The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced Melloni's Market Place of Youngstown as a winner in its annual Blue Ribbon Small Business Awards, a program that recognizes companies for success and innovation and for contributions to economic growth and free enterprise.
Melloni's Market Place was selected from a record number of applicants from communities across the nation for demonstrating exceptional business practices in areas including strategic planning, employee development, community involvement, and customer service.
"While our economy still struggles to reach its full potential, small businesses like our Blue Ribbon Award winners have continued to act as examples of the resilience, ingenuity and opportunity at work in the free enterprise system," U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said. "Times can be tough, but these businesses have proven that they can be, too. And by taking risks, watching out for their employees, and giving back to their communities, they've shown that success is achievable."
The chamber will announce seven regional finalists from among this year's Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winners March 18 and honor all of this year's winners at the 11th annual America's Small Business Summit, taking place June 8-10 in Washington, D.C. During the summit, one regional finalist will receive the "Dream Big" Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Sam's Club, and a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the U.S. Chamber.
All Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winners are eligible for the Community Excellence Award, which recognizes one business that has found notable success in the eyes of its community. The winner will be decided through online public voting ending March 4.
"Starting and growing a business can be a risky endeavor, but these small businesses have proven that with risk, comes reward," Donohue said. "Through hard work and innovation, they're impacting their communities, contributing to economic growth, and creating jobs. And the chamber is proud to recognize them for their achievements."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses, as well as state and local chambers.