D.C. Chamber Honors Small Businesses

Barrington M. Salmon | 5/23/2012, 2:48 p.m.

"We're not going to tax small businesses out of the city ... the heart and soul of D.C. is how we treat small business. As small businesses go, so does D.C."

Klein and Lang exulted over a city budget that contains no new taxes or fees for city businesses.

"I'm very grateful that we went through a budget without new taxes and fees," Klein told Brown. "And now you're going to eliminate all regulations by the end of the year, right?"

Grant now employs 27 employees and two interns and said she continues to find ways to expand her business and give back to the community.

Grant said after the event that while she's extremely honored by the recognition, she doesn't consider herself to be a champion yet.

"I'm more of a cheerleader," she said. "I don't have enough under the belt yet but I'm an extremely passionate cheerleader."

The D.C. native said she began her business five years ago out of frustration with management at the place where she worked. Since then, she said, she's persevered.

"I was not built to work 9 to 5. I'm Type A to the nth degree," she explained. "I don't get much sleep. As a female owner, it has been very difficult to gain the level of respect and develop relationships. It was important to understand the craft, industry and technology."

The city's HUBzones are set-asides that target under-utilized areas and allow companies to hire people who live in the District's underserved communities.

"This is the best birthday gift. I have one more shot at Young Entrepreneur of the Year," Grant joked.