Nelson Metal Fabrication Inc. was named South Portland’s small business of the year Wednesday at the city’s annual Business and Economic Development Awards ceremony.

The company was recognized for its ability to take on projects of all sizes and having a presence across Maine and beyond.

“Nelson Metal Fabrication also collaborates with People’s Inclusive Welding, a nonprofit organization that provides traditionally underrepresented individuals with a supportive environment and tools to succeed within the world of welding,” the city said in a press release.

The honor was among seven others awarded at the ceremony.

The South Portland Sustainability Award recognizing businesses that prioritize sustainability practices was awarded to High Tide Organic. The company, which cultivates recreational and medical cannabis, has reduced its carbon footprint by using regenerative farming methods and has “developed a business focused on a balanced environment, equity and efficiency,” the press release said.

Lincoln and Main Electric Bike Cafe and Winery was named New Business of the Year. Established last year, it offers bagels, coffee, wine and e-bikes. It also rents space out for events “from baby showers to nonprofit forums,” and has contributed to the city’s commitment to sustainability, according to the city.


The Santo “Sam” DiPietro Community Impact Award was presented to the nonprofit Waterfront Alliance, which works to protect and promote working waterfronts in South Portland and Portland.

“Since the 1980s, the Waterfront Alliance has provided a forum for its diverse membership and has acted as a neutral convener and informational clearing house,” the city said. “The Alliance seeks to educate the public and advocate for the positive advancement of the waterfront and those who depend upon our blue economy in South Portland, Portland, and beyond.”

Southern Maine Community College won the Business Leader of the Year Award for its “vital role in the education and training of Maine’s dynamic workforce, offering programs designed to meet the needs of Maine’s private, public and nonprofit sectors,” the press release said.

The South Portland Business of the Year Award, presented to a business with 25 or more employees that has strengthened the South Portland business community, was presented to ShipRight, a provider of order fulfillment services.

“ShipRight has contributed significantly to economic growth in South Portland, initiating inclusive employment practices and innovatively navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in its approach to order fulfillment,” the city said.

Judith Borelli, director of public affairs at Texas Instruments, received the Heart of South Portland Award. Borelli, who has worked in the semiconductor industry for over 30 years, was recognized for her service to the local community and Maine as a whole. She has served on the board of the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Community Chamber of Commerce, as treasurer of the board of the SMCC Foundation, and as chairperson of the Manufacturers Association of Maine’s board, among appointments.

“In addition to these involvements, Judith is engaged in various committees for the city and school district, as well as for other religious and charitable organizations. Judith is extremely generous in sharing her talents and her time, which is why the Economic Development Committee would like to take this opportunity to recognize Judith for her work in promoting innovation, community cohesion and quality of life in South Portland.,” the press release said.

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