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Read the July 2012 edition of Focus, the Henderson-Vance County Chamber member newsletter. (pdf file – requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

 Johnson’s Block & Concrete Named 2011 Small Business of the Year

The Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce along with the Franklin, Granville and Warren County Chambers and the Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center sponsored the 2012 Small Business Luncheon in a collaborative effort again this year.  The event was hosted by the Henderson-Vance Chamber and took place at Henderson Country Club on Thursday, May 10.  CenturyLink was once again the presenting sponsor for this year’s event.

 The highlight of the event was awarding the 2011 Small Business of the Year.  This year’s winner was Johnson’s Block and Concrete Company, Inc.  A family-owned business operating in the area for over 51 years, the company provides ready-mixed concrete to contractors, businesses and individuals.  Curtis Johnson is Vice President of the company and sister, Sherry Johnson Schuster is Secretary/ Treasurer.  They currently have 8 full-time employees and they support the local community through their involvement with local high schools, churches and civic clubs.

 This annual spring luncheon is part of a national effort to educate communities on the importance of small businesses to the local economy.  Local statistics show that small businesses employ about 48% of local employees.

 The luncheon featured keynote speaker Hal Muetzel of Express Employment Professionals. Muetzel has spent over thirty years in the fields of management, operations and human resources. His experience includes executive-level management in the health care, retail, sales, and corporate management industries.  He serves as a successful franchisee and human resources business consultant with Express Services, Inc. which provides recruitment, staffing, human resource and management training and consulting for more than 100 clients and partners in the region.

 In his address “Build their Business to Last”, Muetzel encouraged local small businesses to look at their businesses as a journey, filled with opportunities and detours.  “In light of the current economic environment,” Muetzel said, “here are six ways to set your course for the long haul:  recalculate your business GPS, determine your new landing zones, share your coordinates, use your instrumentation, recruit right and don’t forget how you got there”.

 Small Business of the Year award winners for the other three partnering counties were Oxford Ace Hardware, Inc. for Granville County, Tar Heel Tire Sales and Service for Warren County and Eye Care Associates for Franklin County.

 Former recipients of the Vance County award include City Tire, Inc., Henderson Wellness Center, Franklin Brothers Nursery & Greenhouses, Inc., Ballet Arts, Interiors Downtown, Fogg’s Exxon, Vance Furniture, Gray’s Gourmet, The Peanut Roaster and Raemac Transportation.