Awards and Recognition


Throughout the year, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce recognizes outstanding companies and individuals through the following awards and recognition programs:

Check back soon for information on the 2021 Awards 

To learn more about SC Chamber Awards please contact Sarah Cohen at or 803-255-2558


Human Resources Professional of the Year & Human Resources Rising Star

Each year, the S.C. Chamber and South Carolina SHRM State Council recognize the state’s top human resources professional. The award is given to an individual in the human resources field who has made significant contributions to both their organization and the community. In 2021, they will also present the 3rd annual Human Resources Rising Star award.  This award is given to an individual with fewer than 10 years' professional experience in human resources who has already made an impact.  The finalists and winner will be recognized at the Human Resources Reception in the fall of 2021. Details to be announced soon.


Safety Awards

The Safety Awards are presented annually based on companies achieving a commendable lost workday case rate during the previous calendar year. The S.C. Chamber honors the award winners with a luncheon in March. Safety Award winners represent companies across South Carolina that have made workplace safety a priority.

Thank you to all who submitted applications this year! The 2021 applications will open in January 2022. 


Small Business Awards

The S.C. Chamber partners with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the S.C. Department of Commerce, the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and the S.C. Manufacturing Extension Partnership to recognize local business leaders in several categories annually.  Categories include: Veteran Business Leader of the Year, Female Business Leader of the Year, Minority Business Leader of the Year, and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.  

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this event was canceled in 2020 and 2021. Stay tuned for more information on the Small Business Awards in 2022. 


Best Places to Work in South Carolina

The S.C. Chamber, the publishers of SCBIZ, and the Best Companies Group join each year to produce the Best Places to Work in South Carolina program. This initiative is dedicated to identifying and recognizing South Carolina’s most innovative and top-notch employers. Those companies selected as “Best Places to Work” are recognized and honored during a reception and dinner held annually in August. The award is open to all South Carolina for-profit and not-for-profit organizations with at least 15 employees working in South Carolina. Upon completion of the assessment process, all participating companies will receive an Employee Feedback Report, which details the results of their specific survey. Similar reports can cost thousands of dollars if initiated independently.  

Applications for the 2021 award have closed.  Applications for the 2022  awards cycle will open in January 2022. To be notified when the process is live, please use this form.


Workforce Innovator Awards

The S.C. Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Innovator Awards seek to recognize the individual efforts of businesses to meet this pressing need.

During its annual Workforce Development Symposium, the S.C. Chamber honors companies that have implemented unique private sector workforce development solutions. Awards are granted based upon business size: small (fewer than 300 S.C. employees), medium (301 to 999 S.C. employees), and large (1000+ S.C. employees).

A panel of judges selected from the S.C. Chamber’s Education & Workforce Committee reviews each nomination and selects the winners based on the these criteria:

Innovation (50%) – Utilizing new ideas in workforce development;
Teamwork (25%) – Using teamwork in the design and implementation of the unique training; and
Concept Sharing (25%) – Readily sharing the training success with other companies.

Submission of additional information about the company’s program, such as letters of commendation and any relevant press, is strongly encouraged. 
Businesses seeking the award will have the opportunity to apply online. This award will be presented at the 2021 Workforce Development Symposium in September. Please contact Cynthia Bennett at 803-255-2542 with questions.


Excellence in Community and Workplace Diversity Awards

The Excellence in Community Diversity Award, established in 2013, recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to expanding the cause of diversity awareness in South Carolina, past and present. Individuals are judged based on education, military and/or civil service, non-profit service, community outreach and individual volunteers.

The Excellence in Workplace Diversity Award recognizes companies for their significant contributions to the advancement of South Carolina through diversity initiatives and inclusion efforts. Criteria considered in selecting the winners include diversity initiatives, effectiveness and applicability/replicability. All South Carolina companies are eligible to apply.

Applications for 2021 will open this fall.  


South Carolina’s Business Leader of the Year

The S.C. Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year is chosen based on leadership in South Carolina and the embodiment of personal success. Other criteria include a business record based on ethical conduct and corporate responsibility, public service, contributions to the preservation of South Carolina’s government and commitment to creating a positive business climate to improve the state’s economy. This award is selected annually by a committee of S.C. Chamber Board Members and is awarded at the Annual Summit.


Public Servant of the Year

The S.C. Chamber’s Public Servant of the Year award recognizes an individual who has served, or currently serves, as a key official in state government and has contributed to the overall well-being and health of the state as a whole. This award is selected annually by a committee of S.C. Chamber Board Members and is awarded at the Annual Summit.


Sgt. William Jasper Freedom Award

Established in 1984 by the South Carolina Chamber, the Sergeant William Jasper Freedom Award, named for the Revolutionary War patriot, recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the freedom of South Carolina and the nation. This award is selected annually by a committee of S.C. Chamber Board Members and is awarded at the Annual Summit.


Business Advocate of the Year

Throughout the legislative session, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce alerts legislators to key votes on issues affecting the business climate in our state. The annual Legislative Scorecard compiles these votes, and legislators who score a 90% or above are awarded the Chamber’s prestigious Business Advocate award for their jobs-friendly voting records.


Boeing Veterans Leadership Award

The Boeing Veterans Leadership Award program is designed to highlight a non-profit organization that has shown an outstanding commitment to South Carolina's veterans and their families. Veterans bring a unique set of skills and thought diversity to the workforce and also experience unique challenges as they transition from military to civilian life. South Carolina has the 8th largest population of active duty military and 18th largest population of veterans. Join the business community in celebrating organizations that are furthering systems level changes benefiting veterans in the workplace.

Applications for this award will open in fall 2021.