Professional Development
Awards / Communications / Small businesses

Meet the winners of this year’s DC Chamber of Commerce awards

Six local businesses and entrepreneurs were recognized at the membership and business booster organization's annual event.

The DC Chamber's 2023 Small Business Award recipients. (Courtesy photo)

The DC Chamber of Commerce awarded six local entrepreneurs and businesses in its recent 2023 Small Business Awards. Awards were distributed during the chamber’s annual small business summit, which included a Makers Market and a dedicated retail track for the first time.

“We are pleased to celebrate small businesses in Washington, D.C. who serve as the backbone of our thriving business community,” said Angela Franco, chamber president and CEO, in a statement. “On behalf of the Chamber, I would like to congratulate our awardees for their business excellence and for demonstrating their resilience as we continue to rebuild and recover.”

Here’s who took home gold in the DC small business community:

  • Small Business of the Year: Brandire
    • Brandire is a creative brand communications studio founded by Madia Brown. Clients include Johns Hopkins Sibley Memorial Hospital and Children’s National Hospital as well as small business owners.
  • Small Business Person of the Year: Cary Hatch, MDB Communications
    • Native Washingtonian Hatch works in business and consumer communications, with clients including National Geographic, the International Spy Museum and Sprint.
  • Women in Business Champion: Betty Hines, Women Elevating Women
    • Women Elevating Women is a conference for executives and entrepreneurs founded by Hines, who is also an advocate and mentor.
  • Non-Profit of the Year, Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF)
    • WACIF, which was established in 1987, is a program to help low and moderate-income entrepreneurs with information and capital. Last year, WACIF gave out $25 million in grants and loans, advised 700 local entrepreneurs and helped create 5,200 local jobs.
  • Small Business Champion of the Year: Comcast RISE
    • Comcast’s three-year program was developed in 2020 for businesses most impacted by the pandemic. The program targets a number of major cities, but in DC its awarded 200 women and BIPOC-owned small businesses each with $10,000 grants.
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Amanda Preske, Because Science
    • Preske created a business making jewelry and art from broken circuit boards while working on a Ph.D. at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Winners of the Department of Small and Local Development’s 2023 Small Business Awards were also announced. Kenyon Walker of Zero Waste Services won Certified Business Enterprise of the Year; Renata Philippe of Black Squirrel Company earned Made in DC Maker of the Year; and Scott Abel and Jake Cumsky-Whitlock of Solid State Books won Retailers of the Year.

Companies: Comcast

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