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Veranda wins Small Business of the Year award

The Veranda was named Small Business of the Year at Albany Area Chamber's Rise N Shine Breakfast Thursday. Dr. John Inman III accepted the award for the Veranda which employs a staff of 100.

The Veranda was named Small Business of the Year at Albany Area Chamber's Rise N Shine Breakfast Thursday. Dr. John Inman III accepted the award for the Veranda which employs a staff of 100.

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Joe Bellacomo

The Veranda was named Small Business of the Year at Albany Area Chamber's Rise N Shine Breakfast Thursday. Dr. John Inman III accepted the award for the Veranda which employs a staff of 100.

ALBANY, Ga. — As a part of National Small Business Week, The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual Small Business Appreciation Rise N Shine breakfast Thursday and named The Veranda its Small Business of the Year.

From a large original field of nominees, the 60-year-old medical group took the top honor over two finalists, Flint Community Bank, which began in Albany in 2006 with 10 employees and now has 27, and Verge, a relatively new downtown “elite consignment shop,” owned by Jessica Blair.

According to Bil Sadler, chairman of the Chamber’s Small business Resource Committee and owner of Sadler Capital Management, the award committee looked at four separate areas when honoring the businesses: An indication of continued growth; innovation of product and services offered; resiliency when dealing with challenges and opportunities, and the business’s overall contributions to the community.

“We are fortunate in the Albany area to have a diversified, outstanding roster of small businesses that contribute to our economy,” Sadler said. “So, you can imagine how difficult it was for the committee to select just one business we felt exemplified the tenets of outstanding achievement in business.

According to Sadler, The Veranda, which now employs a staff of 100, traces its history to 1952, when Dr. John Inman Jr. began his OB-GYN practice on North Monroe Street. Built in 2002, The Veranda gathers under one roof the specialties of obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, family medicine, endocrinology and medical weight loss.

Accepting the award for The Veranda was Dr. John Inman III, son of Inman Jr.

“It’s a thrill for me to be standing here,” Inman III said, “and I think back who really would have enjoyed this more than anyone and that’s my dad. I think you all know him, he loves a moment like this. I’m kind of the opposite. I think back on where I lived 60 years ago when he started his practice. Talk about small businesses, Daddy will tell you that Mr. Haley put him in that (building on North Monroe) rent free for two months until he had some money coming in.”