• 2020 KOSBEs Winners Announced for 11 Awards Categories

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    December 14, 2020
    Friday, December 11, 2020
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                
    Aundrea Wilcox
    KOSBE Executive Director
    Ph: (423) 392-8801
    2020 KOSBEs Winners Announced for 11 Awards Categories
    This year marks the 26th year of recognizing and celebrating small businesses.

    KINGSPORT, Tenn., Dec. 11, 2020 — Today the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) is pleased to announce 11 winners in the 2020 KOSBE Awards, a tradition that was started by Your Kingsport Chamber in partnership with Times-News in 1994.  The KOSBEs promote economic impact by recognizing small businesses that are leading by example and making an extraordinary contribution to the communities they do business in. The winners exemplify leadership and excellence in overcoming adversity, and a passion for helping others succeed.
    This year, 33 businesses threw their names in the hat, to vie for The Best in Small Business.  Eleven have risen above the rest to overcome this year's incredible challenges to achieve victory:

    §2020 Manufacturing Business Excellence – Gypsy Circus Cider Company

    §2020 Ernie Rumsby Award for Veteran-Owned Business Excellence — Armstrong Construction

    §2020 New Business Excellence – Good Batch Mama

    §2020 Retail Business Excellence – International Wig Company

    §2020 Woman-Owned Business Excellence – Advanced Tool & Machine LLC

    §2020 Service Business Excellence – Salon J. Christene

    §2020 Innovation Business Excellence – HD Clean LLC

    §2020 Healthcare Business Excellence – Healthy Sprouts & House Calls

    §2020 Young Entrepreneur Business Excellence – Sister's Cravings Juice Bar & Grill

    §2020 Home Based Business Excellence – Pet Revolution

    §2020 1st Annual Do Good Award – Do Good Goods

    Due to public health concerns, pandemic-related restrictions and the need for social distancing, small business supporters, sponsors and contenders were invited to participate in a virtual recognition and celebration event by joining a Livestream on Facebook.  The Livestream was emceed by celebrity WCYB news anchor, Rebecca Pepin, and is available to viewers with or without a Facebook account. Viewers without a Facebook account can access the stream directly using the livestream URL, https://www.facebook.com/news5wcyb/videos/406773923976430. Facebook users can visit the WCYB or KOSBE – The Small Business Connection Facebook page to view the past live video.  
    A judge panel consisting of fellow business owners and business experts interviewed each contender and deliberated for hours to choose the winners.  Judging is handled completely by an outside judge panel. No staff from Your Kingsport Chamber, nor KOSBE is part of the selection process, which maintains the integrity and quality of the competition. 
    Last night, Food City President & CEO Steve Smith kicked-off the virtual recognition and celebration event by sharing an inspiring and meaningful message to small businesses, which was relevant no matter the size of their workforce or stage of life.  Food City is owned by K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc., a privately held family and employee-owned corporation headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia. Subsequently, the Mayor of Kingsport, Patrick Shull, set the tone for the evening by asking everyone to support all small businesses and shop local. 
    There were two highlights of the evening.  The first recognized the loss of an individual whose impact will never be forgotten.  Mr. Ernie Rumbsy was a true legend and devoted tireless veteran who put service above self always.  He went above and beyond the call of duty and helped many veterans in tough situations.  The award for Veteran-Owned business was sponsored by Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council, and now carries the name of Ernie Rumbsy.  Secondly, the Do Good Award sponsored by Branded is a new recognition this year, which goes to an upscale consignment shop designed to help your goods do good.
    Visit www.kosbe.org/kosbes for a complete list of KOSBEs winners –including past winners –with hyperlinks to every business web page. 
    This year, KOSBE has already served nearly 300 unique clients, providing technical assistance and training related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Through the new Enriched Technical Assistance Program, KOSBE has its arms tightly around 63 businesses, helping them strengthen or reinvent themselves if necessary, to stay in business during and after this pandemic.  Working with 11 independent contractors who are also small businesses, we have aided our clients with access to over $3M in CARES Act funding.  
    The KOSBEs is sponsored by Sync.Space, First Horizon, Food City, Bank of Tennessee, Eastman Credit Union, Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council, Pathway Lending, Cumberland Marketing, Powell Valley National Bank, Millennium Properties, Honda Kingsport, Branded, Martin Dentistry, Kathy Richards CPA, The Bagel Exchange, Kaplan CFO Solutions, Hillhouse Creative, East Tennessee Eye Care, Wilson Worley, Phil’s Dream Pit, and Brown Edwards Certified Public Accountants.
    In 2004, the Kingsport Chamber and City of Kingsport jointly formed the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), to specifically nurture, counsel and encourage the continued robust growth and development of startups and existing small businesses in Kingsport, Tennessee.
    On February 15, 2011 your Kingsport Chamber announced the new partnership between KOSBE and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) becoming the TSBDC at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office.
    The Kingsport Chamber is composed of two non-profit organizations:  the Kingsport Chamber Foundation (501(c)(3)) and Kingsport Chamber of Commerce (501(c)(6)). 
    The Kingsport Chamber Foundation manages, promotes, supports and assists a number of charitable, educational, environmental, leadership, quality of life and wellness programs that have a tremendous impact on the Kingsport community.
    Programs of the Kingsport Chamber Foundation include:  Communications & Development; Downtown Concert Series; Downtown Kingsport Association; Education & Workforce Development; Fun Fest; Healthy Kingsport; Keep Kingsport Beautiful; Kingsport Leadership Programs (Leadership Kingsport, PEAK Young Professionals and S.H.O.U.T.!® Youth Leadership); Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE); Move to Kingsport; Santa Train; Tennessee/Virginia Scholars; and Visit Kingsport.
    The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to utilize resources and focus efforts on enhancing a strong and viable business environment for the Kingsport area. 
    Programs of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce include:  Communications & Development; Government Relations; and Membership.  The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce has nearly 1,000 members.
    For more information on the Kingsport Chamber, go to KingsportChamber.org or call (423) 392-8800.  We’re social too; follow us on ourFacebook page, Your Kingsport Chamber, our Twitter account, @kptchamber, on Instagram or our YouTube channel.