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The Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for the 85th Annual Excellence in Business Awards, created to honor Bedford area businesses, organizations, and individuals for their innovation; to celebrate their vision; and to publicly appreciate their contributions to the quality of life in our community and within their own organizations.

Awards will be presented during the Chamber's Annual Gala on Thursday, September 12, 2024 at Cedar Oaks Farm.
Large Business of the Year
A company of 51 or greater employees that has made a significant contribution to the growth of Bedford; is recognized for the integrity of its business operations; and has demonstrated an active interest in civic and benevolent activities in the area.
Previous Recipient: BWX Technologies
Small Business of the Year
A company of 50 or fewer employees that has made a significant contribution to the growth of Bedford; is recognized for the integrity of its business operations; and has demonstrated an active interest in civic and benevolent activities in the area.
Previous Recipient: Wicked Diesel
Agri-Business of the Year
A business primarily involved in agricultural input, production, output, promotion, or education that has contributed significantly to the advancement of agriculture in the Bedford area. Examples include wineries, orchards, farms, stables, farmers markets, etc.
Previous Recipient: Bedford Farmers Market
Nonprofit of the Year
A nonprofit organization as defined by the IRS that displays a commitment to good and ethical business practices and provides outstanding programs/services that directly impact the Bedford area.
Previous Recipient: Bower Center for the Arts
Rising Star Award
An emerging business started in the last 2 years whose record reflects ongoing and exceptional growth and increased levels of leadership, responsibility, and sphere of impact.
Previous Recipient: Frosted Ridge Confections
Citizen of the Year
A person who has contributed time, money, and/or resources to the Bedford area through their involvement in civic organizations or improvements, service in government, or any outstanding effort made for the betterment of the community over the last 2 years.
Previous Recipient: Holley Scheffel, Bedford County Office of Economic Development
Lifetime Achievement Award
Bestowed every other year, this award honors an outstanding individual who has substantially provided for the improvement and advancement of the Bedford area. This award is heavily weighted upon a record of voluntary community involvement and giving back to Bedford.
Previous Recipient: Nancy Johnson, Johnson's Orchards / Peaks of Otter Winery
Award Criteria
  • While individual criteria differ by category, emphasis on innovation, staying power, and overall integrity of business practices will be considered.
  • All nominees should be a member in good standing of the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce. See full membership directory here:  Business Directory Search
  • Anyone can nominate an organization or individual. Self-nominations are welcome. An organization can be nominated for more than one award category. Multiple nominations do not influence the selection of finalists. Nominations can be accepted via Google Form or by delivering a print form to 305 E Main Street, Bedford, VA 24523 by June 10.
Award Selection Process
  1. The contact person listed on the nomination form receives a questionnaire. Only nominees who return the questionnaire with full details are considered for the slate of finalists. This questionnaire is the only information utilized in the determination of the award recipients — not reputation, relationships, or outside knowledge.
  2. A selection committee scores the questionnaires using a ranking system based on award criteria and selects the recipient for each category.
  3. All finalists will be invited to attend the Annual Gala on September 12, 2024, where recipients in each award category will be revealed for the first time.