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Finalists announced for the 2018 Greater KC Chamber’s Mr. K Award

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce created the Small Business of the Year, Mr. K Award based on the philosophies of Mr. Kauffman, including growth in business, strong employee relations, and outstanding service to the community.

Small businesses have a proven positive impact on their communities, and sometimes they grow into something truly big.

Take the story of one Kansas City man. Like many veterans today, the man left the Navy to return home to his family. He started a job. He worked hard. He generated a lot of revenue for his company, but despite that, his boss treated him unfairly.

He decided to work for himself and started a company in his basement. It was just him, starting out in a small city and borrowing from his house and some friends to get started. He used his middle name for the company, so it wouldn’t seem to be a one-person shop.

For more than three decades, the company grew – slowly at times and not on a straight line. But it became a legendary success, reporting a net profit of $227 million, providing jobs for 3,400 associates and making 300 of those associates instant millionaires following a merger in 1989. The company was Marion Laboratories and that man was Ewing Marion Kauffman.

Mr. Kauffman saw himself as a common man who did uncommon things. That’s why he celebrated the entrepreneur. He thought anyone who had an idea should be able to make that idea a reality, achieve success and give back to his or her community.

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce created the Small Business of the Year, Mr. K Award based on the philosophies of Mr. Kauffman, including growth in business, strong employee relations, and outstanding service to the community.

Just a few days ago, the KC Chamber announced its top 10 finalists for the 2018 Mr. K Award:

Congratulations to each of the finalists for achieving success, both in business and in the community. We wish you the best of luck on May 24 when the Mr. K award is announced.

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