SANFORD-A large crowd of small business owners and supporters was on hand Thursday evening for the annual Small Business Banquet, hosted by the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Assistance Center. Awards and accolades rang true through the night with John and Tina Groce of Groce Farms being named the Small Business persons of the year, and Meg Moss of LCI being named the Small Business Advocate of the Year. Whitney White received the perseverance Award from the US Small Business Administration for hosting an event at the fairgrounds for the tornado victims that raised over eleven thousand dollars. Former Governor Jim Hunt received the Life Time Achievement award, which comes with a large eagle statue and $1ooo to a favorite charity. Governor Hunt awarded the check to the Lee County Partnership for Children. WRAL journalist, anchor and recording artist Bill Leslie, and Lisa Sanders of the Black Heritage Cemetery Foundation, provided entertainment.
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