Only in the South could two men named Bubba be honored in the same ceremony.
James “Bubba” Revell, the owner of The Country Store, and Bubba Hunt, the owner of Pawn City, were both recognized during the 2012 Small Business and Entrepreneur Luncheon held Thursday in the Quality Inn & Suites ballroom.
Revell’s convenience store and floor covering shop located on High Point and Cypress Lake roads was named the 2012 Small Business of the Year by the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce. This is the first year community input was considered for the award, and more than 300 citizens voted, said Rachel Edwards, the chairwoman of the executive board.
As he took the stage to accept a plaque, Revell said, “If somebody would have told me this was going to happen today, I would have been more prepared (to speak).
“Small business is like a raising a child,” he said. The honor shouldn’t focus on him, but on “our customers, our family, our employees.”
Revell thanked his wife, Pam, for tireless support.
“Thanks to the community who chose us for this honor,” he said. “I hope I can make you proud.”
When introducing Revell, Edwards said he has “strong moral fiber and character, and is a true friend to all.” She listed several accomplishments including serving as a board member for Joseph’s Home for Boys, serving as a member of the Statesboro Homebuilder’s Association and being a charter graduate of the Statesboro Citizens’ Police Academy, a graduate of Leadership Bulloch and a past president of the Southern Thunder Cruisers.
Hunt, named 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year by the chamber, is also a Leadership Bulloch graduate and board member. He is also a member of the Exchange Club, the Statesboro-Bulloch Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and Grace Community Church.
“He is a true asset to our community,” Edwards said.
Hunt has owned numerous local businesses and now owns seven Pawn City locations in Statesboro, Glennville, Jesup and Claxton.
“I do appreciate this honor,” Hunt said as he accepted his award plaque. “I’m an entrepreneur, not a business owner. I’ve been doing this since I was in seventh grade, selling shoestrings and other things out of my locker … small business is the backbone of this community.”
Joseph Whitaker, vice president of Whitaker Laboratories, which has been recognized by Georgia Trend magazine, was keynote speaker for the event.
He talked about competition in business and quoted his father, from whom he said he learned good business practices, several times.
“I listen to people who are smarter than me,” he said. “My father’s mantra for years was ‘be knowledgeable. Know the technical aspects of your business, and produce results people can believe.
“Always keep the company strong. If the company is strong, you are strong,’” he said, sharing more of his father’s wisdom. He also told guests to acknowledge the importance of simple gestures made “to show clients how much they are appreciated.”
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.