Gratitude and Impatience
If I had to pinpoint the emotions I’ve felt most deeply and often as an entrepreneur, those would be the two I would choose — impatience to turn vision into reality faster and help more customers, coupled with gratitude for all of the hard work that our 1,000+ person team puts in every day and for the 100,000+ customers who entrust Gusto to run critical parts of their business.
That mix of emotions was exactly what I felt earlier this month when I woke up to find out I’d been named to Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list. Company building is a team effort, and individual accolades are always uncomfortable for me. But I knew this award was an acknowledgment of the work Gusties do every day to help small businesses, and that made me feel proud.
Yet, I also felt a sense of impatience on behalf of the small businesses we serve. These are the companies that we interact with every day, and they are in the middle of a very daunting, uncertain time. Many of them are striving to survive, swerving with every curve of the COVID era. In the span of just a few months, they’ve gone on a journey that would take most companies, in ordinary times, years to experience, if at all: shut-downs, layoffs, furloughs, federal aid and relief, hiring, closing, and reopening, just to name a few.
Small businesses are the heart and soul of our work here at Gusto, and they’re also a critical part of our economy. Now more than ever, we need to have their backs and ensure their survival. As proud as I am to accept this recognition on behalf of our 1,300+ Gusto employees nationwide, I’d also like to take this opportunity to shine a light on the small businesses we have the privilege to serve.
In keeping with the spirit of Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list, I’d like to share with you 40 small businesses we serve here at Gusto that are deserving of greater attention and support. I’d love to spotlight all 100,000+ small businesses we serve, but for this blog post, 40 will suffice. My hope is if we #ShareTheirStories, we’ll be able to collectively #BendTheCurveForSmallBiz.
With gratitude, impatience, and Gusto,
40 Small Businesses
Accounting & Bookkeeping
- 1st Step Accounting, Baltimore, MD: 1st Step Accounting is on a mission to “make accounting a little less taxing” for small business owners.
- Acuity, Atlanta, GA: Founded in 2004, Acuity provides scalable financial solutions — tackling everything from invoicing and bill pay to financial strategy — so entrepreneurs can focus on growing their companies.
- Hell Yeah Bookkeeping, Los Angeles, CA: Founded by a musician turned financial planner, Hell Yeah Bookkeeping is a financial firm focused on inspiring creatives to be engaged with their personal and business finances.
- Good Cents Bookkeeping, New York, NY: Founded in 2007, Good Cents provides bookkeeping services to artists, internet marketers, and entrepreneurs.
- Reconciled, Burlington, VT: Reconciled is a full-service virtual bookkeeping and accounting firm for entrepreneurs.
Diversity & Inclusion Consulting
- Awaken, San Francisco, CA: Awaken offers workshops and facilitation services to spark personal and organizational change while empowering individuals to create more inclusive organizations.
- The Torin Ellis Brand, Baltimore, MD: Sirius XM host Torin Ellis partners with company leadership to identify inhibitors that stall diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives, particularly during the recruitment process.
- Latched Mama, Midlothian, VA: Founded by a mother of five, Latched Mama is an e-commerce apparel company for nursing parents.
- The Snapbar, Seattle, WA: Founded as a photo booth and custom selfie station company, The Snapbar changed course during the pandemic to create Keep Your City Smiling, a line of gift boxes that showcase and support small businesses.
- Citizen Pilates, Houston, TX: Nominated by the Houston Business Journal as one of the Best Places to Work in 2019, Citizen Pilates offers group classes at three locations citywide.
- Living Yoga, Portland, OR: Living Yoga offers yoga classes, services, and resiliency training to help people heal from the impacts of trauma.
- Urban Body, San Jose, CA: Founded by a professional ballerina as the second act of her career after two hip replacements, Urban Body offers wellness and corrective work via Pilates and Gyrotonic classes.
Food & Beverage
- Bjorn’s Colorado Honey, Boulder, CO: Based in Boulder, with bee farms in Boulder and Denver, Bjorn’s Colorado Honey makes small-batch raw honey and European-made, bee-based skincare products.
- Brown Sugar Kitchen, Oakland, CA: Founded by star chef Tanya Holland, Brown Sugar Kitchen put East Bay soul food on the map.
- Doughp, Las Vegas, NV: Featured on NBC’s Shark Tank, Doughp ships edible, bakeable, tasty cookie dough nationwide.
- Drifter Spirits, Fort Worth, TX: Drifter Spirits is a purveyor of unique, global alcohol for use in craft cocktails. Originally founded in New York, it moved its operations amid the pandemic to Fort Worth, TX.
- Good Use, Emeryville, CA: Good Use makes cold-pressed and raw juice out of surplus and ugly produce. During COVID, Good Use has begun making eco-friendly hand sanitizer.
- Huckleberry Roasters, Denver, CO: Huckleberry Roasters has two Denver-based coffee shops committed to working with smallholder farms and coffee co-ops.
- Minnie Bell’s Soul Food Movement, Emeryville, CA: An alum of La Cocina’s nonprofit incubator, Minnie Bell’s Soul Food Movement serves Southern comfort food at a kiosk in Emeryville’s Public Market.
- Seismic BBQ, San Francisco, CA: Founded by a chef battling multiple sclerosis whose wife is a doctor on the frontlines of the pandemic, Seismic BBQ is a catering company that serves corporate cafeterias throughout the Bay Area.
- Temescal Brewing, Oakland, CA: Founded in what was once the site of an abandoned, burned-down dry cleaners, Temescal Brewing’s outdoor beer garden has become a gathering place for the community.
- The Salty, Miami, FL: The Salty is a family-owned, artisan donut shop that makes small-batch, craft donuts 100% from scratch.
- Three Babes Bakeshop, San Francisco, CA: Voted by Food and Wine Magazine as one of the best pie makers in the country, Three Babes Bakeshop serves up pies and baked goods at farmers’ markets and corporate cafeterias throughout the Bay Area.
- So Damn Gouda, Denver, CO: So Damn Gouda delivers artisan cheese and appetizer trays to homes and businesses throughout the greater Denver area.
- North Star Behavior Consultants, Kitsap County, WA: Two behavioral therapists laid off during the pandemic banded together to form their own business, North Star Behavioral Consulting, to keep vital services going for children with autism and developmental needs.
- Keene Perspectives, White River Junction, VT: Keene Perspectives was founded in January 2018 by a husband-and-wife team to provide one-on-one and group learning support for children with autism spectrum disorder.
Media & Marketing
- ABCD Marketing, Rockville, MD: Named after its four co-founders (friends who met at Howard University, each with a first name that starts with A, B, C, and D), ABCD Marketing is a full-service marketing and events firm.
- CIA Media Group, Roswell, GA: Founder Montina Young-Portis overcame homelessness as a teenager to put herself through college and a master’s program before founding CIA, a video marketing company for the digital age.
- TJM & Co. Media Boutique, Brooklyn, NY: TJM & Co. is a boutique public relations firm for mission-driven organizations, nonprofits, and small businesses.
- La Cocina, San Francisco, CA: Since 2005, La Cocina has been an incubator for BIPOC, female entrepreneurs, providing resources, access, and opportunities to set up their own food businesses and restaurants.
- Miracle Messages, San Francisco, CA: Miracle Messages rebuilds social support systems for people experiencing homelessness by facilitating reunions with loved ones and offering a virtual buddy system.
- Outdoor Afro, Oakland, CA: Founded in 2009, Outdoor Afro organizes events and activities — like camping, hiking, birding, biking, and skiing — to connect the Black community to nature.
- SF New Deal, San Francisco, CA: Founded in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, SF New Deal partners with community organizations and restaurants to create and distribute meals for vulnerable communities, providing income for small businesses and food for those in need.
- The Nest Nursery School, Atlanta, GA: The Nest Nursery is dedicated to the education and care of infants and toddlers in full-time, working families.
- Mama Hope, Boston, MA: Mama Hope nurtures community-led organizations around the world, ensuring they have the resources and freedom they need to change lives in their communities and build a better future for generations to come.
- Handlebar Cyclery, Katy, TX: Handlebar Cyclery is a bike shop where the team is equally passionate about cycling and mustaches.
- Hexagramm Books, Decatur, GA: Hexagramm Books supplies children’s books in Spanish, French, and English to dual language immersion classrooms.
- Love Lurra, Tacoma, WA: Love Lurra is a family-owned, all-natural skincare and self-care line sold at local farmers’ markets, online, and now at a new kiosk in the Point Ruston Public Market.
- Stems, Brooklyn, NY: Founded as a neighborhood flower shop in the front space of a bar, Stems now has its own retail store, warehouse, and special events design services.
- Wild Hand, Philadelphia, PA: Wild Hand is a supply shop for fiber projects that offers classes in knitting, crochet, frame weaving, macrame, and stitching. Wild Hand is doing e-bike deliveries while its brick-and-mortar location is closed.