Sep 15, 2021 - 5:45pm

Meet the 2021 Dream Big Finalists: Community Support and Leadership Award


Senior Writer and Editor, Strategic Communications

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual Dream Big Awards, presented by Spectrum Reach, celebrate the achievements of small businesses and honors their contributions to America’s economic growth.   

The Community Support and Leadership Award, presented by Staples Connect, recognizes a small business that is not only innovating and creating jobs—but also devoting time, energy, and resources to those in need. Each finalist for this award is helping grow the economy and helping build their communities. 

The winner will be announced at the Dream Big Awards Ceremony, part of The Big Week for Small Business virtual event, on Thursday, October 21, 2021, at 5:00pm ET. Learn more about the other Dream Big Award categories and finalists here. 

Community Support and Leadership Award Finalists:  

 

Bottom Line Construction and Development, New York, NY   

Founded in 2010, Bottom Line Construction and Development seeks to cultivate inclusive, proud communities through high-quality structures, spaces, and infrastructure. 

The current forces driving urban construction and development often deepen the issues of wealth and housing inequality. BLCD’s solution is two-fold: They intentionally seek construction and development projects that will improve underserved communities and consistently hire residents of these communities for these projects. BLCD strongly believes that when its employees are in, and of, a community it helps ensure the final product is culturally-attuned and sustainable.  

“As BLCD persevered through the pandemic, I witnessed a staggering decrease in the underserved youth employment rate. One of my proudest moments was launching Youth Construct in the taxing summer of 2020 where I was able to train and employee Harlem high school students in construction and construction administration.” - Alexis McSween, CEO, Bottom Line Construction and Development 

Medium Rare, Bethesda, MD  

When the pandemic hit, Medium Rare Co-Owner Mark Bucher immediately realized that those in the local community who were already vulnerable—kids who rely on getting their only meal during school lunch and seniors who suffer quietly before reaching out to family or friends with requests for food—were now in a really dangerous situation.  

So, his company started delivering meals directly to their doorsteps. By delivering over 70,000 fresh meals directly to those in need, they turned food security into a reality.   

“For Mother's Day 2021 we were able to fly in families to see their loved ones for the first time in over a year. Seeing those families come together for the first time since COVID hit (and some for the first time ever) over Medium Rare brunch was truly special.” - Mark Bucher, Co-Owner, Medium Rare 

The Owego Kitchen, Owego, NY

In 2015, the close-knit community of Owego, New York, inspired Julie Lovelass to create an inclusive gathering spot in the heart of its historic village. From the day she closed on the building, she says she knew that it would succeed based on the spirit and energy of the local people.   

The Owego Kitchen offers a quick, casual dining experience featuring online ordering and an efficient kitchen design to accomplish the goal of quick service and has become a local hub for working folks with limited break time.  

“During the initial stages of the pandemic, a young customer handed me a hundred-dollar bill to put towards the cost of the free meals that we were providing to the community. From there, we received thousands of unsolicited dollars from community members and neighbors.” – Julie Lovelass, Owner, The Owego Kitchen  

Register for the Dream Big Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 21, 2021, at 5:00pm ET to find out who will win the U.S. Chamber’s Dream Big Community Support Award for small business!  

 

About the Author

About the Author

Senior Writer and Editor, Strategic Communications

Thaddeus is a senior writer and editor with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's strategic communications team.