Invest Atlanta hosted the second annual Excellence in Small Business Awards at The Gathering Spot on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 to honor Atlanta’s outstanding small businesses. Eight Atlanta businesses were recognized for all they’ve done to strengthen our city’s small business sector.
“Your determination has made Atlanta one of the most vibrant city’s for small business,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “Whether it’s a tech startup or a brick and mortar business serving the community, entrepreneurs like you throughout Atlanta are changing our city for the better. You’re not only selling products and services, you’re creating new jobs, and building stronger communities. It’s your determination that has made Atlanta’s small business sector strong and successful.”
The theme of the event was “Strengthening the Entrepreneurial Spirit,” with entrepreneur and Spotify senior manager Amber Grimes delivering a riveting keynote address about the power of perseverance in the face of adversity.
“Don’t let anyone, ever, dim your light,” she told the audience.
This year, the first Excellence in Small Business Pitch Competition took place during the event, which brought together three emerging entrepreneurs to present how their business would create new economic opportunities. The presenters were Ngozi Chuku from Reel Chemistry, JaQuis McCullough from Numis, and Mbye Nije from Legal Equalizer. Legal Equalizer, an app that provides a crash course in civil and constitutional rights, took home the top prize.
The 2017 Small Business Excellence Award recipients were:
- Spotlight Award: Atlanta Movie Tours, Inc.
- Excellence In Longevity: Like a River Salon and Spa LLC
- Franchise Excellence: This Is It! Seafood & BBQ
- Entrepreneur Of The Year: Watkins Mortuary Inc.
- Manufacturing Excellence: The Good Hair Shop LLC
- Expansion Excellence: Brewed to Serve Restaurant Group Inc.’
- Community Favorite: The Trophy Room Barbershop LLC
- Start-Up Excellence: Doux South Specialties LLC
The event sponsors were: Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc., Wharton Law, Ground Floor, New Realm Brewing Company, New Africa Business Association of Atlanta, and Shay Latte.
Since 2001, Invest Atlanta has invested more than $11.5 million in 187 small businesses in the City of Atlanta, leveraging an additional $32.5 million from the private sector.