When Billy Upton was asked what has been the key to his longevity in the insurance business, he quickly pointed to his wife.

“She has been the key,” grinned Upton as he pointed to his wife, Lisa.

Upton thanked his family and his State Farm customers after receiving the Douglas County Legacy in Business Award at the Douglas County Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday.

“I’m really honored,” Upton told the audience inside the ballroom at the Douglasville Conference Center. “I feel like a lot of my accomplishments over the years is because of the good people of Douglas County. I think they realize that I’m here to help them.”

There were 150 small businesses in the county that applied, and six were named finalists for the Small Business of the Year.

To be eligible, a business had to be in operation for over three years and have a commitment to serving the community.

The finalists were, Connally, Jordan and Associates, PO Solutions, Premier Drugstore, Stallings Insurance, The Vine Cafe and Market and West Georgia Cornhole.

Premier Drugstore was named the Health Hero Award winner for the work it has done during the pandemic in producing hand sanitizer during the shortage and administering vaccines.

Five businesses received Small Business to Watch Awards including LewDan Systems Learning, Place of Kai, Nancy’s Pizzeria, Stay On Pointe Dance Academy and WasteWater Industrial Solutions.

“You are the lifeblood and heartbeat of our community,” Douglas County Commission Chairman Romona Jackson Jones told the audience of small business owners.

Upton is celebrating his 50th year in the insurance business.

“We have a lot of people that depend on us,” he said. “My wife and team members have been by my side. My boys grew up in my office. They use to do their homework there and sometimes sleep in there. The biggest thing that makes me proud is people have trusted me. I take great pride in that.”

The new This is Douglas campaign was also officially launched at the luncheon by Chamber President and CEO Sara Ray.

The campaign is a community-wide effort to celebrate the great people, places and businesses in Douglas County.

More information on the campaign can be found at thisisdouglas.com.