Being names Business of the Year is just as much a reflection of the community as of the business, say South Belt-Ellington Leader co-publishers Bobby Griffin and Marie Flickinger.
The Leader was one of six businesses to be honored by the Southeast Economic Developmental Council of Harris County (SEED) last week at its first awards banquet.
SEED, an organization consisting of six chambers of commerce recognition one outstanding business from each chamber. The Leader was the South Belt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce's recipient.
While the LEader's office walls have throughout the years accumulated numerous awards, being names Business of the Year is perhaps the highest recognition the paper has received, said Flickinger.
"It's a t our staff and our community," she said. "The paper and our community have come a long way and have in a sense grown up together..
"I honestly feel that we could not have won the award had we not had so many positive things to report about and to take part in.
Griffin agreed, "It's an honor we couldn't have possibly have won without the strong support of the community, both the readers and the advertisers," she said.
The paper was begun 13 years ago when Griffin and Flickinger decided to being a publication as a hobby, with most of the work being done in Flickinger's kitchen.
Now, Leader staff members number [?] and the paper has an annual budget of $500,000.
Selecting the chamber's winning business was the Small Business Committee, chaired by Bill Morgan. Criteria used to judge nominated businesses included the businesses' community contributions and management success.
The Leader was the overwhelming choice," said Morgan. "The paper's total commitment to the community and things that Bobby and Marie have done in the community as individuals made the Leader a clear standout."
The two other finalists for the award were Central Hardware and Ramex Construction.
Nominating the Leader was South Belt Ellington Chamber of Commerce President President Rudy Schubert. "I nominated the Leader because I feel Marie and Bobby as individuals and as newspaper publishers have been a driving force and catalyst in the community," he said.
He added that Griffin and Flickinger were among those primarily responsible got getting the local chamber of commerce started four years ago.
Morgan said SEED should be commended for recognizing outstanding businesses. Even in the business world, he said, it's nice to be appreciated.