This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By The BizLaunch Team

Emerald Massage Center is a woman-owned small business specializing in deep tissue, Swedish, hot stone and sports massages located in the Lyon Park neighborhood of Arlington.

“We love being in Lyon Park because it’s so charming and close to the Clarendon Metro station,” owner Amanda Silva said.

Having immigrated to the United States from Brazil at the age of 13, owning a small business has been a dream of a lifetime.

In her early twenties, Amanda became a licensed massage therapist. After working several years at various corporate massage franchises, in June 2019, Amanda decided to develop her business plan and Emerald Massage Center became a reality.

“My business partner was born and raised in Arlington and knows how great the community is,” Silva said when asked why she decided to locate her new venture in Arlington.

Like many entrepreneurs getting their business started, “I tackled everything myself,” described Silva when opening her new business — from creating the LLC to finding the commercial space, applying for permits, decorating and marketing her business.

Of course, starting a business hasn’t come without challenges, and the global pandemic has made the intimate nature of massage therapy difficult.

“My business was actually starting to take off the ground and do really well in February of 2020, only to be closed in March for nearly four months by the coronavirus,” Silva said.

Despite these challenges, Emerald Massage Center has been fortunate to have a loyal customer base, including Ruth Garvey, daughter of Libby Garvey, a member of the Arlington County Board.

“Ruth and her husband have been regular clients and have been wonderfully supportive of Emerald Massage Center,” Silva said.

Additionally, the ability to recruit talented massage therapists has been a huge added value to her business.

“Grady McGonagle’s knowledge, attention to detail and experience at five-star luxury spas in Washington, D.C. has been a great contribution to my business,” she said.

Over the next five years, Emerald Massage Center’s focus is growth with plans to remain at the same Lyon Park location.

“I really enjoy checking out the wonderful farmer’s markets in Arlington, eating at Pupatella Neapolitan Pizzeria and El Fuego Peruvian Kitchen,” Silva said. “I think that coming from extreme poverty has made me really appreciate all of the affluence and prosperity that Arlington has to offer.”

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

“Disruption creates space for entrepreneurs.” — Kevin Sneader and Shubham Singhal, McKinsey & Company

The health pandemic fundamentally changed the way we do business. In 2020, we began operating in a changed world, conducting business online and virtually.

According to an insightful article by McKinsey & Company, our “new normal” is changing how we do business in the short and long term. In 2021, entrepreneurship numbers are up, and the need for technology is high. Access to capital is paramount to ensure an entrepreneur can access the tools they need to compete. How do we blend the increase in small business formation and the ongoing need to access capital to new and existing businesses?

Arlington Economic Development (AED) is committed to providing the professional tools small businesses need to compete in our “new normal.” ReLaunch is a new initiative sponsored by BizLaunch Arlington’s Small Business and Entrepreneurial Assistance Network to help newly launched and existing businesses adjust to the “new normal.” What’s the cost to participate? It is a free tool underwritten by AED.

Hear what businesses are saying about ReLaunch…

“Manoukian Oriental Rugs was grateful to have been selected for Arlington Economic Development’s ReLaunch program,” The Manoukian Family said. “The consultation improved our understanding of a strategic asset, which helped us position our business for better customer service and smarter growth. Thank you, team AED!”

The Manoukian Family owns Manoukian Brothers Oriental Rugs located at 2330 Columbia Pike in Arlington.

The program is divided into three key areas:

  • ReVitalize (access to complimentary professional business consultants)
  • ReNew (access to the latest tech to get online)
  • ReBuild (all the newest info on grants, loans and resources to help small businesses fight the effects of the pandemic)

We identified these critical areas in a recent survey administered by AED, which showed most businesses need access to capital and would spend the cash on technology, consulting and legal assistance. Hence, we designed ReLaunch to meet the needs of Arlington’s small business ecosystem and promote growth, despite the effects of the pandemic.

AED will be accepting rolling applications from eligible Arlington-based businesses from now through Dec. 10, 2021. AED will underwrite costs to build either a website or eCommerce tool and to work directly with a consultant. Businesses will need to pay a small fee after Dec. 31, 2021, to maintain their website and eCommerce tool; however, Arlington County underwrites the development of the solution.

The Service Providers

  • The ReVitalize program is administered by Revby. Revby is an experienced provider of small business consulting services and believes in the importance of businesses’ positive impact on the local community.
  • The ReNew program is powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and administered by Nub8. Nub8 is an experienced provider of online services in the cloud and has excellent expertise in helping small businesses launch online.

If you are an eligible small business located in Arlington, Virginia, we encourage you to apply for ReLaunch today. All you need to decide is what service you’d like to receive. For more information visit


This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Alex Held, Small Business Manager

Originally a personal chef for celebrities in Atlanta, Jennifer Jones, Creative Founder of Cosmopolitan Plated, launched her company in Arlington in 2016.

“I went from a personal chef who needed something more out of life to start a business where I could fully incorporate who I am,” Jones said.

In searching for markets to locate Cosmopolitan Plated, the Washington region attracted Jones. She knew the area had a large target demographic of consumers with high disposable incomes, wanting to connect with others through creative group cooking experiences.

Cosmopolitan Plated’s initial offering was a $40 class called “Dinner on the Dime,” a weekday class on Capitol Hill that taught attendees how to make fun, fast and affordable meals.

“I wanted to create a class where people felt comfortable to come as they are, and the outside world didn’t matter,” Jones said.

As Cosmopolitan Plated added additional classes, including Brunch & Bubbly, more people became aware of the experiences, and the company’s following grew. During this time, companies became interested in Cosmopolitan Plated for customized team-building workshops, using cooking to create a stronger bond among teams.

“There are no titles or hierarchy in my cooking classes, and once you drop that, it provides an opportunity to see people for themselves,” Jones said.

From 2017 through 2019, Cosmopolitan Plated saw consistent growth from community referrals and media placements within the B2B and B2C segments. In 2019 Jones came to BizLaunch for expansion ideas and connections, enabling her to fully realize her company’s potential.

Then came 2020.

“In January 2020, I thought 2020 was going to be the best year ever, as I exceeded my revenue target week after week,” Jones said.

In February 2020, Jones began to notice a decline within her B2C clientele as the COVID-19 pandemic began taking hold in other countries. Meanwhile, a client mentioned that their company was suspending all travel and meetings indefinitely.

“I realized after speaking with my client that if people can’t get physically together, I’m out of business,” Jones said.

However, she continued to push forward and reimagined her business model to prepare for a COVID-19 world.

“I went on Amazon and began ordering earpieces, mics, lights and other digital streaming tools, and by the first week in March, I was up online and prepared to offer classes digitally,” Jones said.

By this time, the shutdowns began coming state by state, and Jones quickly tested her digital platform and used ARLnow’s free event listings to market her new service offerings.

“I wanted to give community information to help people prepare, and so my digital classes became a Q&A initially,” Jones said.

Since Cosmopolitan Plated began offering classes online in March 2020, it’s allowed the company to become more multifaceted. Originally, Cosmopolitan Plated primarily served customers within the Washington region. Now, Cosmopolitan Plated is serving clients all across the United States — and internationally, with her recent team-building workshop with a company based in the United Kingdom.

“During the last year, the resource that has helped the most was the community, from referrals and testimonials from customers and community members sharing necessary information. It’s helped to sustain and grow my business from the very beginning and helped it thrive during a challenging year,” Jones said.

If you’re a small business owner in Arlington and need help making your business more multifaceted like Cosmopolitan Plated, BizLaunch can help. Our new program, ReLaunch, provides firms with no-cost business consulting and website or e-commerce solutions. Visit for information and apply today.

For more information about Cosmopolitan Plated, including how to book a custom team-building workshop or to take one of her virtual cooking classes, visit


This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Alex Held, Small Business Manager

So much has changed since March 2020. Our world has shifted, and many say we are now facing a “New Normal.”

It’s hard to imagine, but today marks one year of COVID-19 restrictions in Virginia. Since then, restaurants changed their operations to comply with the state limitations and to keep their customers and employees safe. However, there is no doubt the restrictions have negatively impacted many restaurants’ bottom line.

When the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) approached us to support their innovative Buy a Nurse Lunch program this week, we were thrilled to take part.  With donations, the program purchases meals from local restaurants, which are then sent to frontline workers at Arlington Free Clinic, Arlington Pediatric Center, Mary Marshall Assisted Living and Virginia Hospital Center.

And, on the note of supporting local restaurants and with March an ode to women throughout history, we wanted to use this as an opportunity to support and highlight three diverse women-owned restaurants in Columbia Pike.

Rincome Thai Cuisine

Founded in 1985 by Mihee Pansiri, her late husband Kenny and her sister Miok An, Rincome Thai Cuisine serves authentic Thai food on Columbia Pike. The sisters are Korean American and have incorporated traditional Korean dishes such as bulgogi and homemade kimchi to their menu.

“If you want the kimchi to go, then this is the place to get it,” Pansiri said. “Once you try it, you will be coming back for more, like many of my customers.” Like many restaurants, Rincome has altered its operations, and the entire family has pitched in to help.

Even Rincome’s longtime customers have offered support through continued patronage and knowledge sharing about funding opportunities such as Arlington County’s Small Business Emergency GRANT, which they received last summer.

“It’s nice, and our customers care,” Pansiri said. “Many of them began coming to us when they were young with their parents. Now they are fully grown with children of their own.”

Through these challenging times, CPRO’s Buy a Nurse Lunch program has provided them with additional revenue to support their staff and continue operations. “It’s been a lifeline for us,” Pansiri said.

If you are interested in checking out Rincome Thai Cuisine, the restaurant opens at 4 p.m. for in-person dining and is located at 3030 Columbia Pike. They are also available online for pickup and delivery orders.

Wine lovers take note: Rincome launched a wine club — Rincome Wine O’Clock, where members receive two different Austrian wines every month. Follow them on Facebook to learn more.

Dama Ethiopian Restaurant

Ethiopia is calling. Interested in tasting the rich flavors of the East African country but not able to travel because of the pandemic? Fear not. Arlington has its very own authentic award-winning Ethiopian restaurant.

Dama Ethiopian Restaurant has been serving deliciousness at 1503 Columbia Pike since 2000. While Dama is primarily known for traditional Ethiopian and vegan cuisine, they also have a wide selection of European-styled pastries and coffees, which are extremely popular with customers.

Like many restaurants, Dama Ethiopian Restaurant wasn’t expecting a pandemic to strike in 2020. “We sought to pivot and outreach to our customers in new ways,” owner Amsale Selassie said.

Similarly, Dama had to change the way it did business to comply with the stay-at-home orders.

“Arlington’s Small Business Emergency GRANT helped us to adjust and pivot, and we also applied for the Temporary Outdoor Seating Area, which helped maintain our regular customers and bring new ones to the outdoor space,” Selassie said.

Having been well known for many years in Arlington, Dama Ethiopian Restaurant has cultivated a loyal customer base. “The support from our customers during this time has been instrumental in helping us stay afloat,” Selassie said.

If you’re interested in trying Dama Ethiopian Restaurant, they are open for indoor and outdoor dining, takeout and delivery. Check out their menu online and follow them on Facebook.

Café Sazon

Café Sazon is a family-owned business founded in 2010 and is known for its fusion of a variety of Latin American flavors using fresh, high-quality ingredients. As with many restaurants a year ago, Café Sazon temporarily closed for two months.

“It was hard in the beginning,” says Café Sazon founder Claudia Camacho.”Especially having to close, then coming back.” Luckily Café Sazon was able to source emergency capital from the Paycheck Protection Program and Arlington’s Small Business Emergency GRANT.

Then when they reopened last summer, Café Sazon had the opportunity to participate in the Buy a Nurse Lunch program.

“We were thrilled with the opportunity to participate in the program,” Camacho said. “The program provides us additional revenue and the opportunity to support nurses in our community.”

Similarly, to Rincome and Dama, Café Sazon has a loyal customer base that has been extremely supportive during these challenging times. “The support that we get from customers every day from buying gift cards, ordering takeout or delivery, and now that we have our outdoor patio, we’re starting to see them back,” Camacho said.

If you are interested in trying Café Sazon, they are located at 4704 Columbia Pike, and are open for takeout, indoor and outdoor dining, and delivery. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to learn more.


This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Alex Held, Small Business Manager

While Columbia Pike Laundry has been a staple of Columbia Pike since 1993, we wanted to highlight how the owners, Daniel and Dara Logan, are leveraging technology in their small business to better serve their customers and reach additional markets within the region.

The Problem

Being busy professionals and balancing work and family schedules themselves, the Logans understood the chore of laundry and could empathize with customers who have similar schedule demands. When they purchased the firm in June 2018, they wanted to continue providing self-service laundry while offering additional convenience for customers, who, like them, felt as though they had too few hours in a day.

“We wanted to provide convenience to our customers, similarly to how many of them order a ride or food through an app,” Daniel says.

Furthermore, many of their competitors were already tech-enabled, making it even more imperative to adapt.

The Solution

Initially, Columbia Pike Laundry launched wash and fold laundry service as part of its service mix and started going after business accounts. Then in November 2018, the Logans established their laundromat online (, allowing customers the ability to schedule a pickup for wash and fold service, complete their purchase, and have it delivered within the website or app. After the initial launch online, they began to acquire additional customers through their platform.

Toward the end of 2019, they updated their website and app, making it easier for customers to navigate. “I’m a lifelong digital learner,” Daniel says. “We’re constantly making improvements to make it easier for our customers to access our services, and we still offer clients the ability to call and schedule a pickup.”

Then in March 2020, the world changed, and as with many small businesses, Columbia Pike Laundry was not immune to the abrupt shift caused by the pandemic.

“Our self-service segment saw a dip as a result of the pandemic, and while it has since rebounded, our self-service segment has mostly plateaued,” Daniel says.

However, because Columbia Pike Laundry took the necessary steps to enable technology in their business, the investment helped them reach new customers and made them more resilient and ready to adapt to the changing times.

“Now where we see consistent growth is not only with our B2C customer base but also with the B2B segment, which we can directly attribute to our website and app,” Daniel says.

And heads up: Columbia Pike Laundry is offering new customers a 25% discount on their first order. Use promo code BIZLAUNCH25 at checkout to take advantage of this special offer for readers.

“We enjoy serving Arlington and the surrounding communities,” Daniel says.

Next Steps

If you’re ready to enable technology in your small business but don’t know where to begin, the BizLaunch Team is here for you. Visit to take advantage of some of the free tools developed to help you get online and sign up for our newsletter to be notified when applications for ReLaunch go live.


This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Since BizLaunch’s inception 20 years ago, we’ve hosted numerous workshops to educate small business owners about the tools and resources available to help them take their business online. While many have launched an online marketplace, some have felt that they’ve been in business long enough and that their customers know who they are or haven’t seen the need to develop an online presence until recently.

Since the abrupt shift in consumer behavior that started with the shutdown orders last March, it’s becoming clear that many of these new trends are here to stay. A recent survey from McKinsey & Co. found that three out of four consumers have tried a new shopping method within the last year. Nearly 70% of consumers surveyed intend to continue buying online for store pickup.

Before 2020, much of the growth of e-commerce was driven by millennial consumers and early adopters. Now with many baby boomers at higher risk for developing complications from contracting COVID-19, they are embracing online shopping. Between January and October of 2020, consumers 65 and older spent on average $1,615 online, a 49% increase from the previous year, according to The Washington Post. National brands are taking note, expanding customer support, educating customers how to shop online, and making their platforms more accessible and intuitive to cater to baby boomers.

In developing programming to support small businesses dealing with the ongoing public health emergency, the BizLaunch team was mindful of the need for capital but that the amount available wouldn’t be very impactful to the majority of businesses. From there, ReLaunch was born, a new initiative from BizLaunch in partnership with Amazon Web Services and additional partners to provide in-depth technical assistance, financial assistance to build out a website and an e-commerce platform, and numerous free resources.

Our first program in a four-part series, held last week, gave an overview of the program along with free technology consultations. On Feb. 18, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Business and Nub8 will discuss how small businesses can utilize Lightsail to build a website and e-commerce platform and to sell through

Additional information about ReLaunch, including how to leverage the resources outlined for your small business, is available at Stay up to date with us by signing up for our e-newsletter or following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and now TikTok.

Si está interesado en aprender más acerca de los nuevos recursos disponibles que tiene BizLaunch para apoyar su negocio por favor visite la página web Adicional a ello si desea recibir información sobre diferentes iniciativas y recursos ofrecidos para su negocio suscríbase a nuestro boletín electrónico.

@aedbizlaunchAre you looking for FREE technical services? Click the link in our bio to get exactly that. #voiceeffects #arlingtonva #fyp #smallbusiness #ReLaunch♬ original sound – Josh Lepulu


This article was written by Tara Palacios, Director of BizLaunch, and Alex Held, Small Business Manager, at Arlington Economic Development.

BizLaunch is pleased to officially announce its latest initiative to help small businesses during the health pandemic, ReLaunch, which kicks off this month with a webinar on Jan. 27. As part of the ReLaunch efforts, local businesses will have the opportunity to apply for a complimentary suite of business services and technology assistance to help their business in the upcoming months.

If you’d like to be sent a notification about the upcoming initiative or to learn more about what’s happening in the small business community in Arlington, please sign up for our BizLaunch newsletter. We hope you apply!

Paycheck Protection Program Update

On Monday Jan. 11, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for new PPP borrowers. Starting today, small businesses that have received PPP funding previously are able to apply for additional PPP funding accessing what is called a Second Draw PPP Loan.

In order to promote access to capital, only community financial institutions are able to make First Draw and Second Draw PPP loans this week. Community financial institutions include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs) and Microloan Intermediaries. To help borrowers prepare, sample applications for both the First Draw and Second Draw PPP loans are available on the SBA’s website.

In Arlington, two of our CDFI partners, Latino Economic Development Center and ECDC Enterprise Development Group, are both participating in the program, and businesses that don’t currently have a relationship with a 7(a) lender are able to apply. Shortly thereafter, the program will open to all participating PPP lenders, and all eligible businesses will be able to apply for the program. Businesses should consult with their financial institution, and visit the SBA’s website to learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program in order to take advantage of this resource.

For more information about capital resources available through the SBA, visit its website and stay up to date with us by signing up for our email.


This article was written by Tara Palacios, Director of BizLaunch at Arlington Economic Development.

This week marks the official beginning of the holiday season. Sugar plums and New Year’s Eve preparations are generally at hand; however, many business owners are navigating the negative impact of the current health pandemic on their business. What are the key action items you should do for your business before the year ends?

BizLaunch recommends these five steps to take before we say hello to 2021:

1. Before the year ends check in with your accountant.

Before you know it, tax season will be upon us during the first quarter of 2021. If your business was awarded a CARES Act forgivable grant from a government entity you will need to take the funds in as income. You will want to know how those funds will impact your bottom line before the tax season begins. The Paycheck Protection Loans (PPP) have new guidance as well from the U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Treasury Department encourages businesses to utilize the forgiveness portion of the PPP as soon as possible.

2. Undertake a business audit.

Be ready for funding opportunities in 2021. If Congress successfully passes an additional stimulus package for the U.S .before the end of 2020, ensure your business is prepared. Do a quick business audit so you can apply and be awarded funds. Here is a quick crib sheet to audit your business and be prepared for new potential opportunities in 2021:

3. Pivot again in 2021? Be open to your options.

The impact of the health pandemic changes daily. It’s challenging to design a long-term plan as a business with so many unknowns; however, as a business owner you will want to have a pulse of what is going on in your industry real-time. Some trends may be long lasting, and you’ll want to stay ahead of the fray. However, pivoting again based on the facts of the moment may help your organization as we move into 2021. Follow the opportunities, and think twice before you keep doing business as usual since these are unusual times we are living in.

4. Follow the opportunities in 2021.

Pay close to attention to emails and newsletters that support local businesses. If there are grants, resources and potential business prospects, you don’t want to miss an opportunity because you didn’t know about it. If you haven’t already, sign up for our Economic Development newsletter and BizLaunch newsletter. We will be communicating all business intelligence we find in those communications platforms.

5. Reach out for help.

You may feel like the world is on your shoulders; however, reach out for help when you need it. Don’t wait. The longer you wait, the harder the challenge becomes. We recommend having a business mentor or participating in a mentorship program to help you work through an issue you are facing. It may help you look at the situation in a different way or allow you to speak with someone who has faced a similar challenge. Watch this space because BizLaunch is planning to offer new resources for our business in the coming year.


This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Over the weekend and especially in Arlington, shoppers came out across the country to support local businesses on Small Business Saturday.

Here in Arlington, BizLaunch has been abuzz with local businesses showcasing their products, offering special discounts or even giving a behind-the-scenes preview of their stores. With small business facing many challenges this year, there’s never been a more important time to #shopsmall and specifically #shoparl.

There’s still time to have your business featured on our social media or if you have a favorite business that you’d like for us to profile let us know in the comments. Sign up today and check out some of the businesses we featured as part of Small Business Saturday below.

Follow @aedbizlaunch on Instagram to see more features from local businesses.

Now we want to hear from you. In the comment section, let us know your favorite local businesses that you’d like to see us profile.


This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

With 2020 being an incredibly difficult year for small businesses, it is important for our community to come together and support our local businesses this holiday shopping season and #ShopARL when possible.

As an Arlington resident, there are many ways you can support small businesses this holiday season, the most important to remember is to #shopsmall and #shopARL whenever possible. To help you search for local businesses, BizLaunch has compiled a list of small businesses on our business directory or check out our story highlights on Instagram to see the businesses featured as part of our holiday takeover.

American Express has also developed a handy tool that puts small businesses on the map, literally. When you shop local don’t forget to use #ShopARL, we’ll reshare.

As part of our marketing efforts for Small Business Saturday (November 28), we’re giving Arlington small businesses the opportunity to take over our Facebook and Instagram story feed for an entire day. What is a social media takeover? A social media takeover is your opportunity to highlight your small business on our Facebook and Instagram. All through November and December, small businesses can submit video and photo content to be included in our Facebook and Instagram stories.

More than ever, consumers want to support small and local businesses, and we want to help small businesses reach them. Ready to take over @aedbizlaunch? Follow these three simple steps to help you prepare for your takeover day.

  1. Create Your Content: Think about what you what you want to share with potential customers. Your story could include the products you sell, holiday specials, or even your entrepreneurial story. For more tips and ideas of what to include, check out our filming guidelines. Don’t forget to film your video vertically for best results. For maximum exposure submit at least three different videos, each no longer than one (1) minute. Also check out our Instagram for a sample takeover to get your creativity going.
  2. Submit Your Content: Have all your content and ready to submit? Use this form to upload your content. Feel free to include additional content such as pictures, logos, etc., that you also want included. The BizLaunch team will reach out to you to schedule your takeover date. Currently, takeovers are scheduled on a first come first served basis.
  3. Sit Back and Relax: In reality, it’s only two simple steps, but with e-commerce dominating the retail landscape, here are some simple tips to help your business.

We hope you join us in sporting small businesses this holiday season and we look forward in featuring Arlington small businesses all throughout the holidays.


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.


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