Valdosta Daily Times

February 24, 2013

Find out the Best in South Georgia today

Kay Harris
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Following nearly two months of voting for finalists and then voting for winners, you finally have a chance today to see who can claim to be one of the Best of South Georgia winners.

Each year, the contest awards certificates to around 80 businesses in town for being named the Best in their field. With nearly all of the hundreds upon hundreds of ballots cast online now, staff is very grateful for not having to spend hours and hours tabulating paper ballots anymore.

It’s a fun contest and a great way to see how the community feels about your business. And it’s great for bragging rights for a year, too!

I’ve talked with some of the winners and some of the runners up, and the consensus is generally that they take winning as a validation of things they are doing right and losing as a learning process to try and see what they need to change to win next year. Sometimes it’s an issue of name recognition, sometimes it’s that others are lobbying hard for votes among their customers, and sometimes it may be that a newcomer to the market has maneuvered their way to the top.

Businesses in our community, particularly small businesses, truly don’t get the recognition or the thanks that they deserve. It’s tough in this or any market to keep a business going these days, and recognition from your customers is always a welcome way to know that you are doing something right.

Congratulations to the Best of South Georgia winners and runners up. If you are a customer of one of these businesses, please take the time this week to congratulate them again on their success.

Business Roundup

Some increased activity on North Valdosta Road recently, with Nashville Tractor moving into a former tractor dealer’s location. Also, the former car dealership close to Prince Automotive is going to be a John Deere dealership.

And thanks to a call from a friend this week, we now know that the land on Norman Drive with the sold sign is going to soon house a new Italian restaurant called Gondolier. It’s a chain restaurant with other locations in the Southeast.

There’s a new store downtown on North Ashley Street across from the Ashley House called Frock Star Vintage, offering vintage clothing and other items for sale.

A new Dollar General Market is getting ready to have its grand opening in Nashville next Saturday, but it actually opened for customers about a week ago. It is a full-service grocery store and more.

Chicken Salad Chick is preparing for its grand opening on March 12. The new restaurant is going into the North Oak Street Plaza next to Howard Diet, and will offer at least 15 flavors of chicken salad along with soups, salads, desserts, etc. The new eatery will also have a drive-through window for customer convenience.

Good news if you are job searching right now. The Home Depot distribution center in Lake Park is recruiting 100 full- and part-time positions, in addition to about 50 seasonal associates in the store off Norman Drive as well.

The new Publix supermarket on Inner Perimeter Road is just about finished and they have a goal of opening the first week in March, making a lot of folks on the northside of town very happy.

The new Bad Habitz Saloon is still preparing to open, hopefully around the beginning or middle of March. It’s located where the former Loco’s restaurant was on Gornto Road near St. Augustine.

The construction area off North Oak Street on Cranford is for a new apartment complex, called Cranford Apartments.

There is also a new business on Northside Drive. It’s called Krav Maga 911, teaching the art of self defense.

That’s it for this week, but if there’s something I missed, please let me know!