Fredericksburg Chamber presents first ‘We Mean Business’ awards

The awards spotlight the work, drive, and resilience of local business owners, leaders, and employees that have made their organizations succeed through collaboration, innovation, technology, and customer service.

Best Collaboration
Cort Smith of SmithWorx Office Furniture and David Fraser of Fraser Wood Elements met at a Chamber event earlier this year. As they began discussing their businesses with each other, they realized they had an overlap in their business models and similar mottos in Business; customer service and attention to detail. A few weeks after meeting, Smith presented Fraser and his team with a custom conference table project, and Fraser jumped at the opportunity to help Smith and the SmithWorx team.

The businesses complement one another and when Frasher is in his commercial opportunities consulting on natural wood design elements, he refers them to SmithWorx if there is a need for office furniture and vice versa. Smith and Fraser plan to continue to partner with each other and hope other businesses in the area will learn from their partnership success.

MC Morris, Assistant Director of Tourism at Fredericksburg Economic Development & Tourism presented the award for Best in Collaboration.

Most Innovative
Ristorante Renato has made innovation part of its business model to ensure it can continue serving its customers and keep its staff working during the pandemic. At the start of the pandemic, like many local restaurants, the struggle of keeping the business going was real.

Still, they got creative and turned their parking lot into a sidewalk café with lights, umbrellas, and greenery to continue service and keep an atmosphere people would enjoy.

As the months got warmer, they provided patrons with unique opportunities to get out and dine with them while remaining socially distanced. Next month Ristorante Renato will install a permanent awning for their outdoor dining area that is intuitive to weather and extends when it rains, or the sun hits just right.

Best in Tech
Third Eye View Corp. More and more businesses are starting to adopt The Internet of things (IoT) — physical objects with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet or other communications networks. The internet of things has been considered a misnomer because machines do not need to be connected to the public internet. They only need to be connected to a network and be individually addressable.

Third Eye View offers IoT security/cybersecurity, helping organizations gain a more significant competitive edge in the market and enhance operational efficiency.

Kevin Marshall, the Business Development Manager in Spotsylvania’s Department of Economic Development, presented the award for Best in Tech.

Benevolence in Business (a local business with an exceptional brand, a good reputation, and wide community outreach)

Hilldrup has been in the Fredericksburg area for almost 120 years, and giving back is inherent to the company. The organisation’s internal committee, Hilldrup Cares, vets community partnership opportunities. It also has the Hilldrup Move-Up Fund, which was created in 2019 and was developed to empower individuals and their families who need a “hand-up” to a more favorable situation.

By providing a stepping-stone to a better future, recipients of the fund can feel empowered and hopeful of creating additional positive life changes for the betterment of themselves and their families. With the support of The Community Foundation and local non-profit partners, the Hilldrup Move-Up Fund specifically assists those with housing needs who may not have the resources to address time-sensitive issues.

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