Downtown Santa Barbara Highlights Local Businesses at Annual Awards
Release Date: February 16,2019
By Brooke Holland, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @NoozhawkNews | February 16, 2019 | 10:05 p.m.
The event drew a crowd of more than 130 attendees to El Paseo Mexican Restaurant.
Unity Shoppe was named Citizen of the Year for its work serving low-income families, children and the elderly. The nonprofit organization also offers emergency response and long-term recovery services.
Impact Hub, which provides co-working office spaces with member benefits and conference rooms, received the Business Champion of the Year award.
Santa Barbara Travel Bureau’s founder, David de L’Arbre, was honored with the George Gerth Volunteer Award.
Glen Broomberg, organizer of Santa Barbara Night Market, was recognized with the Entrepreneur of the Year award for the market that opened its doors during the holiday season in the empty former Macy’s building. It offered holiday-themed decor, live music and food and drink.
Anjali Thakrar of Dos Pueblos High School and Mason Lender of Santa Barbara High School were each honored with the Harriet Miller Youth Leadership award, and both students received $1,000 scholarships.
“This event honors our local businesses,” said Kate Schwab, Downtown Santa Barbara’s marketing and communications director. “We created a business champion (award) four years ago, and that award quickly became a staff favorite. This year, we added an entrepreneur of the year, and the Santa Barbara Night Market had no competition for that.
“And, of course, the citizen of the year (award) is always such a well-chosen, wonderful surprise,” she continued.
Schwab said Downtown Santa Barbara’s staff has played a big part of the award selection process for the past few years.
“We nominate worthy recipients and the executive committee does a great deal of discussion about the recipients,” she said.