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30 July 2021

The UPS Store Names Dr. Kimberly McGlonn, Grant BLVD Founder, Winner of the 2021 Virtual Small Biz Challenge

Competition honors resilience of entrepreneurs

The UPS Store, Inc., in partnership with Inc. magazine, has announced Dr. Kimberly McGlonn, founder and owner of Grant BLVD, as the winner of the third annual “Small Biz Challenge.” Out of more than 2,000 business owners and entrepreneurs who applied for this year’s contest, Kimberly and four other finalists were selected to compete at the Virtual Studio Event. The grand prize of $25,000 and a feature in a future issue of Inc. magazine was awarded to Kimberly for demonstrating excellence and innovation on her approach to business challenges during the competition.

The Small Biz Challenge served as a way to recognize and celebrate those small business owners who have gone above and beyond, regained momentum and adapted to meet ever-changing consumer demands. “In a year which small business owners faced their biggest challenges yet, many learned to innovate and pivot,” said Michelle Van Slyke, interim president and senior vice president of marketing and sales at The UPS Store, Inc. “This year’s Small Biz Challenge recognizes the progress and achievements entrepreneurs are making today.”

Hosted by celebrity chef, author and TV host Carla Hall and moderated by veteran TV host, social media influencer, and author Shannon LaNier, talented small business owners were put to the test through a series of hypothetical situations requiring them to quickly think on their feet. From business-ownership skills to financial strategy, interpersonal communication and more, this final round of the challenge showcased their passion, strengths and commitment to their business and customers. The finalists used their confidence, clever thinking and determination to wow the virtual audience and shared a few of their own personal experiences as they navigated each question. 

Julie Sullivan Loos, co-founder of Ground Up Nut Butters in Portland, placed second and took home $20,000, while Sammi Bivens, founder and CEO of Digital Marketing Maven in Dallas, received $15,000 for third place. Both Julie and Sammi will also be featured in a future issue of Inc. magazine. Dr. David A. Paul, founder of Bold & Gritty, LLC in Rochester, N.Y., and Jonathan C. Marcus, Co-Founder of Rose Sisters Chips in Bridgeport, Conn., were awarded $5,000 each.  

Congratulations to Kimberly and all other finalists! Watch a replay of the Small Biz Challenge competition here and vote now through August 5, 2021 for your favorite contestant to win the Audience Choice Award.

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