber’s Facebook page.
Several people who received and presented awards spoke about the pandemic’s impact on their work.
They included the owners of The Mixer, Graham and Heather Dawson, who had barely gotten their new downtown venture going when restaurants across the state had to close to in-person business.
“This really means a lot to us. We didn’t realize after three months of being open that we were going to be hit with a pandemic,” Heather Dawson said. “The entire community, local businesses, our staff, everyone, just rallied around. We literally had to reinvent ourselves, as everyone else in the community did.”
Awards in the follow categories were presented:
- Agriculture/Agri-Business Award — The Rabbit’s Basket
- Century Award — Siemer Milling Co.
- Food Service Award — Joelle’s Bakery & Cafe
- Friend of the Community Award — Hopkinsville Fire Department
- Health/Wellness Award — Christian County Health Department
- Horizon Award — The Mixer
- Industrial/Commercial Services Award — Adam & Annie’s Cleaning Services
- Non-Profit Award — Sanctuary Inc.
- Residential Services Award — McGee Pest Control, Inc.
- Retail Award — Staton’s Art & Framing
- Specialized Service Award — The Trophy House
- Spirit of Entrepreneurism Award — Hopkinsville Brewing Company
- Sunset Award — MetroNet Realtors
- Quality Service Award — Hopkinsville Police Department
The Chamber of Commerce has approximately 700 members, said Kirstie Darnall, vice president for events and marketing. Darnall helped emcee the program following Kelli Pendleton’s departure last week as the chamber’s president and CEO.
The Hopkinsville Water Environment Authority sponsored the award ceremony. HWEA was established 125 years ago as the city’s water utility. In recognition of the milestone, the chamber presented a large birthday cake for general manager Derrick Watson to take back to the utility’s employees.