2020 CEA Chamber Of Commerce Winners

By Staff Reports, posted Jul 17, 2020
As part of the Coastal Entrepreneur Awards program, area chambers of commerce also share their top business and organization picks.
BURGAW AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Local restaurant MeMa’s Chick’n’ & Ribs, owned by Myra McDuffie, has racked up awards for its barbecue and was ranked the eighth-best barbecue restaurant in North Carolina by USA Today readers.
“Our business of the year award is given to a business that is not only accomplished but also provides community outreach, service and dependability within the community and the Chamber,” wrote the chamber’s executive director, Arwyn Smith. “This was a hard choice as there were several businesses that fit these qualifications, but one place stood out among the rest.”
GREATER TOPSAIL AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Pender County native Jeff Jones opened the Southern Roots Grille restaurant in Holly Ridge in 2018 and launched its food truck the following year.
“Soon after, Hurricane Florence devastated the Topsail community, and Jeff jumped right in and began preparing food at the restaurant for those who had no power or suffered damage to their home and were unable to cook in their own kitchen,” chamber officials said.
His community ties are strong, collaborating with Out of the Darkness fundraisers in Surf City and distributing lunches to children in need when COVID-19 prompted schools to close and left many families without access to school meals.
NORTH BRUNSWICK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Leland-based Connected Home Inc. specializes in smart home technology, integrated security systems and audiovisual services. The company is a statelicensed and insured home security company and low-voltage electrical contractor. It designs and builds fully integrated smart homes, including custom-home networking solutions; lighting controls; smart thermostats; security cameras and sensors; multi-room and multi-zone home audio and video; and health sensors for pets, seniors and people with disabilities. (Connected Home also was chosen as a CEA winner. For more, click here.)
PLEASURE ISLAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Carolina Beach’s Good Hops Brewing was the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce’s pick for Entrepreneur of the Year 2020.
“For almost six years, Good Hops Brewing has proudly continued to maintain an environment in which visitors from all over are welcomed with the same open arms that make the locals feel at home at our brewery,” the chamber’s nomination stated.
“Owners Richard and Patricia Jones have implemented their focused entrepreneurial spirit from the very beginning,” the nomination continued, pointing to the brewery’s 17% yearly growth rate since opening in 2014.
SOUTHPORT-OAK ISLAND AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Fulford Heating & Cooling, which has its main location on Holden Beach Road in Supply, also has an office in Wilmington on Market Street.
“From their energy-efficient product lines, to their certified technicians, they have proudly served Brunswick County since 1974,” according to the chamber. “Their economic impact is evident, their diverse staff is respectful, community involvement is phenomenal and even though running a small business in a rural community can have its struggles, Fulford Heating & Cooling does it well while giving back to its community.”
WILMINGTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award went to John Canning, president of Economy Exterminators.
Canning and his brother Joe started Economy Exterminators in Cary, later moving to a larger location in Apex. The family business now has more than 75 employees.
“Since 1976 Economy Exterminators has provided quality, industry- leading pest control services not only to the Triangle area, but in the greater Wilmington and greater Charlotte markets as well,” said the company, which expanded to Wilmington in 1998. “As the Wilmington market has grown over the last 20+ years, we are also growing our Wilmington branch.”

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