News Column

Darden Competition for Small Businesses Opens

May 20, 2013
Small Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business will launch the fourth annual Tayloe Murphy Resilience Awards this month.

The competition honors and supports Virginia entrepreneurial enterprises that demonstrate sustained vitality and commitment in areas characterized by high unemployment, high poverty and low entrepreneurial activity.

Businesses in the cities of Hopewell and Petersburg, and Dinwiddie and Prince George counties are eligible for the competition.

"The Resilience Awards really highlight those small businesses that are uplifting local communities. A strong, resilient business is an integral part of a community as well as our functioning society," said Dean Krehmeyer, executive director of the Institute for Business in Society, the competition sponsor.

The 2012 Resilience Award winners hailed from the communities of Cheriton, Harrisonburg, Norfolk, Prince George County and Sedley.

These businesses survived fires, big-box competition and the lingering effects of the recession. They bridged cultural divides, supported local charities and brought hope to places where industries have disappeared.

Above all, they demonstrated resilience and positively contributed to their communities.

"The Resilience Awards recognize small businesses that do things the right way. These companies foster innovation, strengthen communities and create jobs," said Darden Professor Greg Fairchild, a nationally-known expert on entrepreneurship.

"Over the past few years I've been amazed at the dedication and perseverance that these business owners demonstrate."

Fairchild and other faculty study years of data from businesses entering the competition to determine what makes a business resilient.

The data informs research that identifies strategies and lessons that can apply to other enterprises, regardless of industry or location.

Through ongoing media coverage, opportunities to engage key business and government leaders and enrollment in a week-long course at Darden's highly rated Executive Education program, five Resilience Award winners each year receive the recognition and resources to help their company and community continue to grow and succeed.

One of last year's winners, Service Center Metals in Prince George County won its award in the category of Manufacturing/ Wholesale Sector.

The awards stated: "In the decade since its founding, aluminum extrusion manufacturer Service Center Metals (SCM) has become a benchmark for American manufacturing, recognized as an industry leader in innovation and customer service. The company was formed by former Reynolds Metals Company executives R. Scott Kelley, R. Randolph 'Randy' Weis and Lloyd S. 'Chip' Dollins Jr., who worked a combined 39 years for the country's second-largest aluminum manufacturer. Today, SCM has the second-largest market share in the industry and employs 120 individuals producing superior quality rod, bar, pipe, angles, channels, I-beams and custom shapes. From its Prince George facility, SCM supplies extruded aluminum shapes exclusively to aluminum service centers, which resell products to manufacturers. The company has sold more than a half-billion pounds of extrusions to the service center industry."

The deadline to apply or recommend a business for the 2013 application is July 31.

Semi-finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges in August.

Finalists will be named in September and invited to attend the award ceremony on Oct. 15 at the Darden School of Business, where the winners will be announced.

The Tayloe Murphy Resilience Awards are presented in conjunction with Virginia Business magazine.

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Source: Copyright Progress-Index (Petersburg, VA)

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