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Small Business celebration

Congratulations to our 2018 Small Business Award Winners

Mr. K Award and Small Business of the Year: Lead Bank
Specialty Award Winners
International Small Business of the Year:  Orbis Biosciences
Diverse Small Business Award:  Veracity Consulting
This award is geared towards certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Woman-owned Business Enterprise (WBE), Veteran-owned Business, LGBT or Service Disabled Veteran owned Small Business. Webb Technology has certifications as a minority, veteran, and LGBT owned business. The firm’s primary mission is app development for minority and women owned small businesses.
Entrepreneur Award:  Chicken 'N' Pickle
This award recognizes a company that is less than three years old and demonstrates a high level of entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, perseverance, innovation and determination. In 2014, the owner of J. Rieger relaunched his great-great-great grandfather’s iconic brand by teaming up with local industry professionals. In the last two years, the company has grown far larger than not just other Kansas City distilleries, but larger than 92 percent of craft distilleries in the United States.
Legacy of Kansas City Award:  The Robert E. Miller Group
The Legacy of Kansas City Award honors longevity of 15 years or more in business within the KC region, with a proven record of providing quality products and/or services in the greater Kansas City metro. Since 1970, Andrews McMeel has grown into the world’s largest independent newspaper syndicate, representing popular features such as Peanuts, Garfield, Dilbert, and Doonesbury.

Learn more about the 2018 Small Business Award Winners >>


Meet the 2018 Top 10 Small Businesses >>

2014 Candidates Showcase in Union Station

What is the Small Business Celebration?

The Small Business Celebration is recognized as one of the largest Chamber small business celebrations in the United States. The Small Business Celebration is a series of events that supports and celebrates the small business community within the Kansas City region and culminates in the selection of the Mr. K Award. This award has signified a company that has shown growth or sustainability of their business with strong employee relations and a record of giving back to the community. The coveted Mr. K Award is named for Kansas City’s own Ewing Kauffman, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Learn more about the Mr. K Award >>
Spring of 2018, small businesses have their chance to shine in Kansas City by applying for Small Business of the Year. Participating businesses are in good company with past Mr. K Award winners such as Boulevard Brewing Company, Bishop-McCann, Cerner, and MissouriBank to name a few.
Do you know a small business that should be recognized our Small Business Awards? Application deadline is February 9.

(Applying companies need to be current KC Chamber member to move on to the Application Process and to considered for the Small Business of the Year award, the Diverse Owned Business, Entrepreneur, International, and Legacy of Kansas City Award categories.)
Past Small Business of the Year Mr. K Award Winners >>

2017 Small Business Award Celebration Awards


In order to be a Top 10/Small Business Award candidate, you must meet the following criteria:
  • Must be a for-profit business headquartered in the Greater Kansas City area
  • Employ no more than 250 full-time equivalent employees
  • Be committed to good business practices
  • Have grown or sustained employee count and/or sales
  • Have a good history of employee relations
  • Must be a member of the KC Chamber by the time of application. For membership information, contact Membership at (816) 374-5403 or


Small Business Awards Luncheon

In order to be a part of one of the largest Small Business Celebrations in the United States, you will need to prepare a few items for your application:
  • Your company history
  • Description of your corporate culture
  • Description of your company's participation in community service and how you engage your employees
  • Description of how you differentiate yourself from your competitors
  • Description of where you see your company in 10 years and how you will get there
Once you have put these together in Word document form, you will need to submit them into the online application. Online applications will open December 7.

If your application is submitted by Friday, February 9, your company will receive a complimentary table (upon reservation) at the Candidates Showcase in March to display your product or service, and an invitation to the prestigious Top 10 Announcement Reception in April.


Small Business Awards Luncheon


The exposure your company gains from participating in the Small Business Celebration is a key benefit that includes showcasing your business at the Candidates' Showcase event, features in various media outlets, visibility in KC Chamber publications and website. If your company reaches the Top 10, the CEO will be invited to participate in the Top 10 Think Tank in April. The facilitated panel discussion allows you to share insight on your successes, obstacles, and the company story. Additionally, you'll become well connected with fellow nominees and alumni.


Important Dates

Below are the mandatory deadlines and dates that the CEO and/or senior leadership from applicant companies should plan to be available
  • January 19, February 2 - Application Workshops:
    After you have taken some time to look through the application, join us to get your questions answered! Learn from past winners, past Top 10 & past judges best practices to fill out your application.
  • February 9, 2018, 5:00 p.m.:
    Deadline to submit application to receive a complimentary table at the Candidates' Showcase.
  • March 28, 2018 – Small Business Candidates’ Showcase:
    This is the kick-off event of the KC Chamber's Small Business Celebration series, featuring all the Small Business applicants and providing an opportunity to showcase their products and services.
  • April 11, 2018 – Top 10 Announcement Reception:
    The announcement we've been waiting for! The 2018 Top 10 small businesses in KC will be revealed.

    Top 10 CEO Panel Breakfast
  • April 2018 (TBD) - Two days during this period will be set aside for the judges to conduct site visits to the Top 10 Small Business of the Year candidates companies. The CEO/owner must be present for their scheduled site visit. This is when your application comes alive! Show our judges your daily operations and introduce your team during a 75 minute visit. Let your company personality shine!
  • May 3, 2018 - Top 10 Think Tank: Small Business Best Practices Breakfast
    The Top 10 selected small business CEO's will participate in a moderated panel to share their best practices.
  • May 24, 2018 – Small Business Awards Luncheon:
    The finale of the Small Business Celebration. During this luncheon, we present the Mr. K Award, Diverse Small Business Award, Entrepreneur Award, International Award, and the Legacy of Kansas City Award while recognizing our nominated candidates.
If you have any questions about your application or the Small Business Celebration, please contact Laura Dryden at (816) 374-5444 or


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