SOUTH PORTLAND — The city’s Economic Development Committee will honor six local businesses Wednesday for their contributions to the economy and the community.

The 2019 South Portland Business Awards Reception will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Sheraton at Sable Oaks. The following businesses will be recognized:

• Business of the Year Award (more than 25 employees): Saunders Electronics, 192 Gannet Drive. Founded by David Saunders, the company makes electronic control systems for a variety of military, medical and industrial purposes.

• Small Business of the Year Award (25 or fewer employees): Organic Roots Salon & Day Spa, 545 Westbrook St. Started in 2014 by Betsy Harding, it was the first cruelty-free, organic and 100 percent vegan personal care salon and day spa in Maine.

• New Business of the Year Award: Knitting Nook, 124 Sawyer St. Established by Lisa Plourde, it’s a yarn shop offering food, drinks and a cozy place to knit that brings together Ferry Village neighbors, artists and community members.

• Santo “Sam” DiPietro Community Impact Award: Liz Darling of Maine Roofing Inc., 24 Bishop Ave. For eight years, Darling and Maine Roofing have organized volunteers to deliver winter clothing, school supplies and toys on Christmas Day to children in low-income families across South Portland.

• Business Leader of the Year Award: Fred Pape III of Pape Chevrolet, 425 Westbrook St., and Pape Subaru, 2065 Broadway. Pape’s dealerships support many community events and nonprofits, including the Tri for a Cure triathlon that raised more than $2 million for the Maine Cancer Foundation in 2019.

• Economic Development of the Year Award: New Gen Hospitality LLC, 50 Maine Mall Road. Suresh Gali and his family
have purchased or built several hospitality properties in the city, including Home2Suites in 2018, and they support several nonprofits, including STRIVE.


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