The national small business movement, Independent We Stand, has declared Carr Hardware the winner of the 2017 Independent Small Business of the Year Award (also known as the Indie Award). Carr Hardware was selected by a panel of contest judges after a public vote narrowed the field down to 10 finalists. Carr Hardware was deemed the top small business in the country because of its top-notch customer service and expertise paired with its philanthropy and support of its surrounding communities. As the winner, Carr Hardware has received a prize package valued at over $50,000.
In the true spirit of their business model, Carr Hardware has used the cash portion of their prize winnings to give back to the community once again. Monday morning, December 18th, Bart Raser, co-owner of Carr Hardware, presented a big check in the amount of $5000 to Pittsfield Mayor, Linda Tyer. This donation will be used to help fund a new splash pad at Clapp Park in the city of Pittsfield.
“This year’s winner exhibits the spirit of what makes independent businesses special — a focus on both customer service and the community,” said Bill Brunelle, co-founder of Independent We Stand. “Carr Hardware garnered support through its mission to serve customers and the community by choosing a pay it forward approach with the prize winnings. The $5,000 cash prize will help pay for a splash pad at a community park. It’s that type of local involvement and dedication we see from our nominees each year across the country; this award helps us recognize and reinforce those efforts.”
Carr Hardware has been family owned and operated since 1928. There are six branches: four in the Berkshires and two in Northern Connecticut. The Pittsfield branch serves as its headquarters. Founded by Sam Carr and purchased by the Raser family in 1962, Carr Hardware has maintained a reputation of outstanding customer service and unmatched community-mindfulness for nearly 90 years. Carr Hardware supports many local organizations including the Boys & Girls Club, Berkshire Humane Society, Volunteer Dogs for the Blind, Rotary Club, Berkshire Health Systems, Pittsfield Economic Redevelopment Commission (PERC), multiple Chambers of Commerce, Downtown Pittsfield, Inc., and The Vocational & Technical Scholarship Fund. As the Indie Award winner, Carr Hardware also received $1000 to be used to support a local business organization; this money has been donated to Downtown Pittsfield, Inc.
“Our community supports us, and we support them. We saw that come full circle with our hurricane relief efforts in Houston earlier this year,” said Bart Raser, co-owner of Carr Hardware. “Now, to see the support of our customers lead to an award like this, it is humbling and even more meaningful. It’s nice to know we live in a community that appreciates the value and impact of independent small businesses. Shopping local is part of our culture; it’s how we build community.”
“Carr Hardware is a locally owned independent hardware and industrial supplier. Carr serves homeowners, contractors, commercial customers, institutions and government agencies throughout the state of Massachusetts, Connecticut and surrounding areas of New York State and Vermont. In addition, Carr is a supplier for the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium and one of the select vendors that hold a statewide industrial supply contract with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO). Carr offers over 40,000 different products including paint, tools, hardware, electrical, plumbing, outdoor living and lawn and garden and so much more.” Learn more about Carr Hardware at https://carrhardware.com/
By contributor Kimberly Cortes-Gritman
Photos courtesy of Carr Hardware.
Quotes from Bill Brunelle and Bart Raser obtained by The Meridian Group.