Small Business Success Awards Presented by SunTrust

Small Business SuCcess:

Health In Hand | Emily Vargo

Health in Hand recently celebrated five years in Downtown Spartanburg, originally opening its doors after owner Emily Vargo won the City’s Main Street Challenge. The fresh juice and smoothie bar offers Spartanburg diners a healthy, vegan option from a zero-waste facility. Continually innovative, Health in Hand offers easy mobile-ordering and curb-side pickup, so there's no need to wait to join us in supporting our latest Small Business Success Award winner.



Exceptional Child Academy | Ashley Wilkin

Exceptional Child Academy LLC owner Ashley Wilkins wanted to provide a quality education for children who, like her, were born and raised in Spartanburg. Exceptional Child Academy's child-first model provides access to early-childhood education at an affordable price for local families. We're proud to name Exceptional Child Academy our latest winner of the Small Business Success Award.



IB Industries | Lauren Rogers

Lauren Rogers, founder of IB Industries, LLC was recognized for starting a business to combine a passion for real estate development and an entrepreneurial spirit. Rogers was trained through the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s construction training, a program in partnership with OneSpartanburg, the City of Spartanburg and other organizations. For her success and hard work, Rogers was named the Chamber’s 2019 Minority-Owned Business Person of the Year.



Palmetto Vermiculite | Hunter Brown

Palmetto Vermiculite provides exfoliated vermiculite, a natural mineral found in South Carolina, for construction, horticultural and manufacturing industries, all of which are important to Spartanburg County’s economy. Palmetto Vermiculite provides customizable options for its customers, so every project has its fit. We congratulate Palmetto Vermiculite on being named a Small Business Success Award winner.



Smith Animal Hospital | Dr. King

Smith Animal Hospital, P.A. has been serving the four-legged friends of Spartanburg since it opened in 1946. Over time, a lot has changed in veterinary medicine, but Smith Animal Hospital’s commitment to treating pets like a member of the family hasn’t. For their decades of quality service from their Asheville Highway location, we’re proud to name Smith Animal Hospital the latest winner of the Small Business Success Award sponsored by SunTrust.





Palmetto Proactive Healthcare | Dr. Aye-Ay and Dr McCarthy

Membership based care with no health insurance required, Palmetto Proactive provides primary family medicine care with a focus on connecting the physician and the patient. Palmetto Proactive physicians spend an average of 25 minutes with every patient, proving a commitment to the highest-quality care for everyone who comes through their doors. 







Ciclops Cyderi & Brewery  | Clara Jane Hallar & Rich Muller

Ciclops Cyderi & Brewery proudly works to "make absurd the norm" in Spartanburg. Ciclops has given beer and cider enthusiasts a welcoming, comfy place to enjoy traditional brews as well as off-the-wall styles created with everything from waffles to baseball bats. Ciclops never takes itself too seriously, but has provided Spartanburg a seriously cool place to enjoy the company of good people and good drinks.






Clevedale Inn  | Pontheolla and Paul Abernathy

The Clevedale Inn & Gardens offers guests a trip to the colonial era. The homestead, refurbished to serve as a bed and breakfast and event space, is accented by stately pillars in the front and a spacious, elegant interior. The Clevedale Inn is a Small Business Success Award winner because of the space’s commitment to excellence and the one-of-a-kind environment it offers its guests.







Little River Roasting Company | Gervais Hollowell

From its roaster along the Mary Black Rail Trail to its West Main Street location in Downtown Spartanburg to its soon-to-open spot in the Montgomery Building, Little River is the hub of Spartanburg's coffee culture. Doling out caffeinated cravings for more than 15 years, Little River has become a Downtown Spartanburg mainstay and its future as part of the revitalized Montgomery Building is bright. Cheers!





The Lauren Ashtyn Collection | Lauren Ashtyn

Lauren Ashtyn has used her passion for style to help her clients look and feel like the best version of themselves. The Spartanburg salon specializes in luxurious hair extensions and other products inspired by Lauren’s passion and the culture of the modern salon.







Heartland Payment Systems |  Jason Huesman

The Small Business Success Award is awarded to deserving small businesses and those that support them. Jason Huesman, with Heartland Payment Systems, has provided more than 100 small business owners with payment technology and software solutions, delivering innovative services to local customers, helping them ensure success.


GOS  | Charles Scales

GOS has been providing office supplies to companies large and small across the Upstate for 50 years. GOS has aided hundreds of businesses in their office needs, connecting them with everything from office furniture to cleaning supplies to a professional printing service. The team at GOS works directly with customers on custom products to help them save money on office costs so they can dedicate resources where they’re needed.


The Valet | Landon Cohen

The Valet, LLC provides valet parking services for private and special events, restaurants, hospitals, sporting events, and weddings. The Valet is based in Spartanburg, but has expanded its reach to cover Greenville, Columbia and Charlotte. Need transportation? They’ve got that, too. The Valet has added shuttle and transportation services to meet all of its customers’ needs. With safety and timeliness as their top priority, drivers are sure to provide an unforgettable experience.





Arrowhead Design Company  | Jamie Woodruff & Lanie Whitaker
Arrowhead Design Company offers branding & graphic design, web design, social media design, and in-house screen printing services. During the past year, the company has expanded its business into Downtown Spartanburg and full in-house screen printing services. Arrowhead provides a unique and intimate experience that has allowed its business and clients to thrive. You can find team members at community events, such as Spring Fling, displaying their highly coveted “I’m a Spartanburger” apparel.






  • The business must be physically located in Spartanburg County.
  • The business must have less than fifty (50) full-time employees (FTE).

Evaluation criteria:

  • Staying Power: Shows a history as an established business in Spartanburg County through time and community engagement.
  • Company Growth: Shows positive growth trends in revenues and workforce.
  • Innovation: Demonstrates creativity and imagination in business expansion and future planning.
  • Involvement: Active as a civic partner, both as an organization and by encouraging employees to be engaged citizens.
  • Response to Adversity: Facing challenges and overcoming obstacles with ingenuity, optimism and hard work.

selection Process:

  • Nominees will be brought before the Small Business Council on the 4th Wednesday of each month. Each nominee will be evaluated based on the criteria above. Closing the discussion, council will approve, deny, or request further information. If further information is requested, program director or award chair will contact business owner directly.
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