New construction for apartments downtown, a start on building the United States Olympic Museum, groundbreaking on the Pikes Peak Summit Complex.

Record employment levels matched with new companies and entrepreneurs; a city government that’s responsive to business needs and growing industry sectors in cybersecurity. UCCS, Colorado College and Pikes Peak Community College are preparing students to become the current and future workforce.

There’s a lot to celebrate in Colorado Springs these days. And while the city and business community still have challenges (affordable housing, no end to construction defects, TABOR keeps the city and state from investing in the future) we’re setting all that aside for now — and focusing on the good.

The Colorado Springs Business Journal believes in celebrating local success stories, and we believe in honoring businesses that are engaged in the community, have awesome customer service and are doing all the right things in the right way. So every year around this time, we ask our readers to name their top companies in more than 90 categories. We asked for the best construction company and the best happy hour spot. We wanted to know who is the best auto dealer and where to go for breakfast meetings. We asked; readers answered.

This year, we had a record number of votes — more than 35,000. Each weighed in on the best of the best in Colorado Springs.

And now it’s time to honor those companies. Were throwing a party on Thursday, June 28 at the National Museum for World War II Aviation. We’ll have gin and jazz (a 15-piece band!) and we’re celebrating all the good news in Colorado Springs. It starts at 5:30 p.m. and includes food and drinks.

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Pausing to take time to honor the business community is important. Without a vital, thriving business sector, the city withers. Nonprofits go unfunded; streets go unpaved; streetlights get turned off; trash in parks goes uncollected. Infrastructure suffers from lack of maintenance, as do public services like police, fire and first responders.

Businesses are the fuel of any community — and Colorado Springs business leaders are putting the city on the map. (Want to know who the Best Boss is? Show up on Thursday, we’ll let you know.) Efforts here in entrepreneurism, innovation and small business development have received national attention. And it’s changing perceptions of our city throughout the country.

As leaders continue to create a robust business environment in Colorado Springs, we are getting noticed for more than just our mountain and our tie to international religious nonprofits. Instead, we’re gaining attention for our small business environment, for our efforts toward cybersecurity, for aerospace and engineering companies that are creating jobs.

In turn, the city continues to attract new residents, drawn not only by the mountains to the west, but also by the opportunities that abound here.

So put on your dancing shoes — and come in ’40s-style clothing — and help us celebrate all the businesses that are making good things happen in the Springs!