Small Business Celebration

The Small Business Celebration is a series of events that supports and celebrates the small business community within the Kansas City region. It is recognized as one of the largest Chamber small business celebrations in the United States.

What is the Small Business Celebration? 

Our Celebration is a series of events where people and companies show support for the small business community within the Kansas City region, resulting in a highly competitive selection of Top 10 Small Businesses. One of these Top 10 companies is judged to be Small Business of the Year and receives the coveted Mr. K Award, named for Ewing Kauffman, entrepreneur and philanthropist, at the Small Business Awards Luncheon. To be named Small Business of the Year signifies that a company has shown growth or sustainability of their business with strong employee relations and a record of giving back to the community.

Four additional awards are presented at this Luncheon including:

  • The KC Chamber Diverse Small Business Award
  • The KC Chamber Emerging Business Award
  • The KC Chamber Weida Award for International Business
  • The KC Chamber Legacy of Kansas City Award

Why Should I Participate? 

The exposure your company gains from participating in the Small Business Celebration is unequaled in the KC region, including an exhibit table at the Candidates' Showcase event on March 27, 2019, features in various media outlets, and visibility in KC Chamber publications and website.

The Top 10 Small Businesses also participate in a CEO panel discussion to share best practices and insights on successes, obstacles, and company achievements with KC leaders. Additionally, you'll become well connected with fellow nominees and Small Business Award alumni.

Overall, the small business awards process provides your company the opportunity for brand exposure, access to key business leaders, team camaraderie, and strategic planning. Be sure to give the application a look. Even if you don’t think you’d qualify for Small Business of the Year, you may find yourself in the running for one of our additional awards. The Candidates’ Showcase networking alone and Chamber connections you’ll make through the process can be most valuable.

Small Business Celebration 2018, Small Business Award of the Year Winner, 2018
Small Business Celebration 2018, Mr. K Award
Small Business Celebration 2018, Table with Food and Flowers

How to get involved

Nominate a Candidate

Nominations have closed for the 2020 Small Business of the Year

Qualify as a Candidate

In order to be a Top 10 or 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. 

There is only one application to fill out for all of the Small Business Awards we offer. Your application responses will determine your eligibility for any of our additional Small Business Awards and will trigger additional questions for Legacy, Entrepreneur, International, or Diverse, if applicable.

For membership information, contact Membership at (816) 374-5403 or

Apply as a Candidate

In order to be a part of this opportunity, you will need to prepare a few items for your award application:

  • Your company history
  • Description of your corporate culture
  • Description of your company's participation in community service and employee engagement programs
  • Description of how you differentiate your company from your competitors
  • Description of where you see your company in 10 years and how you will achieve that goal

The online application will be available starting December 1, 2018. To be able to start, stop, and restart the application without losing any work, you must enable cookies in your browser before beginning, and revisit the application on the same device and in the same browser where you started it.

For questions regarding the Small Business Awards Application, call (816) 374-5480 or email

Dates to Remember

November 18, 2019 - Nominations close

Small Business Celebration 2018, Sponsors
Small Business Celebration 2018, Chicken and Pickle, 2018
Small Business Celebration 2018, Host Panel

Resources for Small Businesses

The KC Chamber loves to help small businesses make important connections and find appropriate resources to help their companies grow. You can start by contacting Tayler Hammersmith, Manager of Small Business and Strategic Partnerships, at (816) 374-5480 or

Member Discounts

Every little bit of savings helps and the KC Chamber offers discount programs that are ideal for small businesses. You’ll want to check out our discounts on cell phones, office products, payroll services, and certificate of origin processing. You can also learn how to offer a selection of health insurance plans while still controlling your costs. Review our cost saving benefits!

Small Business Priorities

Small businesses who align with the KC Chamber will find their voice amplified in Washington D.C., Jefferson City, Topeka, and KCMO City Hall. You can browse our Public Policy Agendas to learn more about the Chamber’s specific small business priorities.

Learn more about the Candidates' Showcase

Learn more about this year's Small Business Award candidates!

Our Sponsors