Starting a business is hard, keeping it going for 140 years is hard but networking with other business people always helps, says a veteran Charlottetown business owner.
Fred Hyndman was on hand Wednesday to accept an excellence award given to Hyndman & Company Ltd.
It was part of an annual award ceremony hosted by the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce.
Hyndman and Company is celebrating is 140th anniversary this year and is the only surviving charter member of the chamber which itself is marking its own 125-year anniversary.
Hyndman's father and grandfather plus an employee of the company have all served as president in the history of the chamber.
"We have always been a member," said Hyndman.
"In earlier days the chamber was smaller, the issues more focused," he said during a reception Wednesday. "In those days the chamber was really preoccupied with, and rightly so, with transportation issues, in and out of P.E.I. by sea, by ferry, by rail, by air, that sort of thing.
"We tend not to think about it so much now that we have the bridge and we have a big airport but it was always a problem in the history of P.E.I.," said Hyndman.
"From what I can find in records of the company, they seem to be very engaged with that topic."
Hyndman notes the good work done on the Island to assist and attract new businesses.
"The great secret that is not known, is that it's probably more difficult to sustain a business over time, than it is to start a business," he said.
"When you start any enterprise there is ideas, there is enthusiasm, there is tension, there is excitement. There is all those things but if something is not new it seems to be same old, same old and perhaps might not have the excitement in it.
"I'm the fourth generation of the Hyndman family operating the company and its never easy. There are always new challenges.
"When Hyndman and Company started it was completely preoccupied with and served the shipbuilding industry.
There is no shipbuilding industry today so, had the earlier generations not adapted to changing times, we would have died with the shipbuilding industry," said Hyndman.
The chamber can help by providing a network of business people, he said.
"There is massive amounts of experience and advice available through networks," said Hyndman. "It's amazing how people will reach out and help.
"The chamber can provide recognition which, particularly for smaller, emerging businesses, is very much appreciated and needed by them, so they can be affirmed by their peers."
The seventh annual awards ceremony was held at the Delta Prince Edward.
"This gala celebration of entrepreneurship and business excellence recognizes extraordinary achievements made by members of our organization and celebrates those who have met standards of excellence on many levels in their business and in their industry," said Keith Lambe, president of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce.
Lambe and sponsors in presented the following awards:
Employee of the year is Marcella Arsenault of the Kent Street Tim Hortons;
The excellence in business award was presented to Great Hobbies;
The customer service excellence award for 2012 was won by Balderston’s Farm Market;
The emerging business excellence award goes to Aspin Kemp & Associates;
An export excellence award was presented to Charlottetown Metal Products;
A community impact excellence award was given to Stars For Life Foundation For Autism;
Volunteer of the year is Kay Doherty.