MANCHESTER — Manchester Small Business Week wound up Friday morning with an awards ceremony at the Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College honoring small businesses in the city for growth, innovation and community service.
The growth award went to Manchester Music Mill, which opened in 2005 with no more than a handful of guitars on a wall and a small selection of accessories, and moved in 2009 to its current Elm Street location. Under the direction of owner Joe Lacerda, the company has grown every year since, with a lesson program that went from 15 to 20 students to more than 300.
Runner-up in the growth category was Ignite Bar and Grille, which opened in 2009.
The innovation award went to ProCell, a company that has developed advanced cellulose insulation that contributes to significant energy savings.
The community service award went to the wedu full-service marketing agency. In October, wedu initiated Bras Across the Internet, a Facebook app that allows users to create and place an image on their Facebook wall to help raise breast cancer awareness.
During the holiday season, groups of wedu staff members worked together to create window scenes depicting themes selected by nearly 3,000 Facebook fans and then selected four local nonprofit organizations that could win money by encouraging their supporters to vote for their windows.
Runner up in the community service category was the Puritan Backroom, recognized for its support of various teams, organizations, schools and after-school programs over the years.
Keynote speaker Jeffrey Rose, newly appointed commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, stressed the importance of small business to the state’s economy and shared his goals as new commissioner.
The weeklong event, including workshops and seminars, was hosted by the city’s Economic Development Office, under the direction of Mayor Ted Gatsas.
Carrie Perry, the mayor’s assistant for economic development, said the workshops were well-attended, particularly the opening forum Monday on the Affordable Care Act; it attracted more than 100 participants.
“People have been calling and giving positive feedback on all of the sessions,” she said.