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Hall Chamber of Commerce honors 2 local businesses
Group cites top small, family-owned firms in county
Citisco was named the Family Business of the Year at Thursday’s Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce annual awards ceremony at the Gainesville Civic Center. From the left are Carl Romberg, Connie Thompson and Chris Romberg.

Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce award winners
Silver Shovel Award
Ben Bahnsen, BDS Agency/Consumer’s Life
William Claxton, Sam’s Club Oakwood
Drew Echols, Jaemor Farm Market
Deanna Eden, Adams Transfer and Storage
Dede Gossage, University of Georgia Small Business Development Center
Julie Nicholson, Community Bank and Trust
John Preece, 90 Ten Architects
Sam Rundell, SKF USA Inc.
Quinn Seay, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Gainesville
R.K. Whitehead, Whitehead Die Casting
City of Oakwood
City of Flowery Branch

Ambassador of the Year
Megan Martin, American Security Shredding

Small Business of the Year
Scott’s on the Square

Family Business of the Year

Community Service Award
Gainesville City Schools
Hall County Schools

W.G. Mealor Award

Dixie Truelove, Truelove Dairy

In October 1929, the stock market in New York crashed, signaling the beginning of the Great Depression.

Just a few months prior, and further south, the Romberg family started a new business venture — City Ice Co. — here in Gainesville.

“When the business first started, we were delivering ice out of a horse-drawn carriage,” said Carl Romberg, a third-generation owner.

The company not only survived the Great Depression, it continues to be a thriving business — now under the name of Citisco and as a food service equipment vendor.

“We’ve sort of evolved over the years,” Romberg said.

That evolution and the family’s hard work led to Citisco being recognized as the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Family Business of the Year. The chamber handed out that award and several others during its board of directors meeting Thursday at the Gainesville Civic Center.

Citisco is now run by second-generation owners Connie Thompson and Georgie Romberg and third-generation owners Carl and Chris Romberg.

The chamber also recognized Scott’s on the Square as the Small Business of the Year.

“Small businesses are really the backbone of the chamber,” said Emily Bagwell, the chamber’s outgoing chairwoman. “More than 85 percent of our members are small businesses.”

As transplants from Atlanta, Scott’s on the Square owners Kay and Scott Dixon said despite current economic times, they are glad they relocated in 2004 to Gainesville.

“As with most businesses, we’ve had some challenging moments, but we’re happy that we moved,” Scott Dixon said. “Our only wish is that we had moved sooner because we love this community.”

During the meeting, Bagwell also passed the gavel to Darrell Snyder, the chamber’s new chairman.

“This is both a honor and a blessing,” Snyder said. “There are so many outstanding volunteers that give their time and talents to the chamber. It’s really an awesome group, and I look forward to working with them this year.”