Tucson Metro Chamber and Wells Fargo are orchestrating an in-person celebration of small businesses in Southern Arizona with the 24th annual Copper Cactus Awards at Casino Del Sol.
Eleven small businesses will be honored on Friday, Oct. 1, with a solid copper trophy to commend their excellence in a specific category, like “Best Place to Work”. Director of communications at Tucson Metro Chamber Heather Wuelpern said the finalists are given increased name recognition in the community through complimentary promotions for the awards ceremony.
“In addition to the finalists or winners benefiting from the Copper Cactus Awards, those in attendance have a fantastic opportunity to hobnob with business leaders and their esteemed staff members,” Wuelpern said.
Last year’s Copper Cactus Awards were celebrated virtually and this year will be adjusted with COVID-19 accommodations such as spaced out tables and readily available hand sanitizer. Event organizers advise unvaccinated individuals to wear a mask.
The event will also feature new dress attire: “Zoom-Formal.” Attendees are encouraged to wear a formal top, casual bottoms and even slippers.
“We want everyone to have fun while we celebrate the amazing businesses in Southern Arizona,” Wuelpern said. “We figured dressing in the ‘mullet of party attire’ will help everyone loosen up, laugh, and enjoy a night out.”
Local Arizona community members submitted 255 applications for the Copper Cactus Awards categories, which has been whittled down to 33 finalists.
“This year’s finalists represent such diversity in industry,” Chamber President and CEO Amber Smith said. “It’s an honor for all of us at the Tucson Metro Chamber to recognize our region’s small businesses every year at the Wells Fargo-presented Copper Cactus Awards.”
The finalists listed below were chosen by 14 judges who scored businesses under different categories. Tucson Metro Chamber added two new categories to the award ceremony: DPR Construction’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Champion as well as Pima Community College’s Employer/Employee Development.
Eleven winners will be announced after a cocktail hour and dinner included in the ticket purchase. There will also be raffle tickets available for $25 each. Winners of the raffle will take home 50% of the pot and the remaining 50% will go to a randomly selected non-profit.
BEST PLACE TO WORK
(sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield)
Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Arizona
The Motive Physical Therapy Specialists
Onyx Creative, Inc.
Pain Institute of Southern Arizona
Premier Auto Management
SMALL BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR
(sponsored by CopperPoint)
Dr. Richard Austin | Reglagene
Joshua Belhumeur | BRINK
Jana Westerbeke | Gadabout SalonSpas
BUSINESS GROWTH (sponsored by Cox Business)
Paragon Space Development Corporation
DIVERSITY, EQUITY and INCLUSION CHAMPION
(sponsored by DPR Construction)
Community Investment Corporation
Snell & Wilmer
(sponsored by Nextrio)
Avery Therapeutics, Inc.
Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation
(sponsored by Pima Community College)
AGM Container Controls
Cadden Community Management
Tucson Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program
STARTUP OF THE YEAR
(sponsored by Tech Parks Arizona)
SOCIAL IMPACT (sponsored by Tucson Electric Power)
Revenue up to $500,000
Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace/Mission Garden
Greater Tucson Leadership
Izi Azi Foundation/Felicia’s Farm
Revenue between $500,000–$2M
ASU Office of Community Health, Engagement, and Resiliency
Earn to Learn
YWCA Southern Arizona
Revenue between $2M–$5M
United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona
Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona
To sign-up for the event visit tucsonchamber.org/copper-cactus-awards.