This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
By Alex Held, Small Business Manager
As one of our inaugural SWaMmy Honorees, Dana Mitchell, Founder of ButtarCup Fancy Face Painting, noted in her recorded speech, livestreamed on October 15 at the inaugural SWaMmy Honors, “COVID-19 and 2020 has been quite mean.”
Many businesses across Virginia have gone to extraordinary lengths to pivot but remaining consistent and apparent in many video submissions submitted by small businesses from across the commonwealth was their passion for their business and the perseverance to succeed.
The SWaMmy Honors was originally envisioned as an in-person awards celebration to be held in May in Richmond. However, like many of the small businesses we serve, we ourselves had to pivot and reimagine the program, but one aspect of the program that remained constant was our desire to promote and recognize Arlington’s and Virginia’s inclusive business community.
Along with our partners, BizLaunch and the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, sprang into action to reimagine The SWaMmy Honors, coming up with the idea to have SWaM certified businesses who had originally submitted a nomination before we were forced to cancel the May celebration and businesses from across the commonwealth the opportunity to submit a short video talking about their passion, how they pivoted and their small business story. The best videos would be included as part of the livestreamed program.
We were touched and inspired by the stories many small businesses shared in their video submissions, that we felt it was wrong to keep it a secret. Therefore to celebrate Virginia’s diverse and passionate small business community, we compiled all the videos which included over 60 minutes of recorded content submitted by businesses into a YouTube playlist to share their stories with the world.
We hope you are inspired as we were by the passion, compassion and perseverance of Virginia’s small business community.