A record number of people came out Thursday as the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce bestowed honors on two small businesses.
About 240 people attended the annual fall event, held this year at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown. The 2013 Small Business of Year Award was presented to Five Star Subaru of Oneonta for its community outreach, customer service and involvement in the arts.
Brooks’ Bottling Co., a sister company of Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q, was given the Breakthrough Award for the expansion of its sauce bottling business.
The small business awards go to operations with 50 or fewer employees.
“Both companies are highly regarded by the business community and people came out to show their support,” chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Ann Heegan said.
Five Star co-owners Ben Guenther spoke about accepting the award on Friday.
“I thought it was awesome.” Speaking of the audience, he said, “we have a similar focus to make this community a better place to live and a place we are proud of.”
The companies advertisements that highlight either car owners, or area events, always felt like the right thing to do, he said. “Everyone shares in the success when you have a strong community. If we can get more people to see what this community has to offer, everyone benefits.”
Ryan Brooks spoke about the Breakthrough Award.
“It was overwhelming to be recognized in front of all all those we work with everyday,” he said. “It is just an incredible thing.” The reception he got gave the family, now in its third generation in the business, more motivation to succeed, he said.
“It shows we’re headed in the right direction.” Being surrounded by the right people that have the same goals and vision, “there’s nothing we can’t do together.”