Small Businessperson of the Year

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James Yoder, Not Just Coffee


Charlotte has something of a reputation as a corporate town. We’re blessed to have nearly 300 of the Fortune 500 companies with presences in the area.

But it’s small businesses that still provide the backbone of our economy. Mecklenburg County has approximately 36,000 businesses, and the vast majority have fewer than 20 employees.

Small business is a big deal.

We at the Agenda set out to recognize some of our city’s impressive small business owners — and there was no shortage to choose from. The Agenda received more than 250 nominations for our inaugural Small Businessperson of the Year award.

James Yoder of Not Just Coffee stood out after a whirlwind 2017, opening three new locations while maintaining the quality that puts his coffee ahead of everyone else in Charlotte. He is our Small Businessperson of the Year.

Our finalists for the award are just as deserving. They run the gamut of Charlotte industries, from digital services to medicine. They’re all making a name for themselves through smart positioning, top-notch service and hard work.

Click on each picture to read a profile of the business owner and their work. Take some time to get to know them and learn from them. We sure did.


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Meet the Finalists