LIMA — Ultrasound Special Events, Barry Electronics and Hoffman Analytic Services, also known as Alloway, are the three finalists for the Lima/Allen Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year award, which recognizes independently owned businesses with fewer than 150 employees.
The winner will be announced Wednesday, May 1 during the Chamber’s annual awards gala, to be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the University of Northwestern Ohio Event Center.
Ultrasound Special Events
Ultrasound Special Events started as a DJ company in 1990, according to owner Kevin Wieging. The company has expanded considerably since then, offering interactive games, inflatable games and other party rentals. The business also operates a physical location, the Kangaroo Cave, an event center in Delphos.
“We’re more than just rental,” Wieging said. “We’re not just providing a few tables and chairs. We’re, a lot of times, a big part of the event.”
Wieging said the key to Ultrasound Special Events’ success is its evolution, a willingness to take risks and find new ideas.
“That’s one of the things that has set us apart and allowed us to continue to be relevant,” he said. “We look for what’s trending” and bring it to Allen County.
Wieging said “it’s an honor” to be a finalist. “I think we’re in good company regardless,” he said.
Brothers Scott and Brian Barry, co-owners of Barry Electronics, are finalists for Small Business of the Year for the second year in a row.
“We’re hoping this year’s the year,” Scott Barry said.
The family business has evolved through several iterations since 1979, specializing in electronics and air compressors. Today, the store offers an array of home and audio electronics from home theaters and camera systems to vehicle audio systems, backup cameras and remote car starters.
Each year, Barry Electronics hosts a video game tournament with the Lima City Police Department, the proceeds of which help students attend the summer student police academy. That tournament will be held this weekend at Barry Electronics, 1703 Allentown Road.
Hoffman Analytic Services
Known to the public as Alloway, Hoffman Analytical Services is an environmental laboratory that analyzes drinking water, wastewater and hazardous waste. Owner John Hoffman was the sole laboratory analyst for Alloway in 1979. He purchased and expanded the company two years later, according to the company’s biography.
Today, Alloway operates its headquarters in Lima with additional laboratories in Marion and Mansfield and employs more than 75 employees. Hoffman Analytic Services also recently completed the first prototype for its new brand, EnviroGo, which will manufacture and sell “mobile field and sampling stations,” according to a statement from the company.
This is the first time Alloway has been nominated for the small business award.
“It’s really exciting,” said Jessica Begonia, marketing director for Alloway. “Alloway has been in the industry for more than 30 years, but this year has seen a significant amount of growth and innovation.”
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.