WASHBURN COUNTY -- Business and community leaders from around Washburn County gathered on Wednesday evening at the Spooner Civic Center to recognize successes and community contributions of local businesses.  

According to Joel Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Washburn County Economic Development Corporation, “This evening has a purpose to it.  Of course, we try to raise some money for our organization through this event. We also want to use this event to let you know who we are and what we do. We also want to make sure that area business leaders have a chance to network with one another. These are all good reasons for tonight, but the main purpose of tonight is to look at and focus on the amazing things happening in Washburn County.”

Zimmerman described to the 170 people in attendance that patterns are shifting in Washburn County. “Recent demographic shifts in Washburn County are occurring. The next time you hear someone say that Washburn County is an aging, dying County, you can confidently tell them that this is not true. We are seeing an increase in younger families moving here, in addition, we have been creating jobs and new businesses.”

In addition, he spoke of the importance of being excited about what is happening in Washburn County and sharing that excitement and optimism.  “Just as contagious as pessimism, is optimism. Excitement begets excitement! Your employees will feed off of your pride of the area, your customers will feed off of that as well, and in turn, we feed off of their excitement and enthusiasm, and all of a sudden, together, we are a community that is proud of everything that we are. We are our history. We are the businesses that have been around for decades. We are the businesses that have been around for a few months. We are the businesses that will be. Together, we ARE Washburn County.”

The evening finished off with the announcements of the 2019 award recipients.  

  • 2019 Community Partner of the Year: Northwest Regional Planning Commission
  • 2019 Innovative Business of the Year: Round Man Brewing Company
  • 2019 Customer Friendly Business of the Year: Alley Cats Coffee
  • 2019 Community Involved Business of the Year: Tony’s Riverside
  • 2019 Non-Profit Organization of the Year: Ventures Unlimited
  • 2019 Tourism Business of the Year:  Round Man Brewing Company
  • 2019 Director’s Award: Peragon
  • 2019 New Business of the Year: Jack Link’s Aquatic and Activity Center
  • 2019 Business of the Year:  Maple Ridge Care Center

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