Staff Report

A business showcase will now be part of the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce’s annual business awards dinner. The newly reformatted event will be held on Thursday, October 29 at the Sheraton Tampa East Hotel. (Visit www.sheratontampaeast.com for more information). The showcase will run from 4-7 p.m. and the awards dinner from 7-9 p.m.

The showcase will represent about 70 booths of area businesses, along with an extended cocktail reception. Booths can be reserved online at www.brandonchamber.com under events, and tickets can be purchased for $15 per person.

“Since splitting the Business Expo from the Taste of Brandon this spring, we wanted to give our members and the business community another opportunity to highlight their products and services,” said Chamber Executive Director Christine Michaels.

The Business Awards is also expanding with three new awards; one for a medium-sized business, a Legacy Award and an Impact Award. For all awards, the nominee must be a member of the Greater Brandon Chamber.

The Impact Award is given to a Greater Brandon area/Hillsborough County business that has had a profound impact on the local economy in the past year (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015). This is primarily for expansions and new major projects, and could be in the form of construction dollars, number of employees, overall economic impact, major charitable donations/public benefit, etc. The Legacy Award is given to a Diamond Member (more than 25 years as a member) who has made significant contributions to the economic vitality and quality of life of the Greater Brandon area/Hillsborough County over time. And the Medium-Sized Business Award is given to a medium-sized business (50 or more employees but less than 500) which exemplifies leadership in its industry, growth, stability and community involvement. Must have been in business locally for five years or more.

The Small Business Award is given to a small business (less than 50 employees) which exemplifies growth, stability and community involvement. Must have been in business locally for five years or more.

The Home-Based Business Award is given to a home-based business which exemplifies growth, stability and community involvement. Must have been in business locally for three years or more. Award applications can be obtained from the chamber by emailing Events Director Lauren Turner at lturner@brandonchamber.com, and are due no later than close of business Friday, October 2. Michaels noted that the application process has been simplified to allow for a tighter deadline this year.