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A Black History Month treat from Hyundai

If you own a business or plan to open one, be sure to stay informed about grants, awards and other benefits that small businesses can get each year throught various resources. In this case, Hyundai is investing heavily in Savannah, Georgia, where it's massive futuristic EV plant will begin to take shape soon. It has provided financial support to Savannah area charities and not-for profit organizations. For Black History Month, Hyundai again for a second year awards three Savannah area entrepreneurs, each of which are veterans with a specific skill set.

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In this special episode you'll meet three amazing entrepreneurs who have put in countless hours, faced numerous setbacks, and continue to grind to fulfill their mission and purpose while serving their communities. You'll also meet the people behind Hyundai's Progress Project and become a more familiar with the beautiful city of Savannah, where legions of tourists flow through each year.

“Hyundai’s global vision is progress for humanity, which means giving back to the community where we live and work,” said Brandon Ramirez, director, corporate social responsibility and external relations, Hyundai Motor America (pictured above) “Hyundai is proud to support small businesses through the Progress Project, as we celebrate and honor the achievements of the African American community during Black History Month.

Hyundai selected three Savannah-based small businesses each receiving donations of $15,000. The reward recipients are as follows:

Luxe the Salon: That's Latecka Early, founder and owner of the the beauty operation with more than a decade of service under her belt. Luxe the Salon is an upscale salon with a relaxing ambiance that specializes in natural hair, luxe, and hair extensions in Savannah. The salon will use the donation to update the store’s equipment, furniture, and other features, augmenting the overall customer experience.

Latecka’s passion for making women beautiful has afforded her to travel to Delaware and New York to style hair for Fashion Week. She and Luxe The Salon have been featured for their services with cancer survivors awareness campaigns, back-to-school supply drives. AIDS awareness drives, Weddings for Warriors, and local after school program mentorship programs that have all been featured in local publications with Savannah Tribune, The Herald, WSAV, & WTOC news. Additionally, Latecka founded Conversations & Curlz for middle school young ladies at their inner-city schools. Teaching them the importance of knowing the basics of hair care, skincare, and etiquette. Latecka also co-founds S.O.S Sistas of Savannah Networking Brunch, to help women in the community to join together, support, and encourage one another.

“It is remarkable to see the impact Hyundai Motor America is already making in our local communities and I’m especially excited about the Progress Project,” said Savannah Economic Development Authority President and CEO Trip Tollison. “The three businesses chosen to receive the donations represent different areas of the service industry that keep our communities running. This is only the beginning of the community-wide impact Hyundai will create, and I look forward to seeing what’s to come in the future.”

Savannah Sauce Company: A community-centered company that makes delicious sauces, jams, and other locally sourced products in Georgia, inspired by the Savannah kitchen of owner Mike Roberson’s grandmother, Henrietta Smith. The company will create a new ice cream flavor from one of the jams.

Owner Mike Roberson (pictured belowon the right) has cultivated the Savannah Sauce Company into a recognized product in the city . The Georgia-based sauce company specializes in locally-sourced, all-natural ready-made sauces, salsa, jam, marinades and more. Our product lines include hot sauces, ketchups, BBQ sauces, marinades, and other assorted sauces.

Roberson is a soft spoken thoughful man who sees the big picture and has a big vision. "When you purchase one of our products, you are making more than a purchase of great tasting products; you are supporting our local communities through projects such as “Tiny Homes for Big Heros”.His interview revealed alot about him and his abiity to recover from major setbacks.

Each of these businesses are in competitive segments, but the Savannah sauce company has to go head to head with major brands on store shelves which can be daunting. Still Mr Roberson marches on with a unique brand of flavors that the city of Savannah is known for in the culinary space

You can find Savannah Sauce Company products at Whole Foods, Ace Hardware and other local retailers and farmer’s markets.

As Savannah continues to benefit from hordes of tourists that flew in each year to enjoy the beautiful city, the architecture, the art and culture, and the history, small businesses like these three recipients can also be a part of the city's success. Furthermore, the financial resources help them in their quest to scale up, and prove service, and be stronger advocates and supporters of the city's economic growth. The bonus, growth can mean more employment opportunities for residents.

The Culturist Union: A multi-functional coffee shop and artisan marketplace that hosts events, forums, and all things community for creatives in Savannah. The organization will use the donation to create an accessibility ramp at the entrance to ensure that everyone can enjoy the space, no matter their abilities.

Stay tuned for follow up stories from Savannah and around the nation on ways big business is giving back to the communities that they operate from.

Throughout February, join Hyundai on social media to learn more about the stories of the passionate individuals behind these businesses.

Visit our AutoFOCUS WORLD website for daily updates, blogs and the social media for reminders of what's hot in tech, culture, impact and automotive innovation.


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