Community leaders honor small businesses

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Local leaders call small business the backbone of the Shawnee County community and, on Tuesday, they honored some of the best.

For the past 38 years, the Greater Topeka Partnership has honored those small businesses because they say they are one of the main reasons Topeka is what it is today.

“They might be the most important thing we have going on,” said Greater Topeka Partnership CEO Matt Pivarnik.

Small businesses make up 48 percent of the jobs in Shawnee County.

“80% of our growth is going to come from these businesses,” Pivarnik continued.

Tuesday, several of them were honored at the Greater Topeka Partnership Small Business Awards luncheon. The Women Business of Distinction winner was Century Business Technologies, which started in Topeka and grew statewide.

“This was never really anything that I guess dreamed of, and it just kind of happened that way. Throughout my life I just had a lot of people that helped me,” said Dawn McCabe, CEO of Century Business Technologies.

Support also helped the recipient of the Minority Business of Distinction, Bowser Johnson Funeral Chapel. Dr. Harriet Johnson’s husband who recently passed away loved the community.

“We’ve stuck together. We’ve cared about one another and we’ve supported one another. And that’s what the community totally needs,” said Dr. Johnson.

Sticking together is what keeps Let’s Help going and how they won the non-profit award of distinction.

“There is amazing talent in Topeka and wonderful organizations doing great work. There is a tremendous need so it’s exciting to be recognized among the leaders in our community,” said Let’s Help CEO, Linda Kehres.

Tapping into each other’s talents is how the Greater Topeka Partnership thrives.

“I’d like to encourage all businesses to try and do business with one another in Topeka and Shawnee County,” said Pivarnik.

Other award winners include Happy Basset Brewing for Emerging Entrepreneur of Distinction.

T.K. Business Magazine for Small Business Advocate, and Schendel Lawn and Landscape for the Capitol City Business of Distinction award.