February 18, 2011

Independence Companies Honored with iNpact Awards

By Jeff Fox - jeff.fox@examiner.net
In 2010, at least two dozen Independence organizations, from retailers to manufacturers, expanded through capital investment, adding staff or both. Independence Economic Development honored those groups and other businesses Thursday.
“In Independence we really have a city on the move,” said Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, who also urged that leaders need to “think and act regionally if we are to succeed.”

 The group’s Chairman’s Business Innovation Award went to Nuts & Bolts Hardware, which last year moved into a larger space at 39th Street and Noland Road, adding about 7,500 square feet of space and nearly doubling its business.
“They have earned the reputation as being very client friendly,” said Jim Hinson, the Independence School District superintendent, who also serves as chairman of Independence Economic Development.
The iNpact Awards have been given for four years, and four local organizations – Centerpoint Medical Center, ATK Small Caliber Systems, the Mid-Continent Public Library system and MAST Technology – have won it each year.
To qualify, employers have to add a certain number of people or make a certain level of capital investment. The winners together added more than 700 jobs in 2010.
“There is just no doubt that our community is continuing to grow,” said Nancy Lewis, the Independence School District public information officer who served as the ceremony’s emcee.
Several new awards were introduced this year:
• Small Manufacturer of the Year – Free Energy.
• Large Manufacturer of the Year – ATK Small Caliber Systems.
• Small Business of the Year, emerging (in business less than three years) – Boost Physical Therapy.
• Small Business of the Year with fewer than 10 employees – Kimak Pest Control.
• Small Business of the Year with 11 to 50 employees – Staybridge Suites.