Friday News
May  15, 2015

Welcome our Newest Silver Level Sponsors
Fitzgerald Auto Group

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Fitzgerald Ford

Fitzgerald Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & Ram

Chamber's Newest Bronze Member

The Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Co. Chamber of Commerce
is proud to announce our  
Newest Bronze Sponsor

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202 Ocilla Hwy
Fitzgerald, GA  31750

Check out some of the Chamber's Copper Sponsors!

Medical and Surgical Care for Companion Animals and Livestock. They are located at 326 Benjamin HIll Dr West


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          Ben Hill County Commissioner Scott Downing has submitted his resignation to the Board of Commissioners and plans to run for the Georgia House of Representatives seat vacated by Jay Roberts (R-Ocilla).  The Ben Hill County Board of Commissioners accepted his resignation at Tuesday's Special Called Meeting; thanking him for his loyal service to the Citizens of Ben Hill County; and calling for a Special Election on June 16th to fill his unexpired term.

          Scott Downing was elected to represent the Western District of Ben Hill County in November 2009 and took office the following January.  He was re-elected to a second 4-year term, which began on January 1, 2015.  In addition to his Commission duties, he represented Ben Hill County on many Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) policy and special committees; helping take the concerns of Rural Georgia to the Georgia Legislature.   During the 2015 ACCG Annual Convention in April, Scott was appointed as Chairman of the ACCG's Economic Development and Transportation Committee.

            "I enjoyed serving with Scott; both on the local and state levels," said Ben Hill County Vice-Chairman O. D. Netter, Jr.; who is also a Past Chairman of the ACCG, and a Board Member of the National Association of Counties.  "I think he will do a fine job as a State Representative." Scott also volunteered to serve as the Interim Executive Director of the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Development Authority and the Ben Hill-Irwin County Development Authority.  Working without pay for over two years, he helped keep the community competitive and create jobs during the dark days of the recession. 

            "Scott Downing is a true friend to whom I am deeply indebted for his reluctant compliance with my request for him to seek the seat I vacated to run for the commission chairmanship," said Ben Hill County Commission Chairman Philip C. Jay, III.  "Over the next 6 years, his generous contribution of talent, time and tenacity to the resolution of the myriad of issues facing the community we share earned him the respect of not only his fellow commissioners but others throughout Georgia. His absence on the commission creates a vacancy that will challenge the will of the people to adequately fill, but his anticipated presence on the state stage is a gift to the legislature of which we can all be proud."


Questions:    Frank E. Feild, County Manager, 229-426-5100


Senate Bill 88 Provides Debit Card Authorization for Payroll


Senate Bill 88 creates a new option for employers who wish to use alternative and more convenient forms of payment to their employees. Employers will now be authorized to use a prepaid payroll debit card account as a legal method of payment of wages to employees. Georgia law previously allowed for checks, cash, and direct deposit, but was silent on using prepaid debit cards as an authorized method. This method of payment is already common in other states, but some employers were reluctant to use this method until the state law was amended and clarified.


In many sectors of the Georgia economy, especially for service workers and the agriculture industry, there exists a large population who are un-bankable. For employees who may not have a checking account, direct deposit is not an option. The prepaid payroll debit card method offers a secured alternative to cash and also avoids issues of fraud and fees associated with physical checks. Employees who receive payment in this method can use the debit card for purchases just as any other debit card, and are allowed to withdraw cash from any ATM.


The law requires any employer electing to participate in the method to deliver a written description of any bank fees associated with the program, and allows 30 days for an employee to request a physical check in lieu of the debit card. It also allows employees to transfer to direct deposit at any time.


This bill was signed into law by Governor Deal on May 6th and is now in effect.

The Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Chamber of Commerce is partnering with several other Chambers led by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber to bring a class called "Building the Best Board" to our region. Bob Harris, who will be speaking at the class, is nationally recognized speaker that has conducted some of the high quality Chamber classes that I have attended. I am sending the information on to some of you non-profit board participants, but we will also be advertising to the public. This is an awesome opportunity and within easy traveling distance if any of you are interested.

Custom Made Grill by: Colonial Ironworks Drawing to be held - Saturday, June 13, 2015

Proceeds to benefit Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Co. Chamber of Commerce

Do not have to be present to win!


Tickets on sale at the Chamber office  

Board Members


Enter for a chance to win 1 (1) ticket for the drawing


Go by and take a look at the Grill, it is parked at Fitzgerald Utilities! 

The Women's Business Network is not going to meet on Monday, May 18th due to conflicts in schedules. The Chamber is hoping to have a meeting in June.

Check out the flyer for Fitzgerald Pig Pickin....

Fitzgerald Pig Pickin' Car Show
Entry Form

Myron Mixon will be HERE! Check out how he grills a good tasting Hamburger!
Myron Mixon will be HERE! Check out how he grills Great American Hamburger!

As always at PlantersFIRST...Your Banking Comes FIRST!!!

With a reputation as an innovative provider of quality care, Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) is a growing, not-for-profit hospital system serving 12 counties in South Central Georgia. TRHS offers more than 135 physicians with expertise in over 30 specialties.

To learn more about Tift Regional Medical Center click the link below:

Tift Regional Medical Center

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Absentee and Early Voting for Upcoming Special Election

  • Absentee mail out ballots & Early Voting
  • May 26 - June 12, 2015 - 7:30 am -4:00 pm
  • The Board of Registration & Elections office
  • 115 W. Pine St Fitzgerald, GA 31750
  • (229) 426-5151
Derinda Lewis to add information to the Friday News.