Celebrating Small Businesses

May 26, 2023 in ,
By Sarah Tucker and Risa Witherow

May is Small Business Month, a time to celebrate small businesses and their owners, “the backbone of our economy and the glue of our communities[1].” Supporting small businesses is vital to the health of the U.S. marketplace and the wellness of our nation, as small businesses employ nearly half of all private sector workers in the country. According to a 2023 proclamation from WhiteHouse.gov, “These businesses also account for almost half of our Nation’s gross domestic product.” For ideas of how your organization can up its touchpoints with small businesses, check out our blog “Shop Small for Big Impact: Ideas for Increasing Your Organization’s Interactions with Small Businesses.”

FMP cares deeply about supporting our fellow small companies! We asked FMPers to share their experiences with small businesses in the DMV area, as well as what they like most about working at a small business. Read more to find your next favorite spot and hear the pros of hanging your hat at a small business.

What is your favorite DMV small business?

Ashley Agerter Raitor (Managing Consultant) – As a remote employee who lived in the DMV area for ~7 years, Cheesetique is the one place I ALWAYS visit when I’m back— the Grown-Up Grilled cheese is a revelation!

Shareen Drilling (Senior Consultant) Fava Pot has the BEST authentic Egyptian food in the area — their falafel and koshary are delicious, and the owner, Dina, and her team are so warm and welcoming. They started off as a food truck and now have locations in Falls Church and DC!

Tim Daniels (Senior IT Consultant) El Pollo Ranchero has my favorite Tex-Mex food, I leave very satisfied. Also, their dining room has a cozy feel to it as well.

Marni Falcone (Managing Consultant) Barre3 Old Town is a local woman-owned small business with deep FMP ties. Before the studio opened, one of the owners Meredith Patel, taught a Barre3 class in FMP’s Conference Room 1! The other owner, Lindsay McConnell, is married to a former FMPer. Barre3 Old Town is so supportive of the community and well-being—such a similar culture to one we promote here at FMP!

Dean Workman (Consultant II) The Runaway is a rock ‘n’ roll themed (DC woman-owned) burger bar located right down the street from my pad. It has tasty food, a great happy hour, a nice rooftop, and indie punk/rock bands at night. I recommend the Joan Jett burger with artichoke dip over spinach topped with crispy fried shallots served on a squid ink bun.

Tiffany Jesteadt (Senior Consultant) Compass Coffee is a veteran-owned, DC-based coffee chain that roasts the best and smoothest coffee in the DMV. I can’t start my day without them.

Preston “Tim” Brown (Senior Consultant) Great Harvest Bread has wonderful bread, coffee and baked goods. The people who work there truly care about their customers — smiles and friendly service are free.

Kayla Reid (Consultant II) La Coop Coffee Co has a location in D.C. and just opened another shop in my neighborhood in Arlington. Not only are their coffee and pastries amazing (I definitely recommend the blueberry scones), but they are committed to offering the fairest possible price to the producers of their coffee.

What do you like about working at a small business?

FMPers noted characteristics such as community and connection, development opportunity, flexibility, the ability to make an impact, and employee engagement as benefits to working at a small business.

Ashley Agerter Raitor (Managing Consultant) – I love the feeling of community that a small business like FMP offers. Even though I’m remote, I feel really connected to my colleagues, which makes the day-to-day more fun and rewarding.

Shareen Drilling (Senior Consultant) – I love working at a small business because over the years I have been able to get involved in so many different opportunities, both internally within FMP on various committees/teams and across different capability areas for our clients. FMP also prioritizes flexibility, which makes it so much easier to manage work/life balance while working on multiple projects.

Tim Daniels (Senior IT Consultant) – I love having a direct impact on the work that we get to do!

Marni Falcone (Managing Consultant) – I love not just being a number. In a small business, the people make the business and that is so important for employee engagement.  

Dean Workman (Consultant II) – I enjoy the sense of community and ease of collaboration. Small enough to know most of my colleagues, yet large enough to provide plenty of room for career growth and opportunities.

Tiffany Jesteadt (Senior Consultant) – When you work at a small business, you know that everyone is committed to the same mission. There’s a sense of camaraderie that simply can’t be achieved in large corporations.

Support the contributions of small businesses this month and every month by visiting and promoting your favorite local spots! Share some of your favorite small businesses with us in the comments!


[1] https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2023/04/28/a-proclamation-on-national-small-business-week-2023/

Sarah Tucker joined FMP Consulting as a Human Capital Consultant in February 2022. She earned an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University. Sarah has worked with organizations to improve their effectiveness in multiple capacities for four years. She is passionate about improving work-life and making a lasting impact in the human capital environment.

Risa Witherow joined FMP Consulting as a Human Capital Consultant in May 2021. She earned an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a B.S. in Communication Studies and Writing from Middle Tennessee State University. Risa has three years of experience working with clients in the public and private sectors to improve the functioning and effectiveness of their organizations and enrich the experiences had by their employees.