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New, longtime businesses alike shine during “Best of Dawson” 2023 gala
Best of Dawson 2023 1
Local business leaders and employees gathered for the 2023 “Best of Dawson” awards gala at Lilly Creek Farms on March 28. - photo by Julia Hansen

This past year was a record one for the “Best of Dawson” event, Dawson County News Sales Director Tim Anderson said at the newspaper’s annual gala.

The 2023 awards gala was hosted at Dawson County’s Lilly Creek Farms the night of March 28.

Almost 24,000 people took part in nominations and voting to decide Dawson County’s premier businesses and employees. That’s “twice as much as we’ve ever had,” Anderson said. 

In all, DCN received 5,147 nominations, which Anderson added was “also more than double” the previous year’s. For the competition, 931 businesses were entered in over 200 categories.

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Anderson added that the statistics “truly reflect the growth that we’re experiencing here.”

“So did the number of new businesses entering this market. This is reflected in the number of first-time winners that we have this year,” Anderson said. 

A representative for event sponsor John Megel Chevrolet, Executive Manager Shawn Boyd, delivered remarks during the gala. 

John Megel Chevrolet won awards for “Best New Car Dealership,” “Best Used Car Dealership” and “Best Service.” 

Best of Dawson 2023
John Megel Chevrolet Executive Manager Shawn Boyd encouraged investment in local businesses and the community during the gala. - photo by Julia Hansen

“For us, it's all about our people, our customers and the community,” Boyd said. “Yes, you can do a better job day in and day out, but we try to do the best by everybody that we come in contact with.”

Boyd added that they’re “blessed to have everyone here” and said he’s “sold a car to about someone at every table in this room.” 

“Thank y’all for keeping business local,” said Boyd, “and as this county and as this community grows, it’s going to be even a bigger thing for us to remember people that meet in rooms like this and help out our neighbors and small and large businesses.”

DCN will publish separate online articles about the winners of the Gordon Pirkle “Heart of Dawson” and Roger Slaton Servant Leadership awards. 

A full list of the 2023 “Best of Dawson” winners is available in the event’s magazine, which is available in print and online. Community members can pick up print copies at DCN’s office at 30 Shoal Creek Road in Dawsonville.