Small Business Microgrant Nominations: THRIVE

Microgrant awards to be announced at Friday's Resilience Celebration

We are happy to announce the nominations of our 2021 Small Business Week Microgrants 

The following  wonderful owners were nominated by our Greenhouse team and a distinguished panel of community and business leaders made the difficult decisions of choosing the winners in each category. 

The three categories are: Start. Grow. Thrive.  and each award totals $1,000

Start |
Pre-ventures to 2 years in existence, has utilized various Greenhouse startup tools and services 

Grow | Enterprise has been in business for 2+ years, may have been able to hire employees and expand their market presence  

Thrive | Enterprise is a great example of resiliency, has been able to make important pivots to continue in business. They have been able to prioritize relationships, recovery and reframing.  

Award winners will be announced at our Celebration on Friday, September 17th at 3:00pm in front of the Greenhouse. 

THRIVE Nominations

CONGRATULATIONS to all of the following entrepreneurs who have invested their time and commitment to successfully impact our local economy by demonstrating resilient business operations in St. Petersburg.  

Cyberlicious, Inc.
Owner: Sarah Guest

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
“I had the pleasure of getting to learn more about her and her business, Cyberlicious, through her active participation and engagement in The Greenhouse’s Summer 2020, 8-week Goal Achievement Project (GAP) Cohort. Not only was Sarah successful in completing her business goals during the program, but she proactively supported the rest of the cohort in the pursuit of their goals through her willingness to share entrepreneurial strategies, success and failures, as well as an open heart and mind.  

SCORE Mentor Shawne Angelle has provided the following recommendation for Sarah Guest, and I am excited to support this nomination as well:  “Cyberlicious, a 9 year old digital marketing firm in St Pete, pivoted their business model during the Pandemic by redefining target markets to focus on more profitable segments of Healthcare, Legal and E-commerce and have Sarah move to a full-time position. Sarah is a graduate of the Goal Accountability Program and actively uses mentoring services to keep her accountable, improve financial acumen, improve business processes and evaluate pricing strategies. The company weathered the storm and continues to add new clients and grow their recurring business.”

TET Salon Logo

Tabitha Exquisite Touch Salon (TET)
Owner: Consuelo Mackey-Perry

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
“I am thrilled to support Greenhouse client Consuelo Mackey-Perry for exemplifying a Greenhouse “THRIVING” business.

Through her volunteer work with the Business Resiliency Team, SCORE mentor Shawne Angelle began to mentor Consuelo and continued this support through Greenhouse/SCORE Mentoring services, Shawne shares the following: “Consuelo has actively used Greenhouse services‚ including the Business Resiliency Team, Training, Entrepreneurial Program, Eckerd Volunteer Program, Grand Re-opening Ribbon cutting services and Mentoring. During the pandemic, she decided to reposition and update her salon to attract a professional client and to build her presence on social media. The result is a total transformation of her salon, growth of stylists/services and a new clientele.”

Pop Goes the Waffle Logo

Pop Goes the Waffle
Owner: Sara Fludd

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
“I am proudly nominating Pop Goes the Waffle due to their ability to survive and thrive through the impact of Covid. Those in the food service industry were greatly affected with the onset of the pandemic, and Pop Goes the Waffle was no exception: from how the business pivoted from selling at in person events to selling items and shipping directly to customers through their social media platform.

PGTW also partnered with local businesses to do small pop up shops throughout the city, while following safety protocols. During Covid they also donated their goodies to boost the moral of healthcare workers and provided sponsorship opportunities of waffle packages to those who wanted to support them as well.

They have utilized resources of the Greenhouse to expand their business, most currently in seeking a brick & mortar location. They continue to show resiliency in the continuing saga of Covid and showing how business can take advantage of opportunities when they are nimble. “

Pop Goes the Waffle belongs in both the GROW and THRIVE categories! Since this nomination, the have officially announced their first brick and mortar location!

Gift Academy

Guiding Inspirations for Tomorrow Childcare Center
Owner: Monica Pittman

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
“It is with great pleasure that I nominate Monica Pittman, owner of Guiding Inspirations for Tomorrow (GIFT) Academy, for “THRIVE” business honors. Monica is an entrepreneur who personifies the Start, Grow, Thrive mission of The Greenhouse having engaged in every aspect of our services – – always willing to be open to support, guidance and growth opportunities. As a result, her childcare center exemplifies a THRIVE business, even during a pandemic, as she has been a frontline business who has remained open and quickly pivoted her operations to provide a safe environment for our community’s littlest citizens.

Monica is indeed a serial learner and values capacity building for herself, her staff and the children in her care. As an entrepreneur, she regularly seeks growth opportunities that align with her mission and understands that The Greenhouse stands ready to continue to support her entrepreneurial journey.”

Nurse Practitioners of Florida Logo

Nurse Practitioners of Florida
Owner: Ronsha Brown

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
“At the beginning of the pandemic, Ronsha was convinced she would need to close her doors for good. After reaching out and offering support through the BRT, Ronsha was able to strategically prioritize how she could keep her doors open, as well as develop new ways of providing services and new revenue streams. 

With the assistance of Give us 5, NPF was able to revamp their website, make a brand change and work to expand the practice. In the last year Ronsha has been able to hire additional staff and will be moving into a new, larger location.”

Tombolo Books Logo

Tombolo Books
Owners: Candice Anderson & Alsace Walentine

Nomination from Greenhouse Navigator:
“Tombolo Books has engaged with The Greenhouse since 2015 as a pre-venture when they were preparing to launch pop-up operations throughout Tampa Bay before settling in St. Petersburg to open their first brick & mortar location. At the time, these book enthusiasts knew the importance of doing their research and homework to start a business. They took full advantage of all Greenhouse resources to have a thorough business plan and marketing strategy to build our a clear roadmap to success. 

During the pandemic, they quickly pivoted operations to market and enhance their online ordering and offered curbside pickup to keep St. Pete READING! Recently, Tombolo has worked with Greenhouse Navigators to overcome the impact of the new SunRunner project construction. They maintained their workforce during pandemic and continue to show resiliency through multiple challenges the face.”

Since the nomination, Tombolo was featured during Small Business Week by St. Pete Catalyst – read the full coverage!