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Things that make us happy

In trying times, perhaps no business name in Suffolk hits home more than Chris Rice’s “Music Makes You Happy Entertainment.”

The business provides DJ and emcee services, photobooth rentals, audio-visual equipment, lighting and more. It has 11 employees with its headquarters in Suffolk and another office in Richmond.

The company provides services for everything from weddings to well-established sporting events like the North American Sand Soccer Championships in Virginia Beach and the Newport News One City Marathon.

Music is an integral part of any culture, exciting the senses just as much as great food or impeccable art and design, and it’s no different here in Hampton Roads. Whether it’s a wedding, a fundraiser, a festival, a sporting event or virtually anything else, music is a big part of the event, and it truly does “make you happy,” as the business name states — with a nod to Pharrell Williams, maybe even happy enough to clap along.

Rice has built his business from the ground up, growing and expanding so much that he has now received the Hampton Roads Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award for Suffolk twice in four years, the most recent of which was just announced.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, these are tough times for any small business, especially one like Rice’s that relies almost entirely on large gatherings. But he already has plans to come roaring back stronger than ever once the pandemic is over — he’s adding postponed events to his calendar for later this year and booking new weddings and other events later this year and into 2021.

In these uncertain times, it’s always great to see good news, and Rice’s two-time honor is good news indeed. Though the awards event has been postponed to June 11, an event delayed should not be kudos denied. Congratulations to Rice and his team for building such a successful business.