06/23/06 — Small businesses honored at banquet

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Small businesses honored at banquet

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on June 23, 2006 1:48 PM

The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce honored the small businesses that form the backbone of the county's economy at its 11th Annual Small Business Awards ceremony Thursday evening.

About 70 small business owners and employees gathered at the Comfort Suites to recognize those businesses chosen to be honored.

The Chris Humphrey Insurance Agency was named the winner of the chamber's Special Recognition Award given to a business that has contributed more than its share to the local community.

The company supports a number of civic clubs and the United Way, said Wayne Community College President Dr. Ed Wilson.

Owner Chris Humphrey was modest.

"I don't know if we do anything special. We just try to give back to the community," he said.

Businesses with 100 employees or fewer were eligible for recognition. Nominees were Billie's Restaurant and Catering, Chris Humphrey Insurance Agency, Haithcock, Barfield, Hulse and Kinsey, Holt Equipment Co., J&G Wholesale, Lane Vending Inc., Ryals Resources I & II Inc. and Wayne Realty and Insurance Co.

Billie's Restaurant on Center Street received the Most Attractive Small Business award. Owners Andrea and Sarah Heekin were honored, chamber officials said, not only for adding to the aesthetics of downtown Goldsboro, but for their community service as well.

"The Heekins are civic-minded and generous to many causes, especially Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. activities, the Community Soup Kitchen and the Arts Council," Wilson said.

The Small Business of the Year award went to a company that has operated in Wayne County since 1937. During that time, Wayne Realty and Insurance Co. has supported local civic groups and provided financial support to organizations in need, chamber officials said.

And they will continue to do so, owner Bob Logan said.

"I'm honored. We've played a part in the community since 1937. I feel we'll continue to support the community for many years to come," Logan said.

The Small Business Awards were sponsored by Comfort Suites, Ryan's Restaurant, R.A. Jeffreys, Cold Stone Creamery, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and Curtis Media Group.