Iron Range Businesses Recognized by Chamber of Commerce with Awards Ceremony

The normal awards banquet scheduled this year was canceled due to coronavirus-related restrictions, but the chamber still found a way to honor Range businesses. 

VIRGINIA, Minn.- Businesses on the Iron Range were recognized for their contributions to the community at Olcott Park in Virginia Wednesday. The Laurentian Chamber of Commerce Honored them as part of this year’s award ceremony.

The normal awards banquet scheduled this year was canceled due to coronavirus-related restrictions, but the chamber still found a way to honor Range businesses.

The crowd around the fountain at Olcott Park looked a bit less grand than the banquet, but chamber members said with the sacrifices, trials and contributions made by area businesses recently, they had to shine the spotlight on them.

“It’s really important because we finally get to give recognition to these people that have contributed so much to our community and they deserve it they really do,” said Kasey Sherek, a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

Among the awards that were given out was the Small Business of the Year Award, which went to Grandma’s Restaurant in Virginia. It was even more special for Boyd Peterson to accept it.

Peterson is the Executive Chef at the Virginia location, working there for almost 30 years. His location, along with Duluth’s Miller Hill Grandma’s, were the only two locations open during the statewide shutdown.

“It was intense, we had a good team,” he said.

The award, he added, made him and his team feel valued after bearing all the extra hard work for three months.

“It’s extremely valued,” said Peterson. “Not a lot of recognition goes to us all of the time and being a chef I don’t really get to meet people, get to see people, so it’s very important that we’re recognized as this.”

The Laurentian Chamber of Commerce represents businesses in Eveleth, Gilbert, Mountain Iron and Virginia.

Earlier this month the Chamber distributed 16,000 masks to Iron Range Businesses. They were driven from Duluth by Minnesota Power, through a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

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