Owner Audrey Snuggs and her partner and general manager, Sloane Wiggins, accepted the Small Business of the Year award Monday from the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Since 1990, the annual award is given to recognize outstanding small business owners who exemplify the success and commitment required to prosper in small business.
Selection criteria include staying power, growth, creativity, response to adversity and contribution to the community.
"I am tremendously flattered and thrilled to be initiated into this fraternity," Mrs. Snuggs said. "Thank you to the chamber for recognizing the need for this award."
The business started 10 years ago in Mrs. Snuggs' garage with assistance from her husband, Ron Snuggs.
Cudos! was originally named ARS Awards and Recognition, but it was renamed when it moved to its current location on Augusta West Parkway.
Mrs. Snuggs said she learned key lessons from her mother, who recently retired at 78 years old and worked 40 hours a week.
"I got a little bit of her work ethic along the way. She gave me great advice. She said, 'You need to make sure you pay your employees before you pay yourself. Pay vendors before they expect you to pay them, and make sure you build those relationships,'" Mrs. Snuggs said.
Her mother also advised her to pay off bank loans and to "not only be financially responsible but socially responsible."
"I hope we're doing a good job of that. We really do want to make Augusta a better place," she said.
She recognized her 16-member staff, saying that "behind every successful business owner is the team of people that's really running the business."
Other finalists were Dino's Chicago Express and Jani-King of Augusta.
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., was the guest speaker at the event.