On the night of Wednesday, April 2 a large crowd gathered at High Tides Restaurant in Colonial Beach for the Colonial Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Membership Dinner and 2013 Awards Ceremony. This dinner is held once a year in order to recognize and give awards to a number of individuals and businesses.
There was a large turnout for this year’s event, with over 90 individuals in attendance. After an introduction of those at the head table and other honored guests including Town Mayor Mike Ham, Vice Mayor Tommy Edwards, Council member Linda Brubaker, Council member Wanda Goforth, Council member Pete Bone, former Police Chief Seay, new Police Chief Legg and keynote speakers from Virginia Community Capital, Teri Lovelace, Vice President of Community Investments and Impact, and Wayne Waldrop, Small Business Manager, keynote speakers Lovelace and Waldrop spoke about Virginia Community Capital and how they can help serve small businesses in Colonial Beach.
Waldrop explained that their organization structure is different from other banks and that they can take on more risks than a traditional bank. Currently they have a 10 million healthy, fresh food loan fund. They are working to support small government contracts. Waldrop noted that his group focuses on two areas: mission and money. He also indicated that they have a great interest in tourism which makes them a great partner for Colonial Beach.
Lovelace said that she is responsible for delivering the mission. As for Virginia Community Capital’s influence in this area, they are supporting economic expansion in the Northern Neck by helping small businesses to see themselves as a bank would and to position companies for the next step. “Small businesses are the economic engine of a community,” she noted.
After a buffet dinner was provided to those in attendance, the awards ceremony kicked off with the Business of the Year award which was given to “Pottery by Hand” in Colonial Beach. The efforts of owner Hannah Janney were recognized. She curates the shop’s local artists’ works in her store, along with personally providing pottery instructions to underprivileged youth in the community. Janney said she came to Colonial Beach to teach classes to kids and ended up with a great business, having already featured 40 great artists.