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Influence & Co. CEO Kelsey Raymond Named SBA's Missouri Small Business Person of the Year

Influence & Co. CEO Kelsey Raymond Named SBA's Missouri Small Business Person of the Year

Each year, the U.S. Small Business Administration chooses small business owners from throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico to be recognized as Small Business Persons of the Year. And this year, our own Kelsey Raymond, CEO of Influence & Co., made the list!

"I am so honored to be recognized by the SBA for this award," Kelsey said in response to the news. "It means a lot to me that our banker, Brian McCarthy with American Bank of Missouri, who helped me secure the SBA loan to buy out my business partners in 2018, believed in me and Influence & Co. enough to nominate us for this award."

Celebrating Small Businesses

The Small Business Persons of the Year awards are exciting because they celebrate small businesses, which are an important part of our economy and world. Just look at these numbers from the SBA:

  • There are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States alone.
  • Small businesses have accounted for 66% of net jobs over the past 17 years.
  • Small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs in the private sector.
  • Over half of the U.S. workforce works for or owns a small business.

"What an honor it is for me to recognize the National Small Business Week state and territorial winners from across the nation whose exceptional hard work has created and built successful small businesses," said Jovita Carranza, the head of the SBA. "These women and men not only realized their dreams of entrepreneurship, but have also been tremendous job creators, helping to expand our economy. They represent the 30 million American small businesses — our nation's innovators and risk-takers."

Influence & Co. is proud to be among this ever-growing cohort of American small businesses.

Getting to Know Missouri's Small Business Person of the Year

"I have learned a lot in the past nine years of running Influence & Co., and the most important thing I have learned is that the company is only as strong as the talented people I have the privilege of working with," Kelsey said. "That's why this award means so much — it's really recognizing the amazing team we've built and the hard work they put in every day for our clients."

Influence & Co. CEO Kelsey RaymondKelsey Raymond, 2020 Missouri Small Business Person of the Year

The Influence & Co. team is so thankful for Kelsey and her leadership as well. Her creativity and determination have spurred our company forward, and we're so excited that her hard work is being recognized.

To help you get to know Kelsey a little better, here are some fun facts about her, her entrepreneurial journey, and Influence & Co.:

    • Kelsey's first "business" was a neighborhood newsletter that she started at age 8 and sold for 25 cents a copy.
    • Kelsey started her first marketing company, Make Me Your Ad, when she was a junior at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
    • Influence & Co. is the third company that Kelsey has helped start.
    • Influence & Co. has been on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies four years in a row.
    • Influence & Co.'s executive team is 85% women.
    • Influence & Co. works with clients big and small, including RAPP, Indeni, Vari, and Lemonlight.
    • Influence & Co. has offices in three Missouri cities: Columbia, Kansas City, and St. Louis.

About the Conference

On top of the honor of being named a Small Business Person of the Year, winners are invited to attend a virtual conference on Sept. 22-24, 2020: "Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation." This conference is free and open to the public — just click here to register!

To see the full list of Small Business Persons of the Year, click here.

To learn how to get your company's name out there and share the exciting work you're doing, download our free guide to thought leadership.

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About Lauren Tellman

I'm a content-obsessed word person with a passion for finding the coziest coffee shop in town. By day, I'm the content marketing manager at Influence & Co. In my downtime, you can find me hanging out with my husband and son, reading a book, sipping a latte, drawing, hand lettering, or watching "The Office" for the zillionth time.


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