Some of the Aiken's best business people took time out of their busy lives on Tuesday evening to be honored at Aiken's Choice, an annual contest where Aiken residents vote for their favorite local businesses in a wide variety of categories.
This year's celebration was a little different – with attendees asked to wear masks and practice social distancing at Newberry Hall after receiving their awards due to coronavirus. The contest, which is organized by the Aiken Standard, allows readers to vote for their favorite businesses in over 180 categories.
Bob Gordon and Kathy Jacobs of FOTAS were present to accept the Best Animal Rescue award on behalf of the Aiken County Animal Shelter. "It's always an honor to be recognized, especially when it's from the community," Gordon said. "I think the staff and volunteers at the shelter take this award and take great pride in it."
Carol Carter, the founder of Track Kitchen, accepted the Best Breakfast award for her restaurant, which she founded with her husband in 1978. Carter, who is hopeful the restaurant will reopen in September, said the award was a "really high reflection" of their work.
Carolina Cat and Canine Retreat won three awards across various categories for animal care, which General Manager Mikayla Halcomb said could not have been done without their clients.
"We're super, super grateful for our clients and everybody that made this possible for us," Halcomb said. "We have the best clients in the world, and that is not an exaggeration for us."
The annual Aiken Standard readers’ choice contest recognizes and supports Aiken County’s favorite places, people and businesses, many of which are struggling amid the country's ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Celebrations like Aiken's Choice provide businesses with a reassurance that their clients remember them and appreciate their services.