Ten Kansas City companies — including a handful of up-and-coming startups and popular food and beverage hotspots — are vying for the Chamber’s top honor: the coveted Mr. K award.
“Today’s the day!” said Joe Reardon, president and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, announcing the top 10 small business of the year finalists Friday morning across social media.
Finalists notably run the gamut from COVID-era success stories to decades-old small businesses, marketing and media companies to bakeries and a minority-owned, female-led apparel brand.
“One of our favorite things to do at the KC Chamber is give regional businesses the public kudos, recognition and encouragement that they deserve,” the Chamber said on its website. “We do this every year for amazing small businesses, companies that serve as role models in diversity and inclusion, and businesses that are going the extra mile to create a healthy workplace.”
The full list of small business finalists — pared down from 36 selected candidates and in order of their announcement — includes:
- J. Rieger & Co.
- Chicken N Pickle
- Amply Media
- McLain’s Markets
- Traders Insurance Company
- Prairie Elder Care
- Pro Athlete, Inc
- Messenger Coffee / Ibis Bakery
- Signal Theory
Up next: an Oct. 1 virtual small business celebration featuring a panel of the top 10 companies’ CEOs. Click here to register.
The finalist showdown culminates Oct. 15 with the virtual Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon where the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is set to announce the Small Business of the Year “Mr. K Award” — named for Ewing Marion Kauffman, known widely as “Mr. K.”
Winners of the 2020 Diverse Small Business Award, the Legacy of Kansas City Award, the Emerging Business Award, and the Weida Award for International Business recipients also are expected to be revealed at the virtual event.
Click here to learn more about the Oct. 15 Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon.
The luncheon and award season typically are organized in the spring, but were delayed amid COVID-19 precautions and restrictions. The previous celebration was hosted in May 2019 at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown Muehlebach Tower Imperial Ballroom.
Click here to read about the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner, Rhonda Dolan, founder of Udo.