Press Releases

Greater Greer Chamber Names Small Business of the Year


July 2, 2014

(Greer, SC) The Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce named Southern Eye Associates as its 2014 Small Business of the Year at a dinner last week. Smith & James was awarded the 2014 Mayor’s Award.

“We are honored to recognize both of these deserving award winners while recognizing all small businesses in our community. Small business represents a large section of our community and we are proud to have many successful small businesses to honor. Congratulations to not only these award winners, but to all small business owners,” said Chamber Vice President Mark Owens.

The evening also featured a reverse raffle for a one-carat diamond, courtesy of Just for You Jewelers. Tom Berry of Kwik Kerb walked away with the grand prize.

Small Business of the Year Presented by Charter Business: Southern Eye Associates
Southern Eye Associates (SEA) is committed to excellent and compassionate eye care. Established in 1998, we have grown to include 6 board-certified ophthalmologists and optometrists and two locations. The Greer location opened in 2008 and is on the campus of Greer Memorial Hospital at 100 Physicians Drive, while the Greenville location is in the Cross Creek Medical complex.

Southern Eye Associates is committed to caring not only for those that can afford eye care but also those that can’t. For many years, the SEA physicians took international missions trips. They often returned home to find that there was a need in their own backyard. In 2009, the physicians founded a non-profit called Surgeons for Sight, with a mission to help disadvantaged people both locally and abroad get the eye care they need to lead productive lives. SEA physicians donate a certain number of appointment slots every week to Surgeons for Sight patients.

Surgeons for Sight provides exams, eyeglasses and surgeries to those that meet a certain poverty level and do not have insurance. Outside of the Upstate, the doctors take missions trips to countries where cataract surgery is not accessible to the poor. Since 2009, Surgeons for Sight has provided 1,075 exams, 2,710 eyeglasses and 222 cataract surgeries. Without the dedication of Southern Eye Associates and the physicians’ willingness to volunteer their skills and time, none of this would have been possible.

Mayor’s Award: Smith & James
Few companies have been in business as long as Smith & James Men’s Clothing on Trade Street in downtown Greer. Bernard Price joined Smith & James in 1961; fifty-three years later, the store is two years shy of a century. In When Price became the sole owner of the store in 1991; he began to transition Smith & James into one of the most up to date menswear stores in the Upstate. Bernard’s son, Brandon, joined the store in 1997 after graduating from USC with a major in retail. Together, Bernard and Brandon opened their second location in the Shops at Greenridge on Woodruff Road in 2005. The company hopes to launch an online store in the near future.

Event sponsors included:

Presenting Sponsor - Charter Business
Diamond Sponsors – Just for You Jewelers and Southwest Airlines
Gold Sponsor – City of Greer
Table Sponsors –Owens Insurance, Upstate Workforce Investment Board, Wild Ace Pizza and Pub and New Horizon Family Health Services

The Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary, non-profit organization that represents approximately 700 businesses in the Greer area. The mission of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce is “To Champion Economic Prosperity for our members and the Greater Greer Community.” For more information on the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, call 864-877-3131 or visit www.greerchamber.com.

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