The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2021 Small Business of the Year is Charlie Hustle! Founder and CEO Chase McAnulty accepted the Mr. K Award at the Chamber’s Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon, Thursday June 24 at the Downtown Marriott.

This is the third time Charlie Hustle was named a Top 10 Small Business, a previous finalist in 2018 and 2019, but the first time coming home a winner. In 2020, McAnulty did not participate in the Small Business Celebration in order to focus on steering the company through the COVID pandemic. “Over the years we’ve build a great brand, but over the past two or three years we’ve really focused on building a great business.”

McAnulty began Charlie Hustle out of his parents’ basement in 2011, because he loved vintage t-shirts. Since then, the business moved from that basement to a headquarters in the Crossroads, a Plaza storefront, and an online presence that accounts for more than 60% of Charlie Hustle’s sales. Their inventory also includes socks, hats, flags, face masks, shorts, and even pet apparel.

Charlie Hustle stood out this year for its commitment to giving back to the community, focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, supporting employees during COVID, and the growth the company experienced despite the pandemic.

 The Chamber also awarded the Specialty Awards at the Luncheon. Those awards and the winners include:

The KC Chamber Small Business Celebration has been a business community mainstay for more than 30 years. It’s recognized as one of the largest Chamber small business celebrations in the United States. The Small Business of the Year receives the coveted Mr. K Award, named for Ewing Kauffman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. To be named Small Business of the Year signifies that a company has shown growth or sustainability of their business, has strong employee relations, a record of giving back to the community, and prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion.  

Overall 2021 Small Business Programming Presented By Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas City and Evergy. Our CEO Level Sponsor is Honeywell. Candidates’ Showcase Presenting Sponsor is American Century Investments. Top 10 Announcement Presenting Sponsor is UMB. Top 10 CEO Panel Reception Presenting Sponsor is Bank Midwest. Awards Luncheon Presenting Sponsor is Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Partner Level Sponsor H&R Block. A/V Production Sponsor is HMXLiveMedia Sponsor is Startland NewsSuperstars Sponsor is FastSigns Overland ParkAssociate Level Sponsors are Bank of Blue ValleyCountry Club Bank, Enterprise Bank & TrustMazuma Credit UnionMenloTREKK Design Group, LLC and US Bank.