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Chamber luncheon honors small business
Spots available for event at Polo
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Forsyth County News

At a glance
The first Small Business Awards Luncheon is set for 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Polo Golf & Country Club, 6300 Polo Club Drive. Cost is $25 for chamber members and $30 for non-members. Register at (770) 887-6461 or cfccoc@cummingforsythchamber.org.

Forsyth County's small businesses will be honored during a new event this week.

On Thursday, the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce will hold its first Small Business Awards Luncheon.

"This will be a great day to recognize all the contributions of small businesses to our community," said Jason Mock, director of small business services at the chamber.

In years past, small business awards have been presented during the chamber's annual dinner.

"This event formed because at last year's dinner there was just so much information running that we just couldn't get everything in," said Mock, who noted some 67 percent of the chamber's members have five or fewer employees.

"We said we need a separate day to recognize small businesses."

Several annual awards will be presented, including: top business, corporate and volunteer members; minority business; and the chairman's award.

New this year, Mock said, are the heritage award and international business honor.

The heritage award will go to a small business that has been a chamber member for at least 20 years and regularly gives back to the community, Mock said.

About 11 businesses were nominated for the honor by other members earlier this year.

In addition to the awards, the event will also feature a keynote address by Mary Ellen McClanahan, director of entrepreneur and small business development for the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

According to a news release, McClanahan's primary job is to grow small businesses throughout the state through mentoring, professional development, strategic planning and resource awareness, among other ways.

Mock said McClanahan's address will be educational.

"She'll be talking about a lot of things going on in the state and any small business can benefit from her hearing her," he said.

Mock said 90 people have registered to attend so far.

"We still have plenty of availability," he said. "We would love for people to R.S.V.P., but we'll also take them at the door."