Alexandria, VA – On October 20, at the Westin in Old Town, the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce welcomed the in-person return of its Best in Business Awards Ceremony. Business owners, small, medium, and large, swapped greetings and congratulations at the opening reception. Everyone enjoyed beverages provided by the Port City Brewing Company while waiting for the always-popular photo booth.
Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Stephanie Beyer Kirby kicked off the ceremony. “Thank you all so much for being here tonight in person,” she said. “Celebrating business has never been so vital. For two years, we have struggled, innovated, and overcome.”
As each presenter took to the podium, they reiterated that sentiment of celebration and struggle. This is why choosing this year’s winners was a struggle of its own. “This was an incredibly tough year [to choose the winners] as we saw by the tie we had in one category. In our minds, every business was a winner for surviving, thriving, pivoting, finding new ways to engage with the community,” Kirby said.
Each business was no doubt deserving of an award, and two businesses did tie for one award, but in the end, the 2021 Best in Business winners are:
Medium Business – Your Dogs Best Friend
Large Business – Jack Taylor’s Alexandria Toyota
Nonprofit/Association – ACT for Alexandria
Rising Star Business – Nerds to Go
Overall Business – Building Momentum
Business Leader – Scott Shaw
Scott Shaw’s acceptance speech closed the ceremony. “A big thanks to the chamber for this award and for all you do for the community to bring us together and make things happen,” he said.
Shaw mentioned that he was an “unusual” selection for this particular honor. “The award typically goes to others who have led a single company or organization,” he explained. “I admire them all, but that’s not me. My own path to this award has been a bit different.”
Shaw, the mastermind behind multiple concepts in Alexandria, such as Tall Ship Providence, Barca, and ALX Community, represents the cumulation of all that makes Alexandria unique. So, although an unusual choice for this award, he is absolutely deserving, as are all the other recipients, especially following such an unusual year.
Kirby concluded the evening by saying, “It has been such a pleasure to be able to celebrate in person, to hug your fellow business owners, and to recognize all the hard work done over the last 18 months to keep our local business community alive and thriving.”
This year has been unlike any other for local businesses. Grand and lasting success has come out of it, as well as incredible struggle. While everyone is already preparing for the year ahead, the 2021 Best in Business Awards will always represent the best parts of Alexandria coming together.