A female-friendly auto shop, a video game bar and an auction house were named Wichita’s small businesses of the year Thursday.
Affinity Auto, Headshots Bar and Grill, and McCurdy Auction swept up those awards at a luncheon sponsored by the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Affinity won among the smallest businesses, up to five full-time employees; Head Shots won the 6-20 employee division and McCurdy won among businesses with 21-100 workers.
The awards were presented at a luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Hotel after a keynote address by Josh Oeding of e2e Accelerator.
“I have a vision, I think many of us do, for a more robust local economy, a more vibrant Wichita,” Oeding said. “I happen to believe Wichita’s come a long way and I also believe we have a long way to go and rooms like this are the symbol of the growth engines that are going to power the bright future so many of us believe in.”
Affinity, at 2606 W. Pawnee, is owned by Summer and Mark Guerrero. It prides itself on being a female-friendly auto shop that doesn’t try to upsell unnecessary work to women on the assumption that they may not know much about cars.
“As a female-owned automotive repair company, all employees are trained to ensure female customers feel safe, respected and empowered when making decisions regarding auto repairs,” the chamber said in a news release announcing the awards.
The business started as After Hours Auto Repair in 2008. The company expanded to a new facility in 2011 and changed its name in 2018.
Headshots, at 2120 N. Woodlawn, started on a shoestring and has grown into one of the largest independently owned video game bars in the country.
With seating space for 220, the business offers access to more than 1,500 video and board games, a full bar, an extensive menu, bakery and coffee shop.
The company handles live-bid and online auctions including real estate, vehicles and business liquidation sales.
Last year, the company conducted 700 auctions, a 17-percent increase from 2017.
“This is such a beautiful, wonderful place to own a small business,” said Joy Eakins, president of Cornerstone Data and one of the award presenters. “And it’s because of you, it’s because of what you bring to this community every day . . . You are an incredible group of people, maybe some of the finest people I know.”