Chamber honors beautification award winners

BOTKINS — Seven businesses and organizations were honored at the 2020 Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner for improvements made to their properties. Three companies were honored for new construction in the county. The annual dinner was held at the Palazzo.

Recognized by Chamber Vibe President Dawn Eilert were:

• Airstream, Jackson Center, new construction

• Emerson Climate Technologies Inc., Sidney, new construction

• Mojitos, Sidney, interior renovation

• Moonflower Aromatherapy & Therapeutic Message by Sonja, Sidney, interior renovation

• Murphy’s Craftbar & Kitchen LLC, Sidney, interior renovation

• The Royal Parlour, Sidney, interior renovation

• Bob Sargeant & Family Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, Sidney, new construction

Incoming board chair Mary Lee Smock and immediate past chair Phil Gilardi both spoke at the event.

“The Sidney/Shelby County area continues to thrive with new business, business expansions, housing starts and high performing schools,” said Smock. “Asking our members what their biggest area of concern is for their short- and long-term future gave us a nearly unanimous answer, staffing.”

The chamber staff and board, she said, heard the community’s concerns and are trying to find a solution to the problem.

“Attracting and retaining talent to our area has to be a top priority. We want people to not just work in Shelby County but to live and raise their families here. The Chamber and Sidney Visitors Bureau are leading an effort to rebrand Sidney in a manner that will benefit all of Shelby County. A consultant agency has been hired to work with a local committee of volunteers in this process. The results from this project are anticipated early spring so stay tuned,” said Smock.

“The chamber is also working with the SSEP on several placemaking initiatives to enhance the desirability of our community as a place to live,” she said. “We are also very excited to see the placemaking initiatives and progress that Sidney Alive has accomplished and are continuing to pursue. In addition the Sidney CIC has been meeting to further explore ways to aid development in Sidney and the chamber is standing by to assist. All Shelby County villages are also engaged and actively working to continue their growth and the Chamber is ready to help here as well.”

Gilardi told the group that he was thankful to have served as the chamber’s chair for the past year.

“I’d like to thank the board for allowing me to serve with you,” said Gilardi. “You’ll be in good hands with Mary Lee Smock.

“I’ve lived in Shelby County my entire life — all 35 years of it,” he said. “I’ve raised my family here. I started a business here. I’ve made friends here.”

Gilardi said for the first time, all entries in the city and county are working together for one goal.

“We’re seeing the benefits of the team,” said Gilardi. “Jeff Raible and his team. Jill Hill and his team. Amy Breinich and Sidney Alive. The resources of the entire county are coming together. They are all more aligned and when an investor comes to the community, they can see a clear path to coming to the county.

“There are nice things happening in downtown Sidney,” he continued. “We need to get the citizens involved. Government need to make things easier for the people to invest in the community. We want to ‘ring the bell’ everyday,” said Gilardi.