Chamber of Commerce seeks business nominees for annual award

Left Field Tavern, pictured receiving their award, was one of last year’s Business of the Year winners.

Photo by Oxford Chamber

Left Field Tavern was one of last year’s Business of the Year winners. Left to right, Mo Nelson, general manager; Tully Milders, food manager; Ted Wood, owner; Ryan Moore, kitchen manager; and Kelly Riggs, president of the Oxford Chamber of Commerce.

By Katherine Bukowski

The Oxford Chamber of Commerce is seeking Business of the Year nominations for 2020. 

Each year, nominations are collected and considered during the fall. To be considered for this award, the nominees must be a Chamber member in good standing and provide a positive work environment and excellent customer service, Chamber President Kelli Riggs said. Nominees must also promote the development of business in Oxford, be involved in the community and offer contributions to civic life.

“We pick two businesses of the year and we seek nominations by sending out our nomination forms out to our members and community,” Riggs said. “We then go through those nominations with the board. . .  and once we have a tally on them, we announce (the winner).”

The Chamber wants to showcase these businesses and show what they offer to the Oxford community. Riggs said the awards allow community members to learn what the businesses have accomplished throughout the year. 

Last year’s winners were Left Field Tavern (12 W. Park Place) and The Oxford Copy Shop (316 S. College Avenue).

The Chamber usually announces winners of the awards at its annual meeting in January. This year, due to COVID-19, the Chamber will not have the January ceremony, but will still publicize the winners with either pictures or a video presentation, Riggs said.

Last year, Tully Milders, food and beverage manager of Left Field Tavern, attended the ceremony with The Wood’s bar owner Ted Wood and general manager, Mo Nelson. It was exciting to feel that those who worked hard to make business succeed were recognized, he said. 

“I think that if you are even nominated, that it says a lot about that business and the reputation of that business,” Milders said. “It’s a wonderful honor and a great feeling in the restaurant business to be well thought of in the community.” 

Winners will also receive a painted portrait of their business, created by Jean Vance, and its logo will be placed on the Chamber billboard on the edge of town for all visitors and residents to see. 

Winners receive a painting of their business by local artist Jean Vance. This one depicts Left Field Tavern, an award recipient last year.
Each year’s winners receive a painting of their business by local artist Jean Vance, like this one of Left Field Tavern, awarded last year. Photo provided by the Oxford Chamber

Milders attributes winning the honor due to the staff and their hard work. He said he believes that the award did boost business. 

“Within the first few weeks after the award, customer awareness increased and the billboard introduced town visitors to our business and our recognition as one of the best spots in Butler County,” Milders said. 

This year’s winners will be announced in December after the Chamber board considers the nominations. 

“We love being able to honor our businesses with this award… Good luck to all,” Riggs said.