The Cape Cod Chronicle won the Orleans Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Small Business of the Year Award, given during the chamber’s 31st annual meeting held virtually on Nov. 17.
“Thank you for all you do for the Orleans community,” the chamber’s incoming chair Judy Lindahl of Nauset Marine said in announcing the award. She added that the paper supports the chamber, businesses, non-profits, and civic and community groups in town.
The virtual meeting was dominated by an uninvited guest — the coronavirus — which made the chamber’s annual dinner an impossibility and upended the way every local company does business. In recapping the year’s accomplishments Noelle Pina, the chamber’s executive director, said one of the meeting’s goals was to honor outstanding organizations and leaders who made a difference during the pandemic. The chamber itself concentrated on providing resources to help businesses stay afloat and open.
The law firm of La Tanzi, Spaulding and Landreth and The Cape Cod Chronicle sponsored the meeting.
Justin Alex, The Chronicle’s Orleans sales representative, noted that Chronicle publisher Hank Hyora, who has owned the paper since 1985, removed the paper’s e-edition paywall when the pandemic began. Advertising space was offered at a “drastically reduced” rate through June.
The Chronicle expanded its coverage area to Orleans in 2016 and hired veteran reporter Ed Maroney to cover the town. Reporter Kat Szmit covers sports at Nauset Regional High School. The paper “prides itself in providing in-person customer service to their advertisers and subscribers and they do all production in-house,” Lindahl said, also noting that The Chronicle is the last independently-owned newspaper on the Lower Cape and boasts the highest circulation of any weekly paper on Cape Cod. In addition, the paper has 18,000 followers on Facebook, 10,000 on Twitter, and will soon move to Instagram.
“We are truly honored,” Debra DeCosta, The Chronicle’s sales manager, said in accepting the award. “It’s nice to know that the local news is still valued by the people in the community.”
DeCosta thanked Hyora for expanding to Orleans. She also thanked editor Tim Wood. She encouraged townspeople to offer story ideas to Maroney, Szmit and Alex.
“We’re thrilled to be able to continue to bring you the news that impacts you and your community as well as the promotions to help your businesses thrive,” she said.
Moving forward, DeCosta noted that The Chronicle will produce videos with all three chambers — in Orleans, Chatham and Harwich — about this holiday season. The Chronicle also hopes to offer video options to businesses as a marketing tool.
A Chronicle alumna and her partner at TIDAL Marketing won the Emerging Business of the Year Award. Courtney Wittenstein began as a Chronicle intern and later worked as an employee. Wittenstein and Shayna Ferullo founded TIDAL Marketing three years ago when they saw a need for small-town marketing.
“It’s amazing and fulfilling to see established businesses make the digital leap,” Ferullo said.
The 2020 Business of the Year Award went to Hog Island Beer Company and Mike McNamara, president. The company “consistently aids and assists local charitable events and fundraisers at the brewery and off-site,” Lindahl said.
McNamara said that although the summer was a challenge, the company “prevailed.” Right now the company is brewing, canning and kegging its products. The company’s mantra is “adopt and evolve since this thing has reared its ugly head.”
And finally, the Spirit of Orleans Award went to Ron Collins, facilities manager for the town of Orleans. Collins is “known for helping anyone in town...improve something on town properties,” Lindahl said.
Board chair Brian Junkins of Friends’ Marketplace and Garden Center reported the slate of 2021 officers. In addition to Lindahl, who will be chair, Alex will serve as chair elect. Junkins is immediate past president, Scott Kerry of Kerry Insurance is treasurer, and Ken Taber of Hole-in-One Restaurant is secretary.
Junkins also gave chairman’s awards to retiring board member Terri Souza of Cape Cod Five and to the chamber’s office manager Lisa Simundson, who had to rework “Truly Orleans” for the pandemic year. He thanked Pina for being a “fearless leader” and a “tremendous resource to the community.”
Businesses recognized for 20 years of continued membership were Lowey Chiropractic Wellness Center, Mahoney’s Atlantic and the Orleans Firebirds. Honored for 10 years of membership were Cape Cod Broadcasting, Cape Tradewinds, Cape Escape Adventure Golf and Leighton Rentals.