Editor’s note: The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is a non-financial partner of Startland News, which serves as the media partner for the Small Business Superstars program.
An excited TJ Roberts took a quick break from shoveling snow Friday in the parking lot of his Kansas City, Kansas, coffee shop to post his elation at being named a Small Business Superstar across social media.
“I have sacrificed so much and have put in so much time … where I’m just like, ‘I’ve never let being broke or having seven fingers — not having it perfect — hold me back,’” the founder of Kinship Cafe said, sharing his joy that the Strawberry Hill neighborhood coffee shop was being recognized by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. “There’s a whole line-up of some amazing businesses, so we are truly honored!”
The campaign targets for-profit businesses with fewer than 250 employees, headquartered in Greater Kansas City.
Roberts, who opened Kinship Cafe in fall 2021, and his fellow Small Business Superstars are now eligible to become Chamber members if they are currently not, and to apply for the 2022 Small Business of the Year “Mr. K” Award or one the Chamber’s specialty awards, such as emerging business or equity honors. (The 2021 winners of both specialty awards were members of the first group of Small Business Superstars.)
Award applications are open now through March 22, culminating in late spring with the Chamber’s 2022 Small Business Celebration June 15 during the awards luncheon at the Downtown Marriott, where winners are announced.
Click here to learn more about the Chamber’s 2021 winning businesses.
“We are proud to recognize the 2022 Small Business Superstars,” said Vicky Kulikov, small business director for the Chamber and lead coordinator of the Superstars program. “These are businesses that started because of ideas that began over a cup of coffee or a conversation in someone’s basement or a handshake between two friends. Now they’ve become part of the backbone of our local economy and really help KC move forward even after more than two years of a global pandemic.”
This is the second year the chamber has recognized Superstars. In 2021, about 1,200 small businesses were honored; in 2022, that number has grown to 2,162.
Click here to see the full list of 2022 Small Business Superstars.
“It’s wonderful to be able to recognize more than 2,000 of KC’s small businesses,” Kulikov said. “They’ve kept our region moving forward thanks to their non-stop innovation, focus, and resiliency. We hope that shining a spotlight on these amazing businesses keeps them going strong.”
The Superstars recognition earns small businesses access to exclusive programming and resources, a digital marketing kit, and window clings for their business.
Continued exposure through the program is expected to help returning Superstar companies like Parrish & Sons Construction — a finalist for the 2021 Mr. K Award — to continue growing their businesses and legacies.
“Parrish & Sons Construction is honored to continue contributing to building back our communities better along with the many other businesses striving to keep our economy thriving,” said Fahteema Parrish, founder and president of Parrish & Sons. “Serving is what Kansas Citians do to preserve our homes in order to sustain a quality of life for generations to come.”
Click here to learn more about Parrish & Sons Construction’s work on the ongoing Troost Village development.