MANSFIELD - The Shealy Group was the winner in the 14 employee and under category. The awards ceremony, now in its 20th year, is put on by the Richland Area Chamber of Commerce. The Shealy Group handles accounting and consulting. The Park Avenue West firm has been around since 2001.
David Shealy is the owner and a CPA. "There's nothing like seeing a client breaking through," he said. "That's what keeps us going."
He introduced his staff to the packed crowd. "We show up every workday just to serve, like most small businesses do," Shealy said.
Prior to the awards, County Commissioner Marilyn John and chamber President Jodie Perry talked about the importance of small businesses.
"I'm a little jealous of you — I'm a lot jealous of you — the courage you have to go out and start a business," John said. "Small business represents the highest percentage of new hires in the country. You are putting people to work."
Perry recalled her parents being small business owners. They sold John Deere tractors.
"Our blood bleeds green and yellow for John Deere," Perry said.
She said their busiest time was spring. Perry said she watched her parents become leaders in the community by getting involved.
Community involvement is one of the criteria for Richland County's Small Business of the Year Award.
"What you do is what makes Richland County so awesome," Perry told the crowd. "This is my favorite event because it's people who have worked hard like my parents."
She noted the six finalists had more than 120 total employees and generated $26 million in revenue.
In all, 60 businesses were nominated. They were narrowed to 25 semifinalists, then the six finalists.
Read the full article at the Mansfield News Journal.