This year, the Top of the Town Awards, presented by Columbia Regional Airport, grabbed the attention of the business community and did not let go. Top of the Town recognizes the best B2B products and services in Columbia as chosen by you, CBT readers.

Through the nomination and voting rounds, those in the running asked clients and partners to “rock the vote” through email, company newsletters, social media campaigns, and person-to-person interaction in an all-out effort to win. It was so fun to watch the drive, competitive spirit, and, yes, smidge of intensity, they displayed.

During the voting round, more than 79,000 votes were cast in 35 categories. I get a big, goofy grin on my face every time I see that number. Thank you for taking the time to support the businesses in our community who do great things for other businesses. We are a community made up of thousands of people working for hundreds of great companies that deserve recognition.

Even if the business you voted for didn’t take first or second place, by nominating them or voting for them, you gave recognition to a deserving business. Next year, we’re going for 100,000 votes. I think our CBT readers are up for the challenge, don’t you?

I think it is generally a good idea to put your head down, work hard, and not look for recognition, but every once in a while, you need to take pride in your accomplishments and do a little bit of bragging. I hope all our first and second place winners will take some time to bask in the glory of victory. You’re awesome. Keep up the good work. And I’ll take a moment to brag, too. I’m proud of these awards and that the CBT team does its part to support local business.

We chose the Top Face of Business winner, Bill Costello, of Central Bank of Boone County, to be our cover model. He was humbled by the award — and tried to convince us several times that there’d been some mistake.

I know there was no mistake. When we did a photo shoot in front of Central Bank’s downtown location, Bill got probably 20 honks and cat calls from friends and colleagues driving by. Not the Top Face of Business? Sorry, Bill. You’re overruled.

With a suit provided by Bingham’s and a contagious smile, Bill killed it at the photo shoot. Be sure to ask him for an autographed copy of the cover. I think he’ll really enjoy that.

The Top of the Town issue has been a fun one. In it, you’ll get to know local franchisees who balance the small business and corporate worlds, and you’ll read about how businesses give in different ways; from setting up foundations to volunteering as a team, there are so many ways to contribute to our community.


Thanks for reading,

Brenna McDermott,  Editor


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