Economic development nonprofit seeks nominations for small biz awards in Cass and Van Buren counties

What’s happening: Residents, visitors, business owners, and fans of Cass and Van Buren counties are encouraged to nominate their favorite new businesses for consideration in the third annual Market Van Buren Awards. Two awards are up for grabs in this year’s contest, featuring a Best New Business Award to be awarded in each of the two counties.

What it is: The Best New Business Award aims to recognize the hard-working entrepreneurs of Cass and Van Buren counties. It’s the third year of the contest from the economic development nonprofit Market Van Buren, which focuses their efforts on growing economic opportunities in each of the counties. Last year’s Best New Business Awards went to Patch & Remington of Marcellus (Cass) and both Water Views Inn and The Lodge, each of South Haven in Van Buren County. The South Haven businesses tied for first place in 2022.

What they’re looking for: To be eligible for an award, businesses must have been in operation for two or fewer years as of Jan. 1, 2023, and produce a product or provide a service in Cass or Van Buren County. Judges are looking for those businesses exhibiting excellence in strategic planning, employee development, community involvement, and customer service. The number of unique nominations a business receives will play a factor in selecting a winner, though identical nominations will be disqualified.

How to participate: Market Van Buren is accepting nominations via its website until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1. The awards process continues through March as the Market Van Buren Board of Directors weigh the nominees and select the winners, who will then be honored at an awards ceremony this June.

Click HERE to cast your nominations.

What they’re saying: “We are excited to hold our annual Market Van Buren Awards event to celebrate the small businesses that power our communities,” says Zach Morris, executive director of Market Van Buren. “Starting a new business is never easy. Our team puts this on each year to celebrate the hard work, dedication, and drive that it takes to start and grow businesses in Cass and Van Buren Counties.”

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