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For the first time in its 133-year history, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce recognized top companies online with a virtual awards program Thursday night.

Although different in format from the Chamber's usual in-person gatherings, Chamber President Christy Gillenwater said the awards continue to promote those companies that help shape and improve Chattanooga and the local marketplace."

"While this year's event looked different, it's still important to recognize local companies that have uniquely contributed to our community, leading in areas like sustainability, creating healthy workplaces and supporting diversity, inclusion and education," she said.

The winners include:

* Business Education Investor award presented to Barge Design Solutions for partnering with local schools to create a strong talent pipeline.

* Diversity & Inclusion Ally award presented to Chattanooga Gas for commitment to recruiting a diverse workforce and building an inclusive environment.

Family-Friendly Workplace presented to Mike Collins & Associates for fostering a flexible workplace and promoting work-life balance.

Healthy Business presented to North American Credit Services for investing in employees' health and therefore our community's health.

Sustainability Partner presented to Skytec for environmental preservation efforts and prioritizing sustainable business practices.

Digital Divide Project presented to Velocity2040 Community Collaborators, including EPB, city of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and local foundations.

During the annual awards program, the Chamber also presented small business awards to Acumen Wealth (1-20 employees), P&C Construction (21-50 employees), and Chattanooga Lookouts (51-300 employees). The nonprofit organization award was given to the Siskin Children's Institute.

Watch the awards program: 

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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Christy Gillenwater is shown at her office on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

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