Tom’s is ‘20 Business of Year

Tommy Hunt (c), owner of Tom’s Pawn Central, is pictured with Chamber representatives (l-r) Tiffanie Youngblood, Bryan Aasheim, Victoria Gaitten, Kathy Dixon, Tim Coleman, Jason Grimes, Alex Spivey and Bronson Bragdon and Steven Rigdon of Pineland Bank.

Despite the Annual Meeting of Metter-Candler Chamber of Commerce being canceled due to COVID-19, the Chamber still made it a priority on Friday to recognize the Business of the Year -- Tom’s Pawn Central.

“It is an honor to be named Business of the Year. We strive to provide excellent customer service and support for our community. We truly believe that ‘Everything’s Better in Metter.’ Our staff is family and Metter is our home,” said owner Tommy Hunt.

Victoria Gaitten, executive director of the Metter-Candler Chamber of Commerce, arranged for a surprise presentation of the award. 

“This year we were not able to have an annual meeting and present the award there, so I made a few phone calls to have the Hunt family present while the Chamber Board of Directors surprised Tommy at the store,” she said. 

Gaitten went on to say, “I was personally honored to be a part of awarding Tommy Hunt with the Business of the Year award. It’s always nice to acknowledge someone who not only works hard to run a successful business but also finds time to serve and give back to his community.”

“The Business of the Year Award is voted on by our members,” said 2020 Chamber Chairman Jason Grimes. “Qualifications for this award are that your business has to have been in business for five years and that you are, of course, a member of the Chamber. 

“This year, it was my honor to present the award to Tom’s Pawn Central. Tommy Hunt and his family have been big supporters of the Chamber of Commerce and of Metter and Candler County. He is always willing to help when there is a need. Thank you, Tommy, for everything that you do for this community.”

Tom’s Pawn Central opened its doors in Metter in 2002 after the business was originally established in Statesboro in 1992. In the fall of 2020, the business relocated to its new establishment on South Lewis Street. Tom’s Pawn Central also has locations in Claxton, Lyons, Swainsboro and Waynesboro.

“We buy, sell and trade. At Tom’s Pawn Central, you can pawn items and get a 30-day loan, buy, sell and trade merchandise such as electronics, jewelry, guns, tools, coins, etc… Our new sporting goods room offers a large selection of guns, bows, knives and ammunition. We also offer jewelry repair and sizing,” said Hunt.

Tom’s Pawn Central is a Gold Sponsor for the Metter Booster Club, and owner Tommy Hunt also organizes the annual Jay Bowen Scholarship Fund Quail Hunt and Auction, which supports underprivileged families in Candler County. 

In addition, he is a frequent donor to the Boys and Girls Club, Metter High School ROTC program, Communities in Schools and various other organizations supporting families and other businesses in Candler County. 

To the people of Metter and Candler County, Hunt said, “Thank you for your support. We hope you will continue to support not only our business but all of the other small businesses in our community.

“I would also like to thank my staff for their continued loyalty and dedication. This would not be possible without each of them.”

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