Melissa Garrett Wins $20K at JumpStart’s 20th Small Business Impact Program Showcase

Melissa Garrett, owner of UnBar Cafe, a unique coffee shop and cafe in Cleveland’s Larchmere neighborhood, won the top prize at the 20th Small Business Impact Program Showcase. The special event, hosted at the House of Blues and presented by the Cleveland Browns, featured a live pitch competition where Melissa and four other local businesses competed for a $20K grant prize to grow their businesses.

Emceed by Josh and Maria Cribbs, the event’s competition capped off the 12-week business intensive that helped the five entrepreneurs build skills, navigate challenges and grow their companies. Special guests, including Browns players Nyheim Hicks and Jameis Winston, past Impact Program alumni and Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne helped create a memorable atmosphere.

While Melissa was named the winner and received the $20K prize for her innovative approach to café culture, the four other Impact Program participants didn’t walk away empty-handed.

Jessica Davis of Rebuilders Xchange, Brandi Rae Hicks of SERVE-U LLC, William Washington of Washington Wellness Institute LLC, and Abbie Swisher of Crochet Kitty were awarded $5,000 each, highlighting JumpStart’s commitment to the growth of Cleveland-area entrepreneurs.

The 20th Anniversary Showcase event not only highlighted the achievements of JumpStart’s latest cohort but also celebrated Cleveland’s vibrant small business community. Coinciding with JumpStart’s 20th anniversary, the showcase paid tribute to two decades of transformative impact and innovation.

About the Small Business Impact Program
Launched in 2016, the Small Business Impact Program is the region’s leading business accelerator. The program helps local entrepreneurs sharpen their business skills through hands-on learning. Seven years and 19 cohorts later, the program has graduated 188 small business owners and deployed more than $2.3M in grants and loans.

About JumpStart Inc.
JumpStart is a nationally recognized venture development organization providing capital, services and connections to help entrepreneurs grow and corporations innovate.