ASHE COUNTY — The Ashe County Small Business of the Year award was announced by the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce Saturday, March 21, with Mountain Aire Golf Club winning the prestigious prize.
Unlike other years, the award was announced in the form of a video produced by Germain Media, with the event, originally scheduled for March 18, canceled due to concerns over the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.
“We in Ashe County figure out how to get around those obstacles,” Chamber Board President Andy Guion said in the video.
Also taking part was Tasha Rountree from Blue Ridge Energies, the sponsor of the 2020 award.
Presenting the award was the winner of the 2019 edition, Greg Schuster of Schuster Physical Therapy. Schuster said it was an honor to win the award in 2019, and an honor to present the award in 2020.
“We know too well the proverbial blood, sweat and tears that are required to conceive, to dream, to build and develop a business marked by excellence. The kind of business the people of Ashe County deserve,” Schuster said. “Now, more than ever, I am pleased to introduce one of the champions of this community.”
Mountain Aire Golf Club was opened by Carl and Pearl Hagel, and has been in the family ever since.
On-hand to accept the award was owners Philip and Laura Shepherd alongside Mark, Lou and Lindsey Hagel.
“This wouldn’t be possible without our employees, they’re part of our family as well,” Philip Shepherd said. “We’re very appreciative of this award, we’d like to thank the community and our golfers that support us through thick and thin, and we’re just humbled and honored to have this award.”
The award is given to a chamber member business in operation for at least three years with a staff of fewer than 25 employees and a strong commitment to community, according to the chamber.