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Ski Butlers of Park City has been named one of the seven finalists for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's prestigious Small Business of the Year award.

The 8-year-old Utah company, which was founded by Bryn Carey, will be honored in late May during America's Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C., where the national award winner will be announced.

"I always thought that we had a chance to do well because we offer a unique service," Carey said. "Still, it was a surprise" that Ski Butlers will compete for the top award, which carries a $10,000 cash prize.

Unlike other ski and snowboard rental businesses, Ski Butlers delivers equipment to its customers with a van that hauls extra items such as boots to ensure a good fit.

Founded in 2004, Ski Butlers has about 80 employees serving skiers at more than 30 resorts in Utah, Colorado, California, Wyoming and British Columbia.

Taylor Uzzell, assistant manager at the U.S. Chamber, said the selection process for finalists started last September when company nominations were accepted.

"Businesses could nominate themselves or they could be nominated by their local chambers of commerce or another organization," she said. "In the case of Ski Butlers, they were nominated by the Park City Chamber."

Once nominations were closed, judges selected 75 Blue Ribbon Award winners from each of the U.S. Chamber's seven regions. Then one overall winner was selected from each region.

Uzzell said the award is designed to pay tribute to businesses that excel in the areas of staff training and motivation, customer service, overall business strategy and community involvement. "Those are the four pillars that the judging is based upon."

The U.S. Chamber praised Ski Butlers for its community service policy, which requires all employees to volunteer at least one day a month, with pay. "It has increased its [Ski Butlers'] visibility in its local communities, created strong camaraderie among staff and fostered an exceptional corporate culture."

"Small businesses are often described as the pulse or backbone of our country, and we admire the drive and initiative that it takes for their owners to be successful," said Rosalind Brewer, president and CEO of Sam's Club, which sponsors the Small Business of the Year award.