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Honoring Gwinnett”s Business Standouts

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by Jazmin Ross

The Pinnacle Awards program provides invaluable exposure for the small business community

The Gwinnett Chamber”s Pinnacle Awards competition culminates in a single April event, yet for the winners and finalists, the program is one that can yield rewards for months to come.

Earning a Pinnacle Award has long been heralded a prestigious achievement in the Gwinnett business community. Formerly the Gwinnett Small Business Award, the Pinnacle Awards have transitioned from a ceremony that recognized only five finalists and one overall winner, to a program that honors 25 finalists and recognizes the strengths of businesses with several different employee levels. The finalists and winners of the Pinnacle Awards gain tremendous exposure in the community.

Demming Bass, Gwinnett Chamber vice president of communications and public policy, says, "Even being named a top 25 finalist gives your business more credibility to customers because they know you were judged by your peers and the business community."

Brain Perdue, owner and founder of Salon 124, is last year”s Small Business of the Year winner and a Pinnacle Awards judge for this year. "You get a lot of exposure in the marketplace. The win helped me make a lot of great connections, and I would advise this year”s winner to take advantage of this opportunity to make those connections and meet people."

In less than favorable economic conditions, more nominations than expected were submitted for this year”s awards, representing the resilience and creativity of Gwinnett”s business community. Says Bass, "It was inspiring to see that despite the current economy, businesses were still very successful over the past year."

Small businesses make tremendous contributions to the national economy – and to our own community. According to the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small business make up 99.7 percent of all employers, employ half of the nation”s working community and have generated 60 to 80 percent of new jobs over the last decade.

The Pinnacle Awards tie in with the SBA”s National Small Business Week. Gwinnett”s overall winner moves on to participate in the SBA”s Georgia Small Business Person of the Year competition. If the company takes top honors in the state competition, they go on to compete at the national level.

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