CORNELIUS – The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce named CURRENTS Magazine, based in Cornelius, the 2013 Small Business of the Year.

Chamber Chairman Wendy Moran presented the award to Publisher Sharon Simpson at a reception held May 17 at the Fireside Bar and Grill in Cornelius.

Hilary Broadway, chairman of business growth, and chamber President Bill Russell were on hand to assist in the presentation.

“It’s great having businesses getting involved with the community,” Russell said. “They are not just going out there and making sure they are successful, they are making sure their community is successful, and it makes a great place to work and visit.”

The awards were given based on criteria including growth in revenue, staying power, innovative marketing and management practices, growth in employees, business-friendly nature and involvement in the community.

Nominated businesses included Sweet Dreams Mattress and Furniture, Deborah Young Studios, Innovative Pest Management, Historic Rural Hill, The Range at Lake Norman, Ferrucci’s Old Tyme Italian Market, LKN Savings and CURRENTS Magazine.

It came down to CURRENTS Magazine and Innovative Pest Management in Denver as the two finalists in the competition.

“We’ve worked and served this community for 21 years,” said CURRENTS’ Publisher and Co-owner Sharon Simpson. “When we all had the opportunity to make another choice, we chose again to serve the community by creating our own publication. Without the support of the business community, we would not have made it into our fifth year. Its really the Lake Norman community that keeps us going.”

In November 2008 when CURRENTS Magazine began, they had six employees. Over the last five years, that number has doubled to 12 employees.

Simpson serves on the Lake Norman Chamber Business Expo committee, is a member of the board of directors for the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce and serves on their annual banquet committee as well as their marketing committee.

She is a 19-year member of the North Mecklenburg Rotary Club, where she served as president in 1999-2000.