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Newsmakers in business, Dec. 12
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The Times wants to know about new management hires and promotions, major awards and other newsworthy accomplishments involving local businesses. We'll publish the information each Sunday on the Business page and Send information, including photos and contact information, to; please put Newsmakers in the subject line. You also may use regular mail at Newsmakers, The Times, P.O. Box 838, Gainesville, GA 30503.

Chamber meeting maps out retail marketing strategy

The Gainesville Hall Chamber of Commerce held a retail development forum Dec. 1, bringing together more than 50 business leaders at the Holiday Inn Lanier Center to discuss strategies for making the community a regional center for retail activity in Northeast Georgia.

Forum participants included commercial real estate professionals, retail developers and officials representing the cities of Gainesville, Oakwood, Flowery Branch and Hall County.

"This initiative is really about improving the quality of life for everyone in our community," said Dick Valentine, United Community Bank, and Chairman of the Chamber's Retail Development Initiative. "Retail developments create new jobs, investment and generate new sales tax revenue for infrastructure and education projects. Hall County is already a center for medical and professional services for a 14-county region of Northeast Georgia. We are increasingly becoming a center for the region's retail needs."

The presenters shared a targeted marketing strategy needed to market to each retailer's unique location criteria. The region's growth rates, median household incomes and traffic patterns make Hall County attractive to retailers.

"We want to encourage people to shop in Hall County," said Tim Evans, Vice President of Economic Development, Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. "We want the region coming to Hall County for all of their retail needs."

For more information on the Greater Hall Chamber's Retail Initiative, contact Evans at 770-532-6206, or online at

Flowery Branch firm earns statewide marketing award

Liberty Steel Fabricators of Flowery Branch has won the Georgia Mentor Protg Connections award for 2010 Best Marketing Materials at their annual retreat.

The company is located at 5292 Hog Mountain Road. Karen Ching is president and owner.

Liberty Steel Fabricators manufactures quality replacement parts for the power generation, mining, paper-pulp and other industries. Liberty was paired with Georgia Power in areas such as new markets and expansion, professional development, training and networking, business operations and cutting-edge business practices and mentoring.

Under the Georgia Department of Economic Development, The Mentor Protg Connection is a 12-month program offering guidance, support and business practices to Georgia's emerging small businesses. The program is celebrating its 10th anniversary.