On a global scale, small businesses represent 90% of all businesses. They’re the backbone of our economy, the strength of our communities, and the heroes that swoop in when we need them most.
This Small Business Success Month, we asked you to nominate a small business hero for their chance to win $20,000 to power their small business and grow. We received hundreds of inspiring nominations from across the country. The following three businesses were selected for their incredible commitment to serving their local communities.
In honor of the inaugural celebration of Small Business Hero Day on May 31, these are the QuickBooks + Mailchimp Small Business Heroes, and these are their stories.
The Hive brings job opportunities (and good food) to their community.
There’s a lot of buzz around The Hive in the small town of Willard, MO. Hive of the Ozarks, affectionately called The Hive, is an inclusive eatery and nonprofit founded by special education teacher Melissa Skaggs.
Inspired by her students, Melissa dreamed of a nonprofit organization that would offer job-skills training for people with varying abilities. For a long time, her dream was just that: a dream. The success rate for new small businesses in Willard hovers around 10%—and Melissa knew it. But the more she talked about her dream, the more the people of Willard encouraged her to pursue it. The tight-knit community promised to be by her side and support her every step of the way.
So, Melissa quit the teaching job she loved and threw herself into building The Hive, a cafe that serves as both a community hub and career launchpad for people with developmental disabilities. Beyond serving amazing food, The Hive offers regular art classes, community meetups, and team building activities for local companies. The Hive is also a green business, they proudly produce zero waste and donate food scraps and coffee grounds to local farmers.