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      Small businesses make big impact

      Mayor Dorothy Hubbard and Dougherty County Chair Jeff Sinyard read the proclamation

      It's often been said that small businesses are the backbone of America.

      They are also being celebrated next week in Albany.

      There's a lot to be said for small businesses and the people who run them.

      Cause we're the little guys that are trying to support our families and our community, so it's tempting to go to a major chain and support them but really what it all boils down to is supporting and shopping local, says Jessica Blair, owner of Verge, located on Washington Street.

      Especially since small businesses make up 95% of the Chamber of Commerce's membership. The chamber and Mayor Dorothy Hubbard along with other local leaders proclaimed Monday May 21st as the start of Small Business Appreciation Week.

      Small businesses are important to our local economy, so this gives us an opportunity to celebrate the small business in our area, says Bil Sadler, Chairman of the chamber TMs Small Business Resource Center.

      Next week, the chamber will hold a rise and shine breakfast where they'll announce the winner of the small business of the year award, for Blair is a finalist. Verge has everything from gently touched clothing for men and women, to vintage and new jewelry and even purses.

      And if you just don't know what kind of style is yours, Blair says she's here to help, offering her services as a personal shopping assistant for those clients in need.

      I'll get a phone call and I TMll hear the panic in the woman TMs voice, "I have an event, I have a wedding, it's at five, can you please pull some dresses for me in my size?" and I TMll go out and find 10-15 things and she rushes in, tries them on and it kind of saves the fashion day. But that's the best part of my job that I TMm able to help someone who's in a difficult situation and I don't mind catering on that one-on-one level, adds Blair.

      The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Business After Hours event at the chamber at 225 West Broad Avenue on Monday from 5-7:00 PM.