The Seneca County Chamber of Commerce has announced that Fuzzy Guppies, located within Waterloo Harbor Campgrounds, was selected as the Chamber’s 2012 Small Business of the Year recipient. The award was recently announced and presented at the Chamber’s Annual Membership BBQ event, held this year at Knapp Vineyard Winery and Restaurant in Romulus. Fuzzy Guppies was one of five businesses that was nominated by the Chamber membership, and then voted on by the Chamber’s Economic Development Committee.
Fuzzy Guppies specializes in the sales and rentals of human-powered watercrafts, including the property’s famous giant hamster ball- a favorite activity for both locals and tourists to enjoy along the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. Started by father and son, Norbert and Justin Hausner, in 2009, Fuzzy Guppies has been a contributing member to the Seneca County Chamber and community since the business’s opening. This family run-business is also part of the local franchise operation that includes RiverPark Commons – a 30 vendor antique and gift shop complex, Scoops RiverPark Ice Cream, RiverPark Grille restaurant, and Waterloo Harbor Campgrounds.
On a local level, Fuzzy Guppies has been a strong partner with Workforce Development of Seneca County, assisting the Boy Scouts of the Finger Lakes with programming needs, and by involvement in a variety of other character-building initiatives for youth in local school districts.
Fuzzy Guppies was influential in recently bringing international media recognition to the Finger Lakes region, by working with the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce and I Love NY officials, in co-hosting the New York State Spare Seat Kayak Expedition. This statewide human-powered water expedition along the Erie Canal, brought a collection of travel writers and outdoor adventurists from the United Kingdom to Seneca County and the Finger Lakes region. The business was also featured in YNN’s Getaway Guy series in 2011, and most recently appeared in the July 2012 issue of AAA Horizons magazine (with a readership value of over 4.5 million). To learn more about Fuzzy Guppies, please visit www.fuzzyguppies.com.
Other nominees for the 2012 Small Business of the Year Award included: Muranda Cheese Company; Dr. Rodney Littlejohn, D.D.S.; Waterloo Historical Society/National Memorial Day Museum;, and the Seneca Falls Historical Society. The Small Business of the Year program was developed by the Chamber in 2007 to recognize and celebrate the impact that small businesses have on local communities. Small businesses compose nearly 98 percent of businesses in New York State, accounting for more than half of the state’s private sector employment.
Event sponsors included Sessler Wrecking; Evans Chemetics LP; Lyons National Bank; Savannah Bank N.A.; Holiday Inn Waterloo; Select Eurocars; Generations Bank of SF; Finger Lakes Federal Credit Union; Zugibe Vineyards; Hotel Clarence; and Seneca Cayuga ARC. Donations for the event were also made by Holiday Inn of Waterloo; Knapp Vineyard Winery & Restaurant; Nugent Hardware; Sinicropi Florist; Lott Farms, LLC and Finger Lakes Tables and Chairs.
The Chamber would like to congratulate all of the businesses who were nominated this year, and extend its most sincere thanks to all of the attendees, sponsors, donors and volunteers that helped to make this event not only possible, but so successful. For more information about this event or any of the businesses listed above; or for details about Chamber membership, benefits and programs, please contact Miranda O. Polmanteer at (315) 568-2906, or visit www.senecachamber.org.