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$10,000 award set to help business
The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce recently announced an award for entrepreneurs. Pictured are: Mayor of Gainesville Myrtle Figueras; Brittany Holtzclaw, Greater Hall Chamber; Benny Bagwell, Jackson EMC; Tim Evans, vice president of Economic Development, Greater Hall Chamber; Jeff Fricks, Sundance Products; Carroll Turner, Lanier Technical College; and Apurva Khanna, Sundance Products. - photo by For The Times

The parent company of a Gainesville plastic recycling firm has contributed $10,000 to establish an award to honor business entrepreneurs. Soin International, owner of Sundance Products in Gainesville, will award the Soin Award of Innovation at a ceremony on March 20.

The award is to identify, honor and financially assist a company or entrepreneur in Hall County that is demonstrating an innovative spirit through a product or service. The product must have the ability to sustain long-term growth for the applicant, increase local employment and assist in the creation of economic development prosperity.

Plans for the award were announced Friday at a news conference at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, which is administering the award program. Both Jackson Electric Membership Corp. and Georgia Power Co. are co-sponsoring the contest.

"Gainesville-Hall County has a great history of fostering innovative people, and we hope this award will encourage new ideas to develop into commercial successes," said Tim Evans, the chamber’s vice president for economic development.

Apurva Khanna, an executive with Soin, said the company’s founder, Raj Soin, has sponsored a similar program in Dayton, Ohio, where the company’s headquarters is located.

The winner of the award will be selected by a committee of local business and academic leaders along with Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce board members. Applicants must submit an application, a product or service description, a business plan, financial information and success measures.

The top three applicants then will make presentations to the selection committee. Based on the presentations of the three finalists, a winner will be selected.

The application deadline is Feb. 10. Applications are available at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

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