The winners are Shea Yeleen, The Safety Pouch, Madhu Chocolate, Modi Toys and Young King Hair Care
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Meredith Corp Announces Winners of Good Impressions Program to Benefit Small Businesses
Credit: Meredith Corp

Meredith Corporation — the parent company of magazines including PEOPLE, InStyle and Entertainment Weekly — has granted five small businesses an award package that includes pro bono ad space and marketing consultation services valued at approximately $100,000.

The awards were granted through Meredith's Good Impressions program, which was launched in February as a way to help BIPOC and LGBTQIA-majority owned small businesses through increased awareness, mentorship and support.

On Tuesday, the company announced Shea Yeleen, The Safety Pouch, Madhu Chocolate, Modi Toys and Young King Hair Care as winners.

"We are so pleased to announce and showcase these award winners just in time for Small Business Saturday," Catherine Levene, President of Meredith National Media Group and Executive Sponsor of :BLACKPRINT, said in a statement.

"We encourage people to support these innovative businesses during this holiday shopping season and beyond," she added. "We look forward to sharing Meredith's extensive advertising and marketing resources to help them take their companies to the next level."

Meredith Corp Announces Winners of Good Impressions Program to Benefit Small Businesses
Meredith Corp Announces Winners of Good Impressions Program to Benefit Small Businesses
Left: Credit: Meredith Corp
Right: Credit: Meredith Corp

Shea Yeleen is a skincare company based out of Washington, D.C., which pays its producers in Ghana five times the local minimum wage.

"Winning the Good Impressions pro-bono media and marketing award will enable Shea Yeleen to amplify our brand, build meaningful relationships with new customers, boost direct-to-consumer sales, and continue uplifting our producers in Ghana," owner Rahama Wright said of the award in a statement. "This investment in our business will have ripple effects on our suppliers creating living wage jobs and contributing to sustainability within our supply chain."

The Safety Pouch, founded by David Price, offers customers a highly-visible wallet to store car insurance, registration, and other paperwork typically needed during a traffic stop involving a police officer. The wallet is meant to reduce the possibility of officers having a misunderstanding with a driver during a stop.

"Being a part of Good Impressions will be life-changing," Price, of New Orleans, said. "I am sure it will help us rapidly scale our brand and help us continue our work creating safer and more equitable interactions with law enforcement."

Meredith Corp Announces Winners of Good Impressions Program to Benefit Small Businesses
Meredith Corp Announces Winners of Good Impressions Program to Benefit Small Businesses
Left: Credit: Meredith Corp
Right: Credit: Meredith Corp

Madhu Chocolate is an Indian-inspired chocolate company founded by Harshit Gupta and Elliott Curelop. The company ethically sources high-quality cacao beans from Colombia and its production facility runs on 100 percent renewable wind energy.

"This award means so much to us because it validates the uniqueness of our business concept and the quality of our products, said Gupta. "We have put our all into developing the flavors of our products to demonstrate that amazing chocolate doesn't have to be so Euro-centric in flavor, and it is very gratifying for us to know other people feel the same way."    

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Siblings Avani Modi Sarkar and Viral Modi own Modi Toys, which offers toys, games and books influenced by Indian culture and their Hindu faith.

"We searched for toys that reflected our roots, but we couldn't find anything that reflected diversity in faith," Sarkar said. "We designed our products as part of a broader movement to make playrooms more inclusive and celebrate individuality and otherness."

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The owners of Young King Hair Care, a multicultural beauty brand for young men, are Cora Miller and Stefan Miller. Out of their headquarters in Atlanta, the pair offer plant-based products to promote textured hair health and growth.

"This award truly validates our mission and vision for the brand," Stefan Miller said. "We are excited to tap into Meredith's bench of experts to garner insights, make valuable connections and utilize their skills and expertise, which is invaluable for our growing brand. We are thrilled to make new connections and truly learn and grow throughout the process."