Chamber honors Small Business of the Year
by Clay Neely
GNC Newnan is Coweta County’s Small Business of the Year. The company was named overall winner in the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce’s SouthTowne Motors Small Business of the Year awards, held Thursday at the Newnan Centre.
There were also winners in three categories: “entrepreneur,” with one to five employees; “growth,” with six to 19 employees; and “employer,” with 20 to 99 employees.
“Today we salute those who strive to keep their company moving forward,” said Steve Mader of SouthTowne, who emceed the event along with Candace Boothby from the Chamber of Commerce.
Finalists in each category were recognized and awarded plaques, and several honorable mentions were also recognized. There were more than 100 nominations submitted, said Mader. Those nominations were narrowed down by two separate panels of judges.
“They had a very tough job,” Mader said. Businesses were judged on eight criteria in three categories: company growth, company profile and uniqueness and chamber and community involvement.
After the first panel of judges screened the nominees, the second panel interviewed them.
Greg Wallace and Samantha Brazie of Progressive Heating and Air, last year’s winners, presented the award to Lynn Butterfield and Sharon Rogers.
Rogers and Butterfield thanked their customers, and ensured that the employees of GNC Newnan were recognized for their efforts.
“I can’t say enough about our staff and the community that we serve,” Butterfield said. “We’re very honored.”
Key Promotions was the winner in the entrepreneur category.
Sally Anderson started the business after getting the idea from her husband, who works in the wholesale apparel industry. “Honestly, I could not do that without all the great customers who have now become friends.” Anderson said. “Thank you all, this is very exciting.”
The winner in the growth category was PrintSource.
“I appreciate Steve and SouthTowne’s commitment to honoring small businesses,” said Andy Miller, the owner of PrintSource. Miller will also be joining the board of directors for the Chamber of Commerce next January.
The winner of the employer category was Uniglobe Travel. The travel agency has been in business since 1987. For the past 26 years, Uniglobe has seen continued growth in both sales and revenue. Even throughout the recent economic slump, 2013 was the company’s best year to date.
“While I’m honored for the recognition, I’m only the face of this team which makes our company so successful,” he said.
Honorable mentions went to Balanced Family Wellness, Bubbles and Brushes Art Studio, Country Financial, Meineke Car Care Center, Shine ‘n Drive Car Wash, and Southern Crescent Solutions.
“Congratulations to all the winners,” said Mader. “Our community is a better place because of you.”