OGDEN -- Small businesses help keep a community healthy, so it's important for consumers to patronize and support them.
Dr. Brent Williams and his wife, Debbie, are the owners of Timeless Medical Spa and Weight Loss Center in South Ogden. This year, the company is sponsoring the Standard-Examiner's annual Tops of the Top of Utah Reader's Choice Awards, which start at 7 p.m. Friday at the Junction.
"Anytime you can do anything to involve the community and get them to look at small businesses, it's such a good thing," said Debbie Williams. "I think of small businesses as the life blood of the community. They keep the community strong. But the consumers are the heart of the community, and they are the ones who decide whether or not to help the small businesses grow."
Although Timeless Medical is one of the nominees, Williams said her company will be there to cheer on all of the nominees as well as the winners.
"We're all in this together, and hopefully everyone else will be there doing the same thing," she said. "It's going to be a fun event, and we will be there with games and prizes and samples of our products."
The Standard-Examiner has been sponsoring the event for years.
However, this year the Standard wanted to make it a more interactive occasion between local businesses and the community.
"This year it's going to be bigger and better than it's ever been before," said Standard-Examiner event coordinator Cami Roberts. "We've invited all of the companies down so they can showcase their business and talk with their customers, one-on-one. This is really a celebration of all of our local businesses."
Standard-Examiner Advertising Director Brad Roghaar said the votes are in and the winners will be announced at 8 p.m.
"The people have spoken," he said. "We had thousands of votes. Tenfold what we've had in the past. The community has really gotten involved this year."
Roghaar said the newspaper has strong feelings about the vital role of small businesses within the community.
"Since we are the primary media, we feel some responsibility in helping to promote the businesses in our community," he said.
"We feel the role of small businesses is important in the market, and an event like this helps the community to better know their shopping options, and it gives the small businesses a chance to get out there and promote themselves."
Roberts said the event will include vendors, booths, prizes, samples, entertainment by the Greg Simpson Band, a sidewalk chalk contest, face painting, shuttling by The Jupiter Train and gift certificate giveaways.
Standard-Examiner humor columnist Mark Saal will emcee the event.
The event will also be live-streamed online at www.standard.net.