WAUSAU — The Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce named the three 2017 Small Businesses of the Year Award recipients at a ceremony on Tuesday, April 18 at Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center in Rothschild.

The Small Business of the Year Award recognizes business growth, community involvement, and innovative efforts in the Wausau region and is a part of the Chamber’s annual Small Business Week.  Recipients were named in three categories:

Representatives from Spectrum Insurance Group (Photo: Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce) 

Business-to-Business category: Spectrum Insurance Group LLC – Weston is an integral part of the risk management programs of each of its clients. Manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, contractors, transportation companies, school districts and municipalities look to the company for help in protecting their assets and keeping their employees and customers safe. The business also aids their customers in regulation compliance.

Representatives from City Grill, An American Bistro (Photo: Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce)

Business-to-Consumer category: City Grill An American Bistro is a restaurant, meeting and banquet facility located in the heart of downtown Wausau. City Grill prides itself in the art of house-made classic food items coupled with a trendy, upscale flair. The business offers a warm, welcoming atmosphere with unique décor and elaborate seasonal enhancements.

Charitable Non-Profit category: Junior Achievement of Wisconsin Inc – Northcentral District is focused on giving students from kindergarten through high school skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. The organization partners with businesses, educators and volunteers to inspire young people to dream big and reach their full potential, empowering students to connect what they are learning in school with the real world.

Representatives from Junior Achievement, pictured April 18, 2017 (Photo: Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce)

“It is quite an honor and surprise to have won this wonderful award. As I looked around the room, I realized that not only is this award for myself, staff and board but for so many that have volunteered their time through Junior Achievement.” said Mari Stein, district director, Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Inc. – Northcentral District. “The impact we have made in this community could not have happened without all the dedicated volunteers that go into classrooms each day and share their stories with our area’s youth.  Also, the support of our donors is truly amazing to me each and without them, this would not be possible.”

“This award is dedicated to Mr. Greg Schmidt,” said Jesse Furrer, managing partner and account executive with Spectrum Insurance Group. “Greg was a valued Account Executive of Spectrum Insurance Group who left us this past year after a short and hard-fought battle with cancer. Greg taught all those who knew him the importance of a strong relationship with God, our families and our friends. We do miss you, Greg.”

The Small Business of the Year Award finalists also included:

Business-to-Business category: Executive Cleaning LLC

Business-to-Consumer category: Auto Select Inc, Buska Retirement Solutions Inc, Clements Insurance Agency Inc, Featherstone Cabinetry and Design – Rothschild, Lightning Lube Auto Care Center, Sconni’s Alehouse & Eatery, Surgical Associates SC, Thunder Lube, U Paint & Party LLC

Charitable Non-Profit category: Marathon County Historical Society, MCDEVCO Inc, St Vincent de Paul – Cabrini Conference, The Open Door of Marathon County Inc
Small Business Week continues on Thursday, April 20, as thousands of business people will assemble at Business EXPO 2017 which will be held at the Central Wisconsin Convention + Expo Center in Rothschild from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Business EXPO will feature a record number of exhibitors this year, with more than 250 exhibitors. Admission is free with your business card or $10 for those without business cards.

The EXPO is followed by the EXPO Business PM from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center in Rothschild. The EXPO Business PM is one of the largest networking events of the year, offering a unique opportunity to build new business relationships and strengthen existing ones. Cost is $10 online or $20 at the door.

The week will finish with a Small Business of the Year Recognition Ceremony which will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, April 21 at City Grill An American Bistro in Wausau. Each of the 2017 Small Business of the Year recipients will describe their paths to success during this program. The cost for attending this program is $35 online.

The 2017 Small Business Week is presented by Ruder Ware LLSC and sponsored at the platinum level by Riiser Energy and Sam’s Club, at the gold level by Church Mutual Insurance Company, The Dirks Group and River Valley Bank, at the silver level by Peoples State Bank, Schenck SC, Wipfli LLP and Wisconsin Public Service, at the bronze level by EmbroidMe, Mallery & Zimmerman SC, Yach’s Body & Custom. The Business News is the print media sponsor for the week, Midwest Communications the radio sponsor and WAOW Newsline 9 as the television sponsor.

For more information about the 2017 Small Business of the Year Awards, including a list of past recipients, or to register for any Small Business Week events, visit the Chamber’s recently redesigned site.

The Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce is the source for business information in the Wausau Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). We strengthen member businesses and enhance the region by building business success. For more information on the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce, visit us online at www.wausauchamber.com or call 715-845-6231.

Wausau Pilot & Review is a member of the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce.