It’s awards season. The Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce names its business of the year Jan. 19, and the Independence chamber passes out awards a night later.

The Independence winners are already known. City Manager Zach Walker is the distinguished citizen of the year, Jodi Krantz is getting the award for distinguished service, attorney Jonathan Zerr of Kapke & Willerth is the distinguished board member of the year, and Orbital ATK-Small Caliber Systems – operator of the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant – is getting the award for corporate excellence.

The Independence EDC also is taking nominations through the end of the month for its annual business awards.

“We’ve got a lot of businesses doing nice things in our community,” said EDC President Tom Lesnak.

The EDC awards are presented April 6. There are seven categories: emerging business, small business, major business, philanthropic business, non-profit, manufacturer and hospitality business. Go to for more information or to make a nomination.

Quick hits

It’s a milestone for Grain Valley. Price Chopper at 1191 N.E. McQuerry Road, is ready to open. It’s in the same development at the northeast corner of I-70 and Main Street as the Grain Valley B&B Marketplace 8 theater, and community leaders hope for more businesses to move in. No word on the exact day Price Chopper opens, but a grand opening is set for 8:45 a.m. Jan. 17. … QuikTrip says the large store replacing the old store at 4024 S. Noland Road in Independence will open Thursday. … Several area restaurants are taking part in Kansas City Restaurant Week, which kicks off at lunchtime this Friday and runs through dinner Jan. 20. Beneficiaries are Kansas City Community Gardens, the Kansas City Regional Destination Development Foundation and the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Among the nearly 150 restaurants taking part are Ophelia’s and Cafe Verona on the Independence Square; V’s Italiano Ristorante on U.S. 40; LongHorn Steakhouse, Saints Pub & Patio and Hereford House in Independence; and Waldo Pizza and Summit Hickory Pit in Lee’s Summit. More info? Grab the Kansas City Restaurant Week app.

Get up to speed

Comcast is rolling out its 17th upgrade in internet speed in 17 years. The company says most customers will see an increase of 50 megabits per second.

The company says it will let individual customers know when the new speeds are available to them. Some customers may need to replace their modems to take advantage of the higher speeds; that’s at no charge for leased modems.

Comcast says most of its suburban Kansas City customers have speeds of 10 Mbps to 2 billion bits per second (Gbps) for residential customers and up to 10 Gbps for business customers.

-- Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s business reporter and editor. Reach him at 816-350-6313 or He posts business items and other things on Twitter @FoxEJC.