Dale’s Supermarket, Supreme Floor Co., and Hillsboro Cooperative Grain and Supply received Kansas Department of Commerce merit awards Tuesday at a Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
“It’s a way to recognize our businesses on a state level,” economic development director Clint Seibel said.
Hillsboro businesses were among 75 statewide that received merit awards, and five were chosen as finalists.
Hillsboro has participated in the program for more than a decade, Seibel said. Civic groups and individuals can nominate businesses.
A 10-member committee locally used criteria determined by the Department of Commerce to evaluate six or seven candidates, Seibel said, then looked for accomplishments from the past year to pare the list to three.
“We also look at who we’ve nominated in the past,” he said. “It’s not too scientific.”
Dale’s Supermarket has a long tradition of supporting community groups through discounts and supplying food for special events, but Seibel said the tipping point for the committee was how owner Dale Franz responded when Heartland Foods closed in December.
“Dale really stepped it up last year when we only had one grocery store,” Seibel said. “He increased his inventory of some things, he special-ordered items and did whatever he could to see that the grocery needs of the town were met.”
Cooperative Grain and Supply earned recognition for extensive staff and employee service to local boards, organizations, and churches, as well as for $70,000 donated to food banks, fire departments, and other organizations through the Land O’ Lakes Foundation matching fund program.
Stuart and Leah Isaac purchased The Carpet Center in 2006, renamed it Supreme Floor Co., and in nine years have tripled their showroom space and increased warehouse space. The business was recognized for achieving this growth while remaining an integral part of downtown Hillsboro.
“We think that Supreme Floor is worthy of recognition because of what they’re doing on Main Street,” Seibel said. “They’ve put up a beautiful store. When somebody buys a building and fixes it up nice, we appreciate that.”