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Thursday, June 27, 2013 11:19 am


We’ve all heard it on the political campaign trail: small businesses are the backbone of the economy. Springfield is no exception. We have a strong core of small, locally-owned businesses that reinvest in the community they serve. A handful of those businesses were recognized at the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce’s 28th Annual Small Business Person of the Year Awards ceremony June 24 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The awards honored small business owners and one nonprofit director who make “significant contributions to commerce and the community.”

Chris Butler of Butler Funeral Home and Cremation Tribute Center won the Diamond Lifetime award, which goes to an owner whose business is at least 25 years old. Another funeral home owner, Paul John Staab II of Staab Funeral Home, won the Sapphire award, which goes to an owner whose business has been open at least four years and whose sales exceed $3 million. The Emerald Award for a business with sales between $1 and $3 million went to Connie Matrisch of Pro Com Services of Illinois, Inc., while Kenneth and Sue White of Bergh White Opticians, Inc. took the Ruby Award for businesses with sales up to $1 million. The New and Emerging Business Person Award went to Timothy Brown of Vital Restoration for his new business, and Kelly A. Thompson of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois was honored with the Not-For-Profit Business Director Award. Congratulations to the businesses and nonprofit who won, and keep up the good work.