HARDI has named Colorado Republican U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner its 2014 Small Business Champion.

The award was presented to Gardner by Royce Henderson, president of the Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International and a Colorado resident, during the association’s annual May lobbying event in Washington, D.C.

“At a time when Americans are frustrated with the gridlock in Washington, Cory Gardner stands out as someone who cares first and foremost about delivering for the people of Colorado and small businesses across this country,” said Henderson, who is also president at Charles D. Jones Co.

HARDI chief executive and Vice President Talbot Gee said the congressman understands the needs of small-business owners like his association’s members.

“Congressman Gardner has talked the talk and walked the walk when it comes to working across the aisle to develop smart policies regarding energy and natural resources,” Gee said. “He also understands the importance of fixing our broken tax code so businesses can continue to invest and workers can take home a little more of their hard-earned money.” 

Gardner thanked the group for the award.

“I’m honored to accept the Small Business Champion award,” he said. “HARDI has done great work advocating for their companies, most of which are small businesses who are struggling under the weight of overly burdensome regulations from this administration. I look forward to continuing my work with HARDI to keep America’s small businesses thriving.”