Brent Nelsen takes the mic to accept the award for Small Homegrown Business for his company, Barbers of the Lowcountry, while acknowledging his father, Lou Nelsen, on his right. The company also won the Pearl Award. Presenting the award are James Dismond,

The 2019 Golden Oyster Awards, presented by the Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, was held April 27 at Oak Terrace at Rose Hill.

Forty-four nominated businesses were considered as finalists among nine business categories. An award winner was honored in each of the nine categories, and one overall winner from among all categories winners was chosen to receive the prestigious Pearl Award.

The Golden Oyster Awards Committee consisted of a variety of local business owners, Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, and business professionals.

The committee determined that this annual business awards event should embody the unique characteristics of the Bluffton community. They chose nine award categories that reflect the major pillars of this community. The categories included Medical, Trades, Not-for-Profit, Small Business Franchise, Large Business Franchise, Small Homegrown Business, Large Homegrown Business, Rookie of the Year, and Hospitality.

In addition to these categories, the Pearl Award was given to the overall top voted finalist.

Award winners were judged and voted upon by select Chamber board members, committee members, and a community member.

The Award winners are:

• Hospitality Award: The Grind Coffee Roasters

• Medical category: Nurse Advocate Partners

• Trades category: Superior Heating and Air

• Small Business Franchise Award: Stretch Zone of Hilton Head

• Large Business Franchise Award: WSAV-TV

• Rookie Business of the Year: Riverside Land Group

• Not-for-Profit Business of the Year: Second Helpings

• Large Homegrown Business: Fast Fit Body Sculpting

• Small Homegrown Business: Barbers of the Lowcountry

• Pearl Award: Barbers of the Lowcountry

A Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Town Councilman Larry Toomer.

Each award nominee submitted an application and wrote an essay based upon criteria provided by the committee. They were asked to write about the great things they do for their employees, how they give back to this community, as well as business ethics and integrity in their goods and services.

Awards were given to nominees who contribute significantly to the success and well-being of the Greater Bluffton community, who model honorable business practices, and who help make Bluffton the incomparable community that it is.

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