Top notch business

Published 12:55 am Saturday, April 23, 2011

Business of the Year: Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy’s owner, Chris Jones, and employees were surprised last Thursday by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce which named the store Suffolk’s Small Business of the Year.

Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy honored as Suffolk Small Business of the Year

Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy recently was named Suffolk’s Small Business of the Year by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.

The business will compete against the winners from Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth to be named as the regional winner.

Pharmacy owner Chris Jones said it is an honor to receive the award in the pharmacy’s 26th year of business.


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“We have a great family at Bennett’s Creek,” he said. “I think it speaks to the commitment that the employees have to the community.”

Representatives from the Chamber of Commerce visited the store on Bridge Road last Thursday to surprise Jones and the employees with the award.

Jones said his employees are the key to his business’ success, and they deserve to get all the credit.

“The small business award is reflective of the dedication that my employees have to their jobs and the community,” he said.

For its small business awards, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce selects one business from the five Southside cities: Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Chesapeake.

In order to be considered, businesses must be nominated for the honor. A business can nominate itself or be nominated by someone else.

Once the business is nominated, it receives an application in the mail. The businesses that decide to apply must meet certain criteria, such as being in business for more than three years and not having more than a certain number of employees.

From there, the nominees are evaluated by a five-person committee that votes on all of the business packages they receive. Then, a winner for each city is selected.

“The packages were very good from Suffolk (this year),” Chamber of Commerce Vice-President for Small Business Jim Carroll said. “Sometimes, it’s picking the best of the best.”

Carroll said the selection committee was very impressed by Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy. He said there were several things that went into its selection as the best small business in Suffolk, but above all, the committee was blown away by the pharmacy’s staying power and devotion to its customers.

“The biggest thing was their absolutely superb customer service,” Carroll said.

He added the committee also thought it was amazing that Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy has been able to keep so many long-term customers without losing them to its competition.

Jones said he and his employees are proud to represent small businesses in Suffolk. He is unsure about their chances of winning the overall award.

“We’re blessed in Hampton Roads with a lot of small businesses and companies,” Jones said. “We’d like to win and hope to win, but it’s just a honor to represent Suffolk.”

Jones opened Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy in 1985, working by himself for the first few months. He said after the first year in business, he wasn’t sure it would make it.

Now, 26 years later, the store is still providing prescriptions as well as various other medical services for the community.

Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy and the other winners — Russell’s Heating and Cooling for Chesapeake, Virginia Eye Consultants for Norfolk, Stealth Shredding, Inc., for Portsmouth and B&T Kitchens & Baths for Virginia Beach — will be honored at the Hampton Roads Small Business Awards luncheon May 19. The regional winner will be announced at the luncheon.