Business Program Graduates Ready for Success

The light rail moving  through a newly redeveloped community.

Graduates from two programs offered by the Mecklenburg County Office of Economic Development (OED) received their certificates at today’s dual ceremony held at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.  

The Business LaunchPad is a no-cost, 4.5-month program that offers participants access to subject-matter experts, business development resources, and in-kind professional service grants. The program targets small, minority, and woman-owned businesses  interested in securing governmental, institutional, and private contracting opportunities.  

From August 2021 through December 2022, three cohorts of the Business LaunchPad program have been completed and 52 participants graduated. There have been 68 contracts awarded for a total value $6,360,688. Additionally, those same Business LaunchPad graduates reported 140 new job opportunities created during that time period. 

The graduates of Cohort IV represent the following industries:  construction, consulting, architecture, and professional services. 

The Get Up and Grow program is Mecklenburg County's premier business development program that enables business owners with knowledge and skills to grow, expand, and increase annual sales beyond $125,000. The no-cost program helps local business owners develop a strategic growth plan. Participants receive access to professional consultants, a peer network, and trainings with subject matter experts.

From January 2019 through May 2022, four cohorts of the Get Up and Grow program produced 73 graduates. Combined over the four cohorts, they reported a total revenue increase of $805,000, and a total amount of access to capital of $495,726. Additionally, 103 new jobs were created and 94% of Get Up and Grow firms reported an increase in customers and sales.

Graduates of Cohort V include businesses in the following industries: mental health services, hauling and logistics, workforce development, food services and professional services.  

MeckNC Business LaunchPad and Get Up and Grow Spring 2023 Graduates:  

  • Sharon L. Allen, H&S Therapeutic Services  

  • Tanika E. Barber, MBS Therapeutics PLLC 

  • Elizabeth Bennett-Kemp, Kemp Creations, Inc. DBA YogaFitTribe Digital Wellness 

  • Vania V. Bredy, Bredy Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab LLC 

  • Michael Brown, M3L Global Strategies Group LLC 

  • Demi Knight Clark, Spark Building Group 

  • Stephanie Harmon, Stunningly Stephanie LLC S&S Courier and Transportation 

  • Jackie Headley, JMR Logistics Group LLC 

  • Jasmine Higgins, ReThink HR Consulting LLC DBA ReThink HR 

  • W. Kenny Hill Jr, Carolina Repair Services Inc. 

  • Damien Huckleberry, 704 Landscaping Services LLC 

  • Jason R. Hull, J and R Hull Trucking LLC  

  • Christina Jarrett, RHC Workforce Solutions LLC 

  • Ciara Kretschmer, A Family Affair Kitchen & Catering LLC 

  • Sara Lopez, Transformers Landscaping LLC 

  • Silvina Moreira Lopes, L.O.P.E.S. Group LLC DBA Pristine Cleaning Service 

  • Ben Mandell, Dino's Cookies 

  • Kimberly M. Mobley, TouchPoint Architecture+Design, PLLC 

  • Lindsay Raé Perry, Lindsay Rae Perry Consulting & Development LLC DBA LRP Agency 

  • Danielle Roberts, The Roberts Consulting Firm LLC 

  • Camille Solomon, MC Powerhouse, Inc. 

  • Kristen Stewart, Davis Stewart Co DBA Urban Sweets 

  • Tina Stewart, Charlotte Mattress, Inc. 

  • Shari Monét Tate, Rose & Honey Homestead and Apothecary LLC DBA Rose & Honey 

  • Kesha Thomas, Solvent Logistics Incorporated 

  • Shiron Vick, Vick Companies LLC DBA Evolution Safety 

  • Alam Virk, Tiger Contracting USA, LLC 

  • Samuel Walker, Walker's Transportation & Shuttle Service LLC 

  • LaRica S. Watts, Bright Stars Child Development Center 

  • Bobby E. Williams Jr., Printland Co DBA Printland 

About the Mecklenburg County Office of Economic Development 

The Office of Economic Development is the lead organization responsible for recruiting and retaining businesses, stimulating small business vitality and promoting Mecklenburg County. It has accomplished this through partnerships with business resource providers and community organizations as well as the seven communities that comprise Mecklenburg County.