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Published May 26, 2011, 10:28 PM

Local Businesses Honored for Excellence

Two Grand Forks Businesses and an East Grand Forks Business were honored tonight by the Chamber of Commerce for their excellence in small business and entrepreneurship.

Two Grand Forks Businesses and an East Grand Forks Business were honored tonight by the Chamber of Commerce for their excellence in small business and entrepreneurship.

Bob Moore from River Cinema 15 and Paul Holji and George Kelley of Dakota Harvest Bakery were both honored as the East Grand Forks and Grand Forks Business persons of the year and the nominees for their state.

Michael Shope was honored as the Region 8 Young Entrepreneur of the Year for his business Clean Republic.

Business is tough for many but that hasn't stopped people from starting a business or expanding a current business.

"We've been fortunate enough in this area that the economy hasn't had as many problems as it has in other parts of the country but being able to plan ahead, know what your customers are going to want and try to reflect that," explains George Kelley of Dakota Harvest Bakers.

Dakota Harvest Bakers is now on its 5th year in business.

That's a four year head start on Michael Shope's business, Clean Republic.

A business that has high hopes of creating alternative energy.

"If you can find some alternative energy source to oil or fossil fuels then you can save the world or change the world so there is a deep kind of irrational, emotional fun level to it," explains Shope.

All three business owners honored tonight say planning, a lot of unknowns and encouragement from others is what has kept them open whether it be two years or 10 years.

Bob Moore of River Cinema 15 says, "we do what we always do, we just try to service people and do the best we can and to have that recognized is quite an honor."

The Mike Maidenberg Emerging Leader Award went to Jami Schumacher of the Grand Forks Senior Center.

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