The Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce recognized The McDuffie Progress as the Small Business of the Year.
Progress Publisher Dick Mitchell congratulated the staff on the honor, and said Thomson is a good community in which to work.
Keith Beggs presented the award at a Business After Hours on Thursday at the chamber office. He represented last year's winner, Beggs Funeral Home.
Chamber acting director Mike Carrington, chamber president Bonnie McCorkle, former chamber president Bobby Hildreth, tourism director Elizabeth Vance, and dozens of other business leaders attended. Chamber administrative assistant Kim Thomas photographed the evening.
Mitchell acknowledged former editor Justin Schuver, who recently took a job with another Georgia newspaper: "If it hadn't been for Justin, we wouldn't have been where we are today."
Mitchell said the staff is the best he has led in his newspaper career. He said each member handles assorted duties and has a good sense of humor.
"Last year I was pleasantly surprised to have my family's business named McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce Business of the year," Beggs said. "I once again want to thank the people of McDuffie County, the chamber membership, officers, directors and staff for the confidence they placed in us with this great honor. I have enjoyed representing the excellence of all of the chamber membership as business of the year. I cannot say enough about the work the chamber staff does to promote our community and the impact it has not only on our local economy but more importantly the quality of life of our citizens."
In presenting the 2011 award, Beggs said every community needs a voice. "The voice must be honest, it must be fair, it must be bold, it must be compassionate," he said. "It must be tough, it must be accurate, it must be timely, it must be willing to admit its mistakes and above all the voice must be trusted."