Sixteen Lawrence businesses are finalists for 2005 Excellence in Commerce Awards, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday.
The awards program, now in its third year, recognizes local companies for overall excellence. Each business is judged on its business stability, community involvement, employee culture and industry accomplishments.
"We're just really pleased to be able to offer this recognition opportunity to businesses that give so much to this community," said Heather Ackerly, the chamber's director of business retention and attraction programs. "It's really gotten to be a program that local businesses value."
This year's finalists, listed by category:
¢ Bob Billings Rising Star: Eldridge Hotel, Paradise Floors Inc., Riverfront Chocolates.
¢ Retail/Hospitality: Hy-Vee, McDonald's of Lawrence, Weaver's Department Store.
¢ Manufacturing/Distribution: Allen Press Inc., Brown Cargo Van Inc., Sauer-Danfoss Co.
¢ Service: Charlton Manley Inc., Cottonwood Inc., Douglas County Bank, Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
¢ Small Business: Free State Credit Union, Jane Bateman The Interiors Store, Natural Pet Food and Supply.
More than 60 businesses were nominated for this year's awards, which will be presented during a ceremony Oct. 17 at the Lawrence Holidome.
The program is sponsored by the chamber, Kansas University Small Business Development Center, Lawrence Regional Technology Center, Minuteman Press and KU's School of Business.