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Flint Media is Small Business of Year

Flint Media was voted the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year, it was announced Thursday evening on the back deck of the Chamber building.

The business, located at 521 S. Scott St., was voted on by the nine-member small business committee of the Chamber, which is chaired by Ryan Phillips.

Flint Media as nominated by Gary Phillips.

Phillips said the voting was closed, but Flint Media received more votes than the other six businesses nominated, which were the medical office of Drs. Dean Burke and Don Robinson, DeHildren Realty, The Tanning Company, SouthWind Plantation, Cannon Cleaners and Southern Forestry Consultants.

“The forks you see here make it happen,” said Kevin Dowdy of his wife and employees gathered Thursday.

Dowdy is the president of Flint Media, which includes the radio stations WBGE-FM Live 101.9, WGMK-FM, WSEM-AM and WBBK-AM, and the Sowega Live Web site.

“This is quite an honor in light of the other nominees,” Dowdy said.

Flint Media started in November 2004 by Kevin and Janet Dowdy. At the time, they had three employees, and have now grown to nine employees.

According to the application written by Dowdy as part of its nomination, Flint Media Inc. was founded as it prepared to purchase WBGE-FM, which was in receivership. Flint Media assumed operations in February 2005. In 2006, Flint Media purchased WGMK-FM, WSEM-AM and WBBK-AM. In January 2008, a $192,000, 400-foot broadcast tower was constructed near Climax, Ga., to expand its coverage into Thomasville, Cairo and Camilla.

As for the support to the community, Dowdy says the company brought toys, clothing and food items to the front doors of 26 families in 2006. In 2007, Secret Santa delivered Christmas to 55 families, and in 2008, Secret Santa assisted 97 families and more than 400 children with the help of its listeners and support from other businesses and organizations in the community.

For the past three years, LIVE 101.9 provided the equivalent in free advertising to any business joining or renewing membership into the Chamber of Commerce, “dollar for dollar, with no string attached.”

The business also claims to donate time and resources to several local charities and civic organizations, including Relay for Life, March of Dimes, Lions Club, Bainbridge High School Band and cross country team, Blakely Pilot Club Radio Days, numerous burn-out families, video stream of BHS football games via the Internet in 2006 and 2007, and recorded, edited and produced BHS football games and provided them free of charge to the community, commercial free, via Channel 17 for 2006 and 2007.

During the present football season, LIVE 101.9 and ROCKIN 106.3 broadcasts football games from Bainbridge High School, Seminole County High School, Early County High School and Miller County High School on the game of the week.

Dowdy said the core mission “Was to bring great music with live interaction and audience participation, and to bring a positive message by integrating as least one contemporary Christian song selection minimum per hour, 24/7.”