Nominations open for neighborhood biz awards

Most neighborhoods have one: the business that makes life a little better. Maybe it serves great food. Or maybe it has just the right things for sale, bringing shoppers from near and far. Maybe it employs local people at good wages. It definitely has an owner who cares, giving to the neighborhood in his or her spare time.

Whatever business it is, once again, Urban Solutions is looking for it. The nonprofit organization is now accepting nominations for its annual San Francisco Neighborhood Business Awards, spokeswoman Maureen Futtner said.

Last year’s awards included first-place winner Cole Hardware, with Café Que Tal and the Balboa Theater also receiving awards. Bookstores, grocery stores and various other types of businesses have all won in the past.

“I think we have been busier this year, and definitely a lot of our customers saw it in the paper,” Que Tal owner Elena Jurado said. “I think it definitely did make a difference for us, and for me personally. Getting the award was great and it just makes you feel good.”

In addition to having a pleasant cafe, Jurado won because of her commitment to holding benefits, such as her annual event for Jamestown Community Center.

Though the awards in the past have mostly gone to walk-in businesses such as theaters, stores or restaurants, there’s no reason they cannot go to offices, manufacturers or other enterprises — provided they meet the criteria, Futtner said.

Anyone can nominate a business online at www.urbansolutionsSF.org/nominate or call (415) 346-0199 to have a form faxed or mailed to the nominator. The person needs to explain, in 200 or fewer words, why the business is worthy of an award.

The deadline for nominations is Aug. 27. The winners receive recognition, but no cash or prizes.

The awards ceremony will be at Rasselas Jazz Club, 1534 Fillmore St., on Oct. 17 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

kwilliamson@examiner.com

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