Houston Suburb Kingwood, TX Wins September City Challenge
Kingwood, the "Livable Forest," is a residential community located just north of Houston. With 165 unique businesses nominated, Kingwood is also our final Love A Local Business City Challenge winner!
The following five businesses were randomly selected to win a $5,000 City Challenge Grant, and Intuit will also be donating $1,000 to the Kingwood Chamber of Commerce.
Kids In Action aims to developing happy, confident kids through physical education and music programs. Owner Diane Havens started the business in 1988, leveraging her experience as a physical education teacher in the Houston school system to develop the curriculum, which now includes gym, karate, and music classes.
The North Houston franchise of Handyman Matters, owned by Bob Mabry, has been in business since 2004. His team of five works on small to medium-sized residential projects, as well as commercial projects for retail stores, including Tuesday Morning and Hollister.
Allison’s Dance Academy offers ballet, tap, jazz, clogging, hip hop, lyrical, and tumbling classes. Owner and director Allison Kirby started the business in 2008 after dancing with Sandy Calamia’s Danceworks Company for 12 years. Currently, she teaches every class along with a few student helpers.
Consignment boutique Merry-Go-Round was acquired by Suzanne Juel in 2006. By aligning the shop with her passion for helping new mothers, Juel has created a community hub that offers support services, as well as breastfeeding products, educational toys, and supplements. The work environment is very mom-friendly. Most of the part-time workers are moms who bring their children to work with them.
Smart Mommies Foundation, a spin-off non-profit organization from Merry-Go-Round, helps to provide support to new mothers through consultations and weekly meetings. The programs do not endorse any one parenting style, but are tailored to each mother’s specific needs. Juel plans to use the grant toward building the foundation's Adopt-A-Mommy program, a way for mothers with babies six to nine months old to help mothers with newborns. She says she would love to expand this organization nationally.
Looking to help a small business in your local community? Tell them about the Love A Local Business Grant Competition. We're giving away $25,000 three times a month until the end of the year!