Chamber banquet celebrates businesses

FAIRMONT– Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet is coming up on March 4. The event, which is open to the public, will include a meal and entertainment and also recognize several area chamber businesses.

As a non-profit, the chamber is required to have an annual meeting that provides a financial report to anyone who is interested.

“We choose to make ours a celebration. It’s a chance to celebrate the chamber and celebrate our businesses,” said Ned Koppen, chamber president.

He said they try to make it a fun evening. This year it will be a Mardi Gras theme with entertainment from a comedian ventriloquist.

While chamber information will be shared at the meeting, a host of awards will also be given out to chamber businesses in four categories: large business of the year with 15 or more employees, small business of the year with under 15 employees, new business of the year, within three years of opening and non-profit of the year.

“We gathered nominations and voting has taken place,” Koppen said.

This year’s nominations for large business of the year are 3M, BoeKett Building Supply, Fairmont Roofing, Kahler Automation and Partners Funding. Small business nominations are Chain of Lakes Yacht Club, Dee’s Floral, Fairmont Photo Press, Thate’s Tree Service and Twelve Baskets.

New business nominations are Anew Family Chiropractic, Booj Boutique, CarpetPlus ColorTile and Edina Reality. Non-profit nominations are American Legion, Fairmont Rotary, Knights of Columbus, Martin County Historical Society and the Martin County Library.

Voting concluded on Feb. 12 and Koppen said almost 500 people voted for this year’s winners. The winners in each category will be announced at the banquet.

Kandi Menne, office manager at the chamber, said their hope is that a representative from each business that has been nominated will be present.

“We encourage them to send someone in case they win. They’re given a really cool plaque,” Menne said.

The banquet is likely the chamber’s largest meeting of the year and one of its largest events. Other big chamber events include the annual chamber golf outing and the annual Blue Ribbon Pork Cook-Off, which is put on at the Martin County Fair by the chamber’s agri-business committee.

The banquet kicks off starting with a social hour at 6 p.m. at the Best Western in Fairmont. That will be followed by a meal. Koppen will provide some chamber information and answer any questions. Of course, the night will also include the naming of the recipients in the four categories as well as entertainment.

Menne said several years ago they moved the event from a Monday or a Tuesday to a Friday in hopes that people bring a guest and have a good time.

Anyone who is interested in attending can call the chamber at 235-5447.

“The more, the merrier,” Koppen said.


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