Arlington Chamber of Commerce Announces Outstanding Small Businesses of the Year

Sugar Bee Sweets in Downtown is a recipient of the 2018 Arlington Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Awards.

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce has announced the recipients of the 2018 Arlington Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Awards.

“We are proud to recognize the significant accomplishments of our award recipients,” said Michael Jacobson, President and CEO of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. “Our businesses of the year are managed by bright and highly motivated people who are committed to superior service and making a difference in the lives of people and the entire Greater Arlington community.”

FOR-PROFIT CATEGORY

Sugar Bee Sweets – Sugar Bee Sweets started in Arlington as a one-person custom bakery in 2009 by Heidi Allison. Heidi is a graduate of Sam Houston HS and the University of Texas at Arlington. Her new location is in Downtown Arlington at 201 N. East St. Since opening, Sugar Bee has grown year over year sales and currently employs 14. Heidi is active in the Chamber’s Women’s Alliance, serving as Co-Chair on the Inspired Women Luncheon. She is also on the Board of Beat Leukemia Ball. Sugar Bee supports many community organizations including the Levitt, Life Shelter, Young Life, Camp Thurman, River Legacy, Salvation Army and many more. Sugar Bee Sweets has received numerous awards and recognition for cake creativity and Heidi was even a contestant on the Cooking Channel’s “Cake Hunters.”

NONPROFIT CATEGORY

River Legacy Foundation – River Legacy Foundation began as a unique public/private partnership with the City of Arlington in 1988. Their mission is to preserve and develop parkland with the charge of balancing recreation amenities with conservation and environmental integrity. The 1,300-acre River Legacy Park became a reality in 1990 with hiking trails, playgrounds and picnic pavilions, while still preserving the Park’s ecological diversity of bottomland forest, wetlands and prairie. The Foundation opened River Legacy Science Center in 1996. The Nature Center now serves more than 14,000 elementary students for hands-on field Investigations, while offering a variety of public programs, adult classes and family festivals. The Foundation has diversified educational programs to include Home School classes, After-School clubs and Scouting programs. Most recently, the Foundation raised $2.5 million to transform the exhibit hall into the River Legacy Discovery Room, featuring a variety of interactive exhibits that combine technology and nature to further develop the next generation of environmental stewards. River Legacy actively works with 36 organizations throughout North Texas to promote environmental awareness and stewardship.

Arlington Sunrise Rotary – The Arlington Sunrise Rotary began in 1987. Today, their members (up 15% over the past four years) are involved in over 51 annual service projects equating to 3,875 volunteer hours. These projects include dictionaries for elementary students, library books, playground projects, Hats & Bags of Love for the Salvation Army, blood drives, flag displays during important holidays and events, Mission Arlington, Angel Flight support, professors of the year, plant-a-tree, and many more. During the past year they have reinvested $89,678 back into our community making a difference in the lives of children, young adults, abused women, the homeless, aspiring STEM professionals and teachers.

VETERAN-OWNED CATEGORY

3Di Sign & Design – 3Di Sign & Design officially moved to Arlington in 2010, albeit the owner, Paul Fulks had already integrated his business and family into the community long before that time. Prior to entering the branding/marketing and sign world, Paul spent four years serving his country in the U.S. Navy. 3Di Sign & Design is now the largest in-house apartment sign company in the country. He and his team also create unique branding signage for many businesses throughout our community, state and beyond. Paul serves on numerous Boards including Levitt, Arlington CVB, Education Foundation, Dance Theater Arlington and the Chamber. Always willing to serve his community, the company has provided pro bono support to the Chamber, CVB, Education Foundation, SafeHaven, Levitt, Salvation Army, Museum of Art, Parade of Lights and many other community organizations.

EXCELLENCE IN MEDIA

Arlington Today Magazine – This is the third year the Chamber will recognize a person or small business providing “Excellence in Media” in our community. For 2018 we award Arlington Today Magazine as the recipient. The magazine provides benefit to the greater Arlington community by providing news, recognition, event coverage, nonprofit support and human-interest content. Arlington Today reaches 60,000+ readers and is recognized as the community’s publication of record. Publisher Judy Rupay and CEO Richard Greene have made significant contributions in developing Arlington, both personally and professionally. For 2018, Arlington Today was also the publisher of the high-quality Chamber Directory.

The Chamber’s criteria for selection as a Small Businesses of the Year include growth, relevant innovation, and contributions to furthering the Chamber’s Mission “Together, We Champion Economic and Community Prosperity.” The recipients will be honored at the Friday, May 4 “Spirit of America: 2018 Salute to Small Business” luncheon hosted by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration and The North Texas Small Business Development Center.

The “Salute to Small Business” luncheon will be held at the Sheraton Arlington Hotel commencing promptly at 11:30 a.m. The ceremony will be emceed by local television celebrity Scott Murray. Scott hosts Talk Street on NBC 5, is a co-host on the Texas Daily show on KTXD-TV, while also hosting The Scott Murray Show about “leadership and philanthropy” every Sunday night from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on radio 570 KLIF. He is also a published author of two books (Whatever It Takes and Bring Out the BEST!).

The U.S. Small Business Administration will recognize the Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Exporter of the Year, Women in Business Champion of the Year, Minority Small Business of the Year, and others. Winners are from Dallas, Denison, Wichita Falls and other communities. Businesses are encouraged to participate in the seminars and trade show associated with the “Salute to Small Business,” as both public and private small businesses representing 72 counties from North Texas will be in attendance. For more information go to www.arlingtontx.com or call the Arlington Chamber at 817-275-2613.