From a rapidly expanding restaurant chain to a 24/7 daycare facility to a workforce training and information technology leader building a statewide footprint, the finalists for the 2022 Small Business of the Year award run the gamut of forward-thinking Kansas City ventures, said Joe Reardon.
“Every year I become more and more impressed with our Top 10,” said Reardon, president and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. “These incredible small businesses have shown resilience and innovation over the past year to be here at this moment. We are so proud to continue supporting small businesses and recognize how they keep Kansas City moving forward.”
Finalists were selected after a recent Candidate Showcase at Union Station where participants exhibited their companies for members of the public, civic and business leaders, and independent judges working on behalf of the Chamber selection team.
These finalists — the Top 10 for 2022 — are now competing to be named Small Business of the Year and take home the prestigious “Mr. K Award” (named for Ewing Kauffman, the iconic Kansas City entrepreneur and philanthropist). Earning the honor signifies that a company has shown growth or sustainability of their business with strong employee relations, a record of giving back to the community, and prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Recent winners have included sporting goods ecommerce giant Pro Athlete and Kansas City-based apparel company Charlie Hustle, which hosted an event Thursday at its Crossroads headquarters for candidates vying for the 2022 award.
The 10 finalist companies publicly unveiled on social media Friday morning include:
- Chicken N Pickle — A unique, indoor/outdoor entertainment complex featuring a casual, chef-driven restaurant and sports bar along with pickleball courts, ping pong, and a variety of yard games. (Returning finalist)
- Crux KC — Combines executive-level marketing and business strategy to provide a simple, smart and affordable marketing solution for its clients. (Returning finalist)
- DEMDACO — Specializes in artist-driven gift and home décor products that lift the spirit and help people connect in meaningful ways.
- KD Academy — A just-expanded facility on Prospect Avenue featuring 24/7 child care, before and after school programs, and nutritious meals for infants through 5-year-olds.
- Midwest Recovery Centers — An extended care treatment facility that aims to provide quality addiction treatment in a safe and structured environment with the help of professional therapy, education, and 12-step support. (Returning finalist)
- Parrish & Sons Construction — A 100 percent minority woman-owned construction company in Kansas City and provider of Construction Earthwork: site clearing, excavation, grading, demolition and hauling. (Returning finalist)
- Resolve Counseling — A Prairie Village-based counseling and wellness center founded with the mission to reach out and serve the needs of the community with services specialized to the individual.
- RK Contractors — A family-first contractor and roofing company that uses skilled workers who are Middle Eastern immigrants and refugees to help customers achieve the best experience and quality possible.
- SnapIT Solutions — Provides IT services, solutions and placements for companies of all sizes through a personalized, scalable model and low-risk alternative to sourcing talent while providing access to education, resources and training for underrepresented populations.
- Walz Tetrick Advertising — A full-service marketing, creative and media agency that is fanatical about solving tough problems with evolutionary marketing; a strategy to use integrated media, creative and digital marketing campaigns that maximizes the effectiveness of budgets across all consumer touchpoints.
Click here to read more about the Honeywell Fan Favorite award winners, determined by a public vote after the April 21 Candidate Showcase at Union Station.
Up next: The Mr. K Award is set to be announced during the June 15 Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon at the Marriott Muehlebach Tower.
Check out a photo gallery below from a Happy Hour Thursday at Charlie Hustle that honored 2022 candidates for the award, then keep reading.
In addition to Small Business of the Year, the following specialty awards are also expected to be presented at the Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon:
- Emerging Business Award
- Small Business Equity Award
- Weida Award for International Small Business of the Year
- Legacy of Kansas City Award
Click here to see who took home the 2021 Emerging Business Award.
The Chamber this week also announced open nominations for its Champion of Diversity Award.
In 2021, the organization awarded the honor to Cerner, as well as recognizing Troost Market Collective as its Nonprofit Champion of Diversity (a first for the award).
Click here to apply by May 15.
Winning businesses are able to demonstrate their organizational practices are inclusive of all people and have a strong focus on diversity in their workplace, diversity supplier partnerships, and in the KC community.
Honorees are expected to be announced at the Chamber’s Power of Diversity Breakfast.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.