Local businesses honored

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Lawrenceville First Baptist Church played both host and honoree Tuesday night as the city's Tourism and Trade Association hosted its fourth annual Golden Hammers banquet.

Twenty-five "Golden Hammers" plaques were given out to local businesses for their work in revitalizing the city -- whether it be full-scale renovations, new additions or simple maintenance.

"This is our chance to show Gwinnett County, and even the region, even the state, that we're one of the fastest-growing counties in the state, and how much is being invested," said Jay Markwalter, the executive director of LTTA.

"Economic development-wise, whether someone puts on a fresh coat of paint or adds a new medical tower, it adds up."

Honorees Tuesday included everyone from new small businesses to long-time entities that have undergone renovations.

The 24 organizations represented more than $19 million of investment -- not including $231 million from Gwinnett Medical Center and Georgia Gwinnett College.

"I don't want to call it a pep rally, but it's kind of a coming together to celebrate all that," Markwalter said. "Lawrenceville ... has been heavy into revitalization. This is our chance to show everybody collectively what's been happening in the city."