Small Business of the Year Award- ‘Mr. K Award’ - This award goes to 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 late Ewing M. Kauffman was the epitome of the successful entrepreneur. And the values he both espoused and lived form the criteria for selection of the KC Chamber’s Small Business of the Year.
Mr. K started his career as a salesman, but the more orders he brought in, the more they cut his commission or territory. (It just didn’t do to make more money than the company president…)
So he quit, grinding oyster shells in his basement at night to fill the orders for calcium supplements he got during the day. That’s how Marion Labs began.
As a businessman, Mr. K was known for his appreciation for (and generosity to) his employees. And he is still loved for the many contributions he made to Greater Kansas City.
As with many business awards, candidates for the KC Chamber’s Small Business Awards are judged by the growth or sustainability of their business. But they also must have strong employee relations and a record of giving back to the community. Just like Mr. K.
Past Mr. K Award Winners
If your business does not meet the criteria for Small Business of the Year award, there are other ways for your business to be recognized in the Small Business Celebration. Consider applying for one of our three Small Business Celebration awards:
Aspirational Entrepreneur Award - This award is geared towards companies less than three years old that have been built on ideology, values, and the goal to make change through enrichment.
Legacy of Kansas City Award - This award is geared to honor longevity, quality products and/or services, and community service in small businesses more than 15 years old in the Greater Kansas City area.
Diverse Small Business of the Year Award -This award is geared towards certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Woman-owned Business Enterprise (WBE), Veteran-owned Business, or Service Disabled Veteran-owned small businesses that have demonstrated vision, leadership, and courage by achieving business success while overcoming obstacles and maintaining a strong sense of service for the community.