Chamber singles out local businesses for honors

The Greater Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce has announced the nomination of three member businesses for Mayor Greg Nickels' Small Business Awards for 2007. Video Isle, Queen Anne Books and Queen Anne Gardens were all nominated as excellent examples of successful locally owned businesses that "provide services, jobs, job training, gathering places, products, innovations and add a distinctive character to the communities they serve."

Video Isle, owned and operated by Craig Wilson since the early '80s, has offered the community not only a video store but a gathering place focusing on the family and offering great customer service, personalized attention - and free popcorn. In GQACC's words, "Craig respects his employees and his patrons and understands the partnership between the community and the merchant." In addition, Wilson has volunteered many hours to Queen Anne Little League (including sponsoring a sometime-championship team), the Queen Anne Helpline and the Chamber.

Cindy Mitchell and Patti McCall of Queen Anne Books have operated their store on the Hill for eight years. Their establishment celebrates reading and offers a nurturing, appreciative environment for people to linger. Besides current bestsellers, Queen Anne Books stocks a variety of classics and stands ever ready to locate that perfect book for a special person. Patrons are also treated to such services as "no-guilt drop-in" book clubs, special children's reading hours and other family events.

For years, Daniel Lowery of Queen Anne Gardens has brought his design and horticultural skills to gardens on Queen Anne. His designs often incorporate gardens into actual living space - a talent appreciated by many urban dwellers. Lowery's creativity has brought him awards and accolades from the community and his peers. He is involved with the Youth Garden Works Project, which introduces gardening to at-risk youth; working in the garden with plants and design brings these kids into a neutral territory, offering respite from their fears and frustrations.

"The Chamber is elated to have these three local businesses recognized for their leadership, stability and commitment to the greater Queen Anne business community," said Chamber president Don Lagerquist. "All of them play an important role in the vitality of the Queen Anne business district, providing us three more good reasons to shop locally."

Previous Queen Anne small-business award winners are Colaizzo Opticians and Queen Anne Office Supply. The winners for 2007 will be announced in September.

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